Window blinds

This information is intended as a guide only. You should contact your supplier with any queries regarding the safety of your blinds.

Cords and chains on window blinds and curtains can pose a hidden danger to young children, particularly children under the age of three. There have been a number of deaths of children in recent years due to strangulation caused by loose cords and chains.

Spot the dangers:

The danger is caused when the loop of a cord or chain on a window blind or curtain is within a child’s reach. A child can get entangled in these loops and run the risk of being strangled by them. Look out for these loops and check that they are secured with a chain tidy or are fitted with a chain break device. Always ensure that cords and chains are kept out of reach of children and at least 1.6m above the ground. Also check that furniture is not near windows and doors as a child could climb up and get caught in the cord or chain. As well as checking your own blinds and curtains, also check those in houses where your child spends time, for example a grandparent or childminder’s house.

Remove the dangers:

  • Move beds, cots and furniture away from windows and doors.
  • Keep cords and chains out of reach of children – cords should end at least 1.6 metres above the ground.
  • Make your existing blinds or curtains safe.
    • You could cut the cord to remove the loop.
    • If the cord or chain cannot be cut, install a safety device such as a chain tidy or other tension device. Or consider installing a breakaway device which snaps apart when pressure is applied.
  • Choose new blinds or curtains carefully – there are now many options available that don’t have cords or chains.
  • Ask the shop if the blind meets the safety standard EN 13120:2009+A1:2014.
  • Check that the blind includes a safety device such as a breakaway device, an accumulation device, a non tangling device or inner cord stops which prevents the formation of a hazardous loop or a tensioning device for keeping the cord out of the reach of children. Check that the safety device meets the safety standards EN 16433:2014 and EN 16434:2014 and that it is fitted at the same time that the blind is installed.
  • Check that written instructions for assembly, installation, use and maintenance are provided, and follow them if you are installing the blind yourself.
Remember these tips can help to protect your child from possible serious harm. Using proper safety devices can also reduce the risk of a child being strangled but nothing can be considered risk-free. Always keep window blind cords and chains out of the reach of children and follow all safety instructions provided.

Contact us

If you see any products you think are unsafe, contact us and let us know who was selling it and where by calling our consumer helpline on 01 402 5555 or lo-call 1890 432 432.

Last updated on 9 September 2021