Child Safety Regulations - Conservatory Blinds Limited
Conservatory Blinds at Night

CHILD SAFETY REGULATIONS

Click the questions to view the answers.

WHAT ARE THE CHILD SAFETY REGULATIONS?

New EU Directives (EN 13120, EN 16433 and EN 16434) mean that it is effectively against the law to sell, supply or install any blinds with freehanging cords longer than 200mm (8”) unless very specific extra safety precautions are taken, which includes a requirement for cleats to be fitted at a minimum height of 1.5m (5′).

These new regulations fall under the General Product Safety Regulations 2005 and are European Law, enforceable in the UK by Trading Standards.

All internal blinds must be correctly designed and installed to be safe within the property for which they are intended; this includes making sure that there are no sharp edges for a child to injure themselves, no small components that may cause a child to choke, and no obvious risk of strangulation from cords.

All of this must then be backed up with correct warning notices, instructions and training for the customer in the correct use and care of any Child Safety devices, which means that it is essential that you are aware of the need to be present at both survey and installation.

WHEN DID THE CHILD SAFETY REGULATIONS COME INTO FORCE?

The publication date for EN13120, EN16433 and EN16434 was 19th February 2014, whereupon they came into force across Europe.

All blinds that are installed after that date, even if they were sold prior, or are being repaired or replaced under guarantee, must conform to the new standards, even if that means that the blinds will look or operate differently.

WHAT BLINDS ARE AFFECTED BY THE REGULATIONS?

The Regulations affect all blinds, but the relevant Cord Safety Regulations only affect:

  • Blinds with hanging cords/chains longer than 200mm
  • Blinds with hanging cords/chains longer than 200mm installed less than 1.5m above floor level
  • Blinds with cords/chains longer than 200mm, where the cords can be pulled through the blinds
  • Blinds with cords/chains that form a fixed loop of any kind

The above are relevant to blinds that are installed at a known fixed height above floor level (which is the case at Conservatory Blinds Limited).

Where the height at which the blinds will be installed is not known (which  affects the general Blinds Trade and online sales) different specifications apply.

WHAT IF THERE ARE NO CHILDREN IN THE PROPERTY?

With the exception of certain commercial properties (where a risk assessment has been carried out) it makes no difference whether children live in the property.

Even if you have no children, and no children will ever enter your home, the law requires us to comply with the Child Safety Regulations.

WHICH WINDOW BLINDS MUST HAVE CLEATS?

The following blinds need to have cleats fitted to your conservatory, by law:

  • Cord operated freehanging pinoleum blinds
  • Cord operated freehanging pleated blinds
  • Cord operated pureaspect™ pleated blinds
  • Cord operated freehanging pleated blinds (not LiteRise™)
  • Cord operated pureaspect™ Duette® blinds (not SmartCord®)
  • Cord operated wood venetian blinds
  • Cord operated aluminium venetian blinds (not Perfect Fit™)

A number of other blinds would also need cleats and/or chain tensioners fitted, but we have changed our product range to replace or omit such blinds wherever possible.

Regulations require cleats to be fitted (screwed – not glued) at a minimum height of 1.5m (5′) above floor level, unless the cord is shorter than 200mm (8″) or it stops above 1.5m when extended after the blind is retracted.

WHICH WINDOW BLINDS DON'T NEED CLEATS?

There are a large number of different types of window blinds that do not require cleats because they don’t have any hanging cords, for instance:

  • Tensioned pleated window blinds (there are many ranges and models)
  • LiteRise™ pleated window blinds
  • LiteRise Duette® window blinds
  • Tensioned Duette® window blinds
  • SmartCord Duette® window blinds
  • Spring-tensioned roller blinds
  • Tensioned venetian blinds (e.g. Perfect Fit™)
  • Wand operated vertical blinds
  • All motorised window blinds (there are dozens of alternatives)

If you order blinds with any hanging cords over 200mmm (8”) long, by law we will be required to install cleats 1.5m above floor level. Any safety devices that are integrated within the blind itself must remain and cannot be removed.

