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Get child compliant

Bureau Veritas is helping window blind and window covering manufacturers comply with new EU safety requirements.


The threat to small children posed by hazardous loops on window coverings and blinds has drawn increasing recognition from the media and the public. Costly product recalls have already occurred in some markets and European regulatory changes affecting the whole industry are now taking place.

The European Commission issued a decision to address the safety of window blinds in August 2011, which has imposed more stringent safety requirements to achieve product compliance. The current standard is BS EN 13120:2009. However, this standard is scheduled to be replaced in 2014 as the safety requirements in clause 8 have been found to be inadequate regarding protecting children from strangulation.

In addition to strangulation hazards, clause 8 covers crushing hazards on power operated blinds. The standard prEN 13120/A1:2012 ‘Internal blinds - Performance requirements including safety’ and the suitable test methods (prEN 16433 and prEN 16434) are now available.

Bureau Veritas Consumer Products Services UK has taken a leading role in responding to these new safety requirements. The company has developed new test capabilities to help window coverings and blinds manufacturers comply, and is well-positioned to do so – its consultants have provided consultative support for the CEN committee responsible for the development of the new standards.

Through its testing laboratory in Warrington, UK, Bureau Veritas can offer a quick turnaround time for testing and in-house technical consultative services. Currently, it can test to prEN 13120/A1:2012 clause 8, with the exception of the UV ageing test. Bureau Veritas is aiming to get fully set up to test to all of clause 8 of the new version of EN 13120 when it is finally published in the next few months. Bureau Veritas is one of the only laboratories in Europe to offer this specialist service.

These regulatory changes will impact manufacturers, retailers and importers of internal window blinds that have cords, chains or similar devices that could form a hazardous loop. Installers also need to ensure that they follow manufacturers’ instructions regarding the installation of the blinds and their safety devices.

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