Consumers shopping for new curtains or blinds should choose options that are cordless. That’s the recommendation from Simon Gallagher, MBIE’s National Manager Consumer Protection, especially in homes where small children are present.
Six deaths of young children from corded window coverings have been reported in New Zealand by the Coroner’s Office over the period 2009 to 2019. Blinds and window shades with cords are dangerous because young children can get entangled and strangled by the operating or inner cords.
The safest window coverings in homes with young children have no exposed pull cords, inner cords, or cords against the back of the fabric such as those found in Roman or Venetian blinds. These back cords can be just as dangerous and have been the cause of deaths.
Mr Gallagher explains that MBIE will soon consult with businesses, consumers and interested community groups to discuss options to address these safety concerns (including regulation). While this process is underway, the best guidance is for homeowners to "avoid purchasing window coverings with cords."
A campaign to alert shoppers to this risk is now underway.
Could your cords kill?
There are many cordless blind and curtain options now available. Shop around and ask your supplier or retailer for the best options to suit your home.