Blinds

product safety - blinds

If you're installing a blind, read our tips for ensuring cords and chains are safely secured and find out more about the legal requirements for fitted blinds in homes.

Blind cords and chains can present a strangulation risk, so we stock a wide range of blinds that are safe for you to install in your home, without worrying about whether the natural curiosity of children or small pets might lead them into danger. It's now a legal requirement for any blinds installed professionally to be child-safe in all homes, whether children live there or not.

Cord & Chain Safety

When fitting a blind by yourself at home, it is strongly advised that you securely fit the safety device provided with the blind to the wall or window frame. There is a risk of strangulation should a child become entangled in the cord or chain, so it's imperative to keep cords and chains out of harm's way.

Don't tie cords together, and ensure they don't twist and create a loop.

If using a cleat, install it as close to the headrail as possible so that children can't reach. Cleats should be installed at least 1,500mm from the floor.

If using a fixed tensioning system such as a P-clip, a ball chain tensioning system, or a fixed cord or ball chain tension pulley, install it at the maximum distance possible from the control mechanism to keep the looped cords/chains taut. These devices should be installed at least 1,500mm from the floor.

You can fit a P-clip to an existing blind providing that blind does not have any other safety feature. Any blind purchased from John Lewis since 2013 will already have some form of safety device. A P-clip will keep the cord taut and tidy, and away from little hands. These clips are now available free of charge in our shops. Visit the blinds department or speak to a selling Partner to find out more. Please provide as much information about your blind as possible.

Cleat blind illustration

Cleat

Fixed cord of ball chain tension pulley illustration

Fixed cord or ball chain tension pulley

Ball chain tensioning system illustration

Ball chain tensioning system

Cleat blind illustration

P Clip

Breakaway blinds illustration

Breakaway

Some of our products have a breakaway child safety device on the chain. This is designed to come apart when too much pressure is applied. You can simply reconnect the chain should this happen. When lowering or raising a blind with a breakaway, ensure you pull the chain from above the breakaway. A P-clip is not needed if a blind has a breakaway.

Blinds chain break attached illustration

1. Chain break attached

Blinds chain break apart illustration

2. Apart

Ball chain break reattaching illustration

3. Reattaching

Ball chain break operation illustration

4. When lowering the blind, ensure you pull the chain from the breakaway

Our Made To Measure Express Roman blinds come with an internal breakaway cog housing the operating chain. This is a child safety mechanism designed to break from the housing if undue force is applied. If the internal cog separates from the housing, you can insert it back into the blind. A P-Clip MUST NOT be fitted to any of our Made to Measure Express Roman Blinds as this will interfere with the internal breakaway system already included.

Ball chain break operation illustration
MIS Risk Pictogram

Warning

  • Young children can be strangled by loops in pull cords, chains, tapes and inner cords that operate the product.
  • To avoid strangulation and entanglement, keep cords and chains out of the reach of young children.
  • Move beds, cots and furniture away from windows where cords or chains are present.
  • Don't tie cords or chains together, and make sure they don't twist and create a loop.

Fitting tips

  • For safety we recommend that you move beds, cots and furniture away from any window fitted with a blind that has a side control mechanism, even with a safety device in place
  • You can convert a side mechanism blackout blind to cordless by buying a spring mechanism kit. This is the safest blind control option for children's rooms
  • Our children's ready-made blinds are already fitted with a spring mechanism and a chrome chain. If you buy a made-to-order blind from us in-store, you'll have the option of choosing a spring or motorised mechanism.

Many blinds we sell are now cordless or have spring mechanisms, so you won’t have to fit a safety device, but if you’d like to convert an existing blind, spring conversion kits are available to buy for most of our ready-made roller blinds. Watch the video below to help you with fitting.

 

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If you're having blinds made to measure, we'll need to know the installation height when you place your order - that's the measurement from the HEADRAIL to the floor (which is not necessarily the same as the top of your window to the floor). This enables us to give you the correct control length.

If you have a blind with a cord or chain fitted by us, depending on the blind chosen, it may be necessary by law for us to fit additional child safety devices. If you're not happy for us to do this, we're sorry but we'll be unable to install your blinds and you will need to order them without fitting. If the blind has been personalised or specially ordered for you, we'll be unable to refund or offer an exchange in this instance.

Supplier and retailer responsibilities

It’s now illegal to supply or professionally install an internal window blind which doesn’t comply with the new child safety requirements. Blinds fully compliant with the child safety requirements of BS EN 13120:2009+A1:2014 are confirmed as ‘safe by design’, and this standard applies to all blinds fitted in all rooms in every home, regardless of whether children are present or not.

We have to fit safety devices on cords and chains when they’re manufactured, and test all the safety-critical components rigorously. There are now limitations on cord and chain lengths. We have to provide safety devices for you to fit for preventing hazardous loops being created on cords and chains, and make sure all product instructions come with safety warnings.

If we install a blind for you, depending on the blind you’ve chosen, we may need to fit additional child safety devices. It makes no difference whether or not you have or are likely to have children present in your home; if you’re not happy for us to do this, we’re sorry but the law doesn’t allow us to install your blind without the device, so you will need to order them without fitting. If the blind has been personalised or specially ordered for you, we'll be unable to refund or offer an exchange in this instance.

Find out more

We have supported the Make it Safe campaign for many years and you can see more window blind safety information at www.makeitsafe.org.uk run by the BBSA. To understand important considerations for our different blind types use our guide to Choosing a blind which also includes useful videos for measuring and fitting correctly.

If you want to fit a blind completely without cords or chains, we stock a number of cordless blinds online, and you’ll find a wider choice to order in our shops.