Cord safety on integral blinds and internal blinds.

Glass and glazing products fall under several British and European standards for conformity and type.  One of these standards covers recent European standards introduced to improve the safety of internal window blinds. In particular these new standards work to reduce any associated risk of accidents associated with the cords typically used to operate many different types of blinds.

The new European Standards for internal window blinds were developed in response to a request from the European Commission  following incidents of fatal accidents. In particular young children could be at risk of strangulation by loosely hanging door blinds.

Cord Safety standards for internal and other types of blinds.

The three new European Standards are:

  • EN 13120:2009+A1:2014 ‘Internal blinds – Performance requirements including safety’
  • EN 16433:2014 ‘Internal blinds – Protection from strangulation hazards – Test methods’
  • EN 16434:2014 ‘Internal blinds – Protection from strangulation hazards – Requirements and Test methods for safety devices’

Manufacturing companies making window and door blinds are obliged to meet these safety standards.  EN 13120:2014 relates to cord safety and is now in force.  Manufacturing companies and those selling blind products must adhere to these safety standards for the products that they sell.

What do these recent standards on integral and other types of blinds cover?

These safety solutions came about in order to eliminate any risks associated with cords on blinds.  Children, people with mental health conditions and the elderly were identified as being at possible risk from strangulation. The specific EN Standards for blinds cover:

EN 13120:2009+A1:2014.  This is an amendment to previous European Standards covering ‘Internal blinds – Performance requirements including safety’ (published in 2009).  It outlines the requirements blinds should fulfil when provided to residential and commercial buildings. The scope of this standard is quite wide ranging.  It covers roller blinds, venetian blinds, vertical blinds, honeycomb blinds, Roman shades, Festoon blinds, roll up blinds and many others.  These are the types of blinds that will typically have a cord operation and therefore addresses any potential safety hazards.

EN 16433:2014 ‘Internal blinds – Protection from strangulation hazards – Test methods’. This particular standards sets out the various test methods which are intended to confirm that any window blind meets the requirements specified in EN 13120.

EN 16434:2014 ‘Internal blinds – Protection from strangulation hazards – Requirements and Test methods for safety devices. This standard expands the test methods still further.  It relates to the test methods for safety devices.  The option exists for any safety device to be either part of the original product or retrofitted to existing blinds.

How do these standards cover integral blinds?

Pellini Industries are the designers of the integral blind systems used by established and professional companies such as Morley Glass of Leeds.  Upon introduction of these revised and new standards their product were amended to comply accordingly.  These product enhancements cover the integral blind system fitted with the ScreenLine®”C” cord-operated models.  In these products changes include:

  • a patented automatic cord release system under an applied weight of no less than 6 kg
  • a cord tensioner, to avoid the formation of hazardous cord loops
  • length of operating cords in compliance with the new standard
  • an information sticker to provide a reminder of possible risks.  Manufacturers and window fitters are obliged to attach the sticker onto the glass unit on installation
  • an information tab that is fitted to the cord loop reminding the user of possible risks

 What are the obligations for manufacturers and installers?

Anyone involved in the provision of integral blinds are obliged to to be fully acquainted with these relevant and important standards.  For integral blinds it’s necessary to install the integral Screenline blinds correctly. These standards cover not only the manufacturers at the upper tier of the supply chain but also the processor and the installer.

Integral blinds offer great benefits to bifolding doors, windows and any large screen. They provide a blind solution that is easy to clean, one that avoids wear and tear in use and is a sophisticated product.  At the same time it is one that offers great safety features when used correctly in any home or commercial building.