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Child Safety

The issue of Child Safety is viewed seriously Blind manufacturers. This is due to the cord or chain operating mechanism of a Blind and the potential risks involved with this. 

Our suppliers’ design, manufacturing and quality teams understand the potential hazards posed by unrestained Blind cords and chains. In line with legislation, each Blind type has been considered to ensure that Child Safety is an essential feature.

  • Roller Blinds have easy-break chain connectors that are designed to break under a 3kg force.
  • A cord-and-chain cleat is provided with all Blinds that come with chains or cords (such as Roller, Vertical or Venetian Blinds). These cleats are to be fitted to the side of the window to allow the cords or chains to be secured safely out of reach of little hands. It is important that these cleats are installed and then used.
  • Warning labels are attached to Blinds reminding customers at the point of installation of potential hazards.

In March 2014, the ‘BS EN 13120’ came into effect. This is the Safety Requirement that has been passed as a standard in Europe. BASW will supply (via our suppliers) compliant Blinds based on the information and measurements we receive from our customers when they place their order. We will also supply (via our suppliers) the necessary warning labels and safety devices.

There is a lot of information in the ‘BS EN 13120’ and we detail this further on for your information. However the key points to note are the following:

  • There are no allowances with regard to the regulations. Both BASW and our suppliers have to comply.
  • No Blind chain or cord may hang lower than 150cm off the ground.
  • Safety mechanisms such as cleats have to be supplied with a Blind with a cord or chain. These safety mechanisms have to then be installed (when fitting the Blind) and made use of (i.e. the Blind cord or chain must be secured to the cleat as is the intention of the mechanism).
  • Warning labels have to be provided with the Blinds.


Here are some things that you can do at home to help make sure children remain safe:

  • Children like to climb and play and so there are some simple measures that you can take to help minimise risk - such as moving beds, cots or furniture (that children could climb up onto) away from windows. 
  • Ensuring that Blind cords don’t twist or become tied together to form a loop. 
  • Making sure that the cord-and-chain cleat (provided with the Blind) is fitted and used. 

It is important that you use, assemble and / or fit any Child Safety device that are supplied with your Blinds.

Further information about the ‘BS EN 13120’ follows.

What is the BS EN 13120? This is the safety requirements regarding blinds that have been passed as a standard in Europe.

What will we do as a supplier to comply? Discount Blinds Direct (Blind And Shutter Warehouse) will supply (via our suppliers) compliant blinds based on information and measurements received by our customers when ordering the blinds. We will also supply (via our suppliers) the necessary warning labels and safety devices.

When is it effective: March 2014

Summary: In the main, the regulations concern themselves with:

  • making safe the blind operating chain or cord;
  • making safe the accessible inner cord behind the blinds (Roman Blinds);
  • safety documentation that must accompany the blind to the end-user.

Where do the rules apply? The rules apply where internal blinds presenting hazardous loops (through chains or cords) are installed in premises where children aged 0 to 42 months are likely to have access or be present. This includes home, hotels, hospitals, churches, shops, schools, offices and general public places. The new standards also apply if the destination of the blind is unknown. The rules do not apply where internal blinds are installed where children are unlikely to have access (for example: factories, laboratories, etc).

Are there any allowances? No. There are no allowances in the BS EN 13120 for items such as kitchen units or other obstructions preventing easy access to the chain or cord. The advice from the BBSA is that if the blind is not able to comply, then the blind should not be fitted and an alternative compliant product should be used (i.e. a curtain).

Blind chains and cords. The important point of calculation now becomes the installation height of the blind or track. This determines how long the chain or cord can be. The bottom of the loop of the chain or cord must be 150cm from the floor. In addition, it must be secured with the provided safety device. Without the saftey device, the product is not compliant and should not be fitted. Please contact us immediately if you receive a blind from us that does not have the necessary safety device. Please also make sure that you install and use all safety devices provided with your blind. Example: If the headrail installation height is 2.25 metres then the chain or cord will be a maximum of 75cm. Or, if the operating chain or cord has a breakaway device, then the bottom loop of the chain or cord may be 60cms from the floor.

What happens with low-level blinds? If the installation height of the blind is less than or around 150cms from the floor, then an operating chain / cord with a maximum loop of 20 cms can be used. Again, this needs to be attached using the safety device provided. Although the bottom loop of the chain / cord will be closer to the floor than the allowed 150cms, the 20cm maximum loop size is deemed to have removed the hazard.

What about accessible inner cords (such as pull cords at the rear of Roman Blinds)? The maximum distance between 2 consecutive attachment / retention points (normally rods, pockets or blind rings) shall be less than or equal to 20cms. Any of the traditional methods of fixing the cord to the bottom rod pocket can be used if the rods are no more than 20cms apart in all areas of the Roman Blind. For Roman Blinds with rod pockets greater than 20cms at any point, a breakaway device must be used on each cord.