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U.S. CPSC Approves Window Blind Regulations

Nov. 4 2022

On Wednesday, November 2, 2022, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Commissioners voted 4-0 in favor of two new final rules that will strengthen the requirements for corded window coverings within the USA.  These rules are attempting to address the risk of strangulation deaths and injuries to children 8 years old and younger that operating & inner cords may present on both stock and custom window coverings.

The first of these new rules will be an amendment to 16 CFR 1120 to indicate certain non-conformances from the ANSI/WCMA standard will be deemed a substantial product hazard under section 15(a)(2) of the CPSA.  Under this new requirement, the following will be deemed a substantial product hazard:

• Stock window coverings that fail to comply with one or more of the following requirements of ANSI/WCMA A100.1 – 2018: 

         (1)Operating cord requirements in sections 4.3.1.1 (cordless operating system), 4.3.1.2 (short static
               or access cord),   or 4.3.1.3 (inaccessible operating cord); and 
         (2)Inner cord requirements in section 

• Custom window coverings that fail to comply with inner cord requirements in section 4.5 of ANSI/WCMA A100.1 – 2018. 

• Stock and custom window coverings that fail to comply with the requirement for an on product manufacturer label in section 5.3 of ANSI/WCMA A100.1 – 2018.

The second final rule will be a new regulation under 16 CFR 1260 entitled the Safety Standard for Custom Window Covering Products.  Under this new regulation, it establishes a new set of expectations for operating cords on custom window covering products.  In particular, it specifies that “Each custom window covering shall comply with section 4.3.1 or 4.3.2.5.2, instead of section 4.3.2, of ANSI/WCMA A100.1 – 2018”.  So this means that custom window coverings must now meet the operating cord requirements that are applicable to stock window coverings or the product must utilize a compliant cord or bead chain restraining device.  In addition, new testing expectations are established for rigid cord shrouds, as well as cord retraction devices.  Further, if a cord or bead chain restraining device is used, additional loading & accessibility requirements are now specified.  

The update to 16 CFR 1120 will become effective 30 days after publication in the Federal Register, and the new regulation under 16 CFR 1260 will become effective 180 days after publication in the Federal Register.  

For more information, the briefing package and proposed final rules can viewed at the following site:  https://www.cpsc.gov/s3fs-public/Final-Rules-to-1-Add-Window-Covering-Cords-to-the-Substantial-Product-Hazard-List-and-2-Establish-a-Safety-Standard-for-Operating-Cords-on-Custom-Window-Coverings.pdf?VersionId=nDxz9G5hfDy5k.SnXkqgGKLiDsMK4hpe 

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