There are mandatory safety requirements for blinds and curtains.
This page has information on:
- the risks and injuries
- safety requirements
- your consumer rights
- how to report a safety concern
- tips to be a savvy consumer
Risks and injuries
Window coverings (such as curtains, shades and blinds) with cords and chains can cause injury and death to young children and babies if they become wrapped around their necks.
Strangulation can occur when cords are too long or end in a loop:
- If a child slips, moves quickly or plays with a cord, the cord can act like a noose.
- Babies can reach through cot slats, grab a nearby blind or curtain cord and pull it into the cot and around their necks.
- Young children can strangle on dangling cords after climbing onto a bed or other pieces of furniture.
Don’t risk injury and death, follow our tips to stay safe.
There are two national mandatory standards that apply to blind and curtain cord safety.
These standards set out the installation and labelling requirements suppliers must adhere to when selling and installing corded blinds and curtains.
- Corded blinds and curtains must be installed in a way that ensures a loose cord cannot form a loop 220 mm or longer at or less than 1,600 mm above floor level.
- The blinds/curtains must be installed in accordance with the installation instructions on any retail packaging for the covering.
- A cleat used to secure a cord must be installed at least 1,600 mm above floor level.
- Warning labels or swing tags supplied with the corded blinds/curtains must not be removed.
- The person installing a corded blind/curtain must attach a label to it, with the name and contact details of the person/company responsible for the installation.
Your consumer rights
As a consumer, you have the right to expect that the goods you buy are safe.
Australian Consumer Law requires safety standards to be met before certain goods are sold. These standards include:
- the way the good is made
- what it contains
- how it works
- the tests it needs to pass
- whether any warnings or instructions need to accompany it.
Individual suppliers who breach Australian Consumer Law can be fined up to $220,000, while corporations can be fined up to $1.1 million.
How to report a product safety concern
IMPORTANT: If you or a child is injured or require urgent medical assistance, don’t delay - contact your GP or call 000 immediately.
If you become aware of an unsafe situation or item, whether or not anyone has been injured:
Be a savvy consumer
Child safety around blind and curtain cords
Follow these steps to keep blind and curtain cords out of children's reach, particularly those under six years old:
- Keep children away from all cords – move furniture, cots and beds away.
- Check all blind and curtain cords anywhere children are present – make sure they are out of reach.
- Make loose cords safe – use safety devices or cut the cord loop and attach a tassel at the end of each strand. Contact your local blind supplier or hardware store to find out what safety devices are suitable for your blinds.
- Choose safe blinds and curtains – check new curtains and blinds have warning labels and secure the cords out of reach. Ask the supplier to show you what safety features are available and make sure you use them.
Cutting blind cord loops
Before you start, check that your blinds will still work with cut cords and that it won't void your warranty.
- Cut looped cords on the blind, curtain or venetians, just above the tassel.
- Remove any tassel and equaliser buckle.
- Attach a new tassel to each of the pull-cord ends.
- Knot the cord to hold the tassel (see illustration below).
Note: Pull-cords on certain vertical blinds or curtains require a continuous loop to work and cannot be cut. For these types of blinds or curtains, you will need to install a safety device that will secure the cords out of reach from children.
Browse our Product safety section for more information on a range of product types including baby and children’s products, gas and electrical goods, and other consumer items.
The Product Safety Australia website is managed by the ACCC and has information on corded blind and curtain safety and national recalls.
Go to Kidsafe NSW for information to help make your home safe for young children.
Suppliers can find out more about their responsibilities on the selling safe products page.
Can’t find what you’re looking for? Call us on 13 32 20 or submit an online enquiry.
Who enforces Australian Consumer Law?
The following agencies enforce provisions relating to consumer goods and services:
- Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)
- NSW Fair Trading, and
- other State and Territory consumer protection agencies.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) is responsible for financial products and services.