During a home inspection, it’s important to make sure that the window coverings are up to standards. This is because it’s important to avoid any accidents or injuries that can occur as a result of the use of window treatments.
Vertical and horizontal blinds are the most popular window coverings that are displayed during a home inspection. In a nutshell, these window treatments contain looped bead chains, allowing the user to raise and lower them via a spring mechanism. There are many options, including the more expensive Roman-style shades and the more affordable panel and roller products. The latter is a great way to dress up a home with a minimal investment. Manufacturers even offer a variety of fabrics so that it is easy to pick the right ones for a particular room.
Consumers may choose to go cordless or forgo all the fuss in order not to get into an eye-opening mess. A home inspector will need to pay attention to the finer points of the product specification in order to avoid an ill-advised purchase. The same applies to the selection of material and finish. The best-suited material can be hard to come by, and consumers will be paying a premium for the privilege.
It is also important to consider the quality of any window covering. A recent study found that one-third of the samples were prone to cracking or splitting at the slightest provocation. In addition, the quality of the hardware may be impacted by a single misplaced screw, making the maintenance of these window treatments a top priority for the homeowner.
Pleated shades are an easy way to enhance your home’s curb appeal and save on your energy bills. Choosing the right kind of fabric for your needs is also a breeze thanks to a number of manufacturers that cater to all budgets. To ensure the perfect fit, you will need to consider the color and style of fabric. Make sure your installer is knowledgeable about the subject. A contractor who is knowledgeable about the subject will ensure that you are happy with your drapes for many years to come.
You will likely need to shell out hundreds of dollars to do the above mentioned above, but that may be worth it in the long run. As with any home improvement project, be sure to ask your contractor about their credentials before you go for it.
Custom window coverings
CPSC is proposing two rules that will add Safety Standard for Operating Cords on Custom Window Coverings to the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA). This would require manufacturers of custom window coverings to test their products to ensure that they are compliant with the safety requirements of the CPSA. Those requirements would include testing to determine the effectiveness of cord restraining devices. Manufacturers must also pass impact and endurance tests.
Under the CPSA, CPSC can issue mandatory safety standards if it finds that there is an unreasonable risk of injury or death associated with a particular product. If the Commission chooses to use a voluntary standard over a mandatory one, it must ensure that the voluntary standard is reasonable suited to protect against the unreasonably great risk of injury or death. CPSA section 7(a) authorizes the Commission to promulgate standards that are “reasonably suited” to prevent an unreasonable risk of injury or death.
The safety of custom and stock window coverings in the United States was evaluated by the CPSC staff and found that most window coverings met the safety requirements of CPSA. This includes the requirement to provide operating cords or other devices that protect children. CPSC’s field staff inspected 18 firms, including wholesalers and manufacturers. During their inspections, CPSC’s technical staff tested samples of products with a force gauge to determine if the cords were suitable for children.
CPSC found that operating cords on custom window coverings are identical to those on stock window coverings. “Custom window coverings” are defined by ANSI/WCMA-2018 as “window covers that do not meet the criteria for a stock covering and do not have a continuous-loop operating system.” A cord tension device must also be included in custom window coverings with a continuous loop operating mechanism.
Manufacturers offer a variety of cord restraining products that CPSC recognizes. These devices can be used on custom window coverings. These devices automatically retract the pull cord to the bottom of the headrail. These devices must also be UV stable and pass impact, durability, and other tests.
Safety of continuous-loop cords
Several incidents involving window coverings were examined by the CPSC staff, including continuous-loop cords. The greatest danger was posed by pull/operating cord systems, according to the CPSC staff. Many reports didn’t provide enough information to identify the product involved. They also found that not enough detail was available to classify the types and incidence.
After reviewing these data, CPSC staff identified a total of 194 incident reports, including 37 fatalities. Among these, 89 occurred with the use of continuous loops, 12 with the use of pull cords, and 39 with the use of pull/operating cords. Most of these incidents involved stock products. Only 6 involved custom window coverings.
CPSC staff also reviewed nine reports of strangulation deaths. Seven of these involved operating cords. These were mostly related to vertical blinds, horizontal cheap window blinds, and curtains. Other shades were involved in 9 percent of the incidents, and inner cords were involved in 3 incidents.
CPSC staff also found that operating cords were hazardous when they were fully lowered, allowing a child to wrap the cord around the neck and head. CPSC will therefore seek comments on regulatory options. These include a mandatory and a separate rule as per section 7 of the CPSA.
A proposed rule would set performance requirements for operating cords on custom window coverings. It would require the cord to be at least eight inches long and to be accessible to consumers. Cord cleats would be required to be installed. This would ensure that operating cables on stock window coverings meet the same requirements for custom products.
CPSC will also seek comments on the adequacy cord restraining device. These devices are provided by manufacturers, and attempt to prevent pull cords from being accessed by small children. These spools are spring-loaded and retract the pull cord to your headrail. They must also pass impact testing and are UV stable.
CPSC will also seek comments on the adequacy of warning labels. The warning label must be placed on the product’s sample book, website, and merchandising materials.