For more information please request a free quotation at which we can explain all of the options relevant to your conservatory that will meet your specific needs and personal preferences.

WHAT IF I REFUSE TO HAVE CLEATS FITTED AT INSTALLATION?

The law forbids any blind company or blind fitter from installing any blinds with hanging cords longer than 200mm (8”) unless cleats are also installed at the same time. If you order such blinds and then refuse to have the cleats installed, we will be unable to install the blinds but will still require full payment as you would have breached the contract.

Please bear in mind that, without cleats, freehanging blinds cannot stay retracted, so are a necessity.

WHAT IF A CLEAT FITTED AT 1.5M IS TOO HIGH FOR ME?

The minimum height that cleats can be installed is 1.5m (5′) – this is the height specified by the child safety regulations, so it would be illegal for us to fit a cleat any closer to the floor.

Unfortunately, even if this means that the cords would be inaccessible, there is way by which the regulations can be circumvented.

If you would struggle to reach the cords and/or cleat at 1.5m above floor level for any reason, then you should order an alternative blind type and/or method of operation that does not require hanging cords – the easiest and most accessible option would be to use a motorised blinds system so you can operate the blinds using just a single handset.

WHAT IS A FIXED LOOP CORD?

A fixed loop cord has no safety device that would allow the cord to break apart under force. In other words it is a continuous cord or chain that presents the greatest risk to child safety (as shown in the image below).

Such cords and chains can never be fitted to a blind unless they stop at least 600mm above floor level, have an integrated safety device (like a breakaway connector) and have an external safety device (such as a cleat or tensioner) to make them safer.

Roller Blind with Looped Cord

The above image shows a fixed-loop chain WITHOUT a child-safety device fitted.

We no longer offer roller blinds with any side chain operation due to the fact that they require tensioners to be fitted, which would mean that they must be installed in the middle of window boards around a conservatory.

All roller blinds sold by Conservatory Blinds Limited are spring-tensioned with a 200mm pull cord.

WHAT IS A BREAKAWAY CONNECTOR?

A breakaway connector is something that is fitted to a blind that would otherwise have fixed cords. A breakaway connector allows up to 4 cords to be terminated, with a single cord exiting from the bottom (for operation) but which breaks apart when sufficient force is applied between them (such as when a child becomes entangled).

The breakaway connector can be easily clipped back together, allowing the blind to be used normally afterwards.

Breakaway cord connectors are available in a number of standard colours to coordinate with the cord colour used for the blind.

Breakaway Cord Connector

WHAT KINDS OF CLEATS ARE AVAILABLE?

We offer 2 main types of cleats for blinds with freehanging cords:

  • Double End Cleat for shorter blinds with thinner cords
  • Mushroom Head Cleats for longer blinds with thicker cords

As standard we use the larger mushroom-head cleats because they can be spaced apart at the appropriate distance to accommodate even the longest cords.

Cleats are available in white, brass, chrome and antique bronze finishes. Custom coloured options are also available at extra cost.

Blind Cord Cleats

WHAT GUARANTEE DO SAFETY DEVICES HAVE?

All safety devices are industry-standard components that have been tested to withstand normal use, wear, impact and UV (as set out in the Regulations) but come with no specific “guarantee”.

Because such devices can be abused/over-used, any guarantee is limited to supplying replacements by post for the duration of your order guarantee (along with instructions) for you to easily re-fit any item that has become damaged or worn.

WHAT ABOUT THE CHAIN FITTED AT THE BOTTOM OF VERTICAL BLINDS?
checkatrade reviews
bbsaw british blind and shutter association
make it safe
shade specifier

Ask us for help and advice about our products.

Arrange a Free Quotation Request a Free Brochure
modal_image
  • You can change your mind at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in the footer of any email you receive from us, or by contacting us at [email protected] We will treat your information with respect. For more information about our privacy practices please visit our website. By clicking below, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with these terms.