Roller Blind: Roller blinds, shutters, roman blinds which are fixed at any point inside the building,
Connected window covers: If the place where curtains are hung are accessible from outside, such curtains are called as connected window covers except roller blinds. These curtains can be placed out of window, in front of window or between two windows.
Dangerous Loop: It is a loop that can be exposed rope, chain etc. or connected or individual loop that can pass through small children’s head or necks causing suffocation.
Safety Kit: Safety kits are designs and tools preventing dangerous loop formation on rope or chain or breaking dangerous loop or releasing rope or chain in case of a dangerous loop; making rope or chain inaccessible by children if children are exposed to rope or chain and preventing knotted rope. Security kits protect children against suffocation risks.
Accesible ropes, chains or ball chains etc: They are ropes, chains or ball chains that are located in front of, behind or next to roller blinds. They can be easily accessed and pulled by small children causing suffocation risk. Height is not considered as an access restriction.
Small Children: Minimum age 0 to 42 months.
Safety Criterias of Roller Blinds
During safety assessment of roller blinds and connected window covers, potential risks likely to occur during usage of these products at reasonable and predictable conditions shall be taken into consideration.
In order to mitigate suffocation and choking; curtains must have safe designs. Considering all reasonable and predictable uses in environments where small children may exist or access; any possible method can be applied in order to achieve safe curtain design to the extent permitted by science and technology.
Such kind of curtains;
1. Shall not include dangerous loop.
2. If product design does not avoid dangerous loop formation risk; then the product must be sold along with safety tools in order to minimize suffocation and injury risk.
3. Safety tools must be presented as an essential and integral part of the product.
4. If safety tools are not integral part of the product, then they must be assembled before product use such as bracelets. This warning statement must be clearly indicated on safety tools. “If this tool is not assembled properly, children may suffocate. Please read the instructions carefully and make the assembly accordingly. Always use these tools to keep children away from chains and ropes.”
5. If any, safety tools shall be manufactured in a way so that they can not be used by children. Moreover, safety tool itself shall not include small pieces, sharp edges and any hazard risks for children such as impaction.
6. Ropes, chains, ball chains etc shall not include any removable pieces which may cause choking.
Safety Precautions of Product
Warnings must be indicated clearly at sales point, on product package, on the product itself and in instruction manual.
Warnings shall be at least as follows:
“Small children have suffocated due to loops operating products like cords and chains.”
“In order to prevent suffocation and impaction, operating parts, cords, chains and ropes must be kept away from children’s access.”
“Keep beds, furniture and cradles away from curtains.”
“Do not tie cords. Make sure that cords do not form a loop.”
Warnings must be also illustrated with sketches. Instruction manual of product including safety tool shall be included in product package. Instruction manual shall contain all information and instructions about installation, assembly and safe use.”
Safety Precautions of Roller Blinds Security Kit
Following caution statements must be given along with safety kit.
• Name of manufacturer- importer and the person performing installation and assembly, if any and trademark,
• “Before use and install this kit, please read assembly and usage instructions thoroughly. If this kit is not used properly, children may choke. Please keep this manual for possible further use. Choking risk decreases by utilizing additional safety tools, but risk can not be avoided completely.” and similar warnings.
• If safety kit is used properly, use kit after testing. If there is a failure, replace the kit with new one.”
• Warning saying that removable pieces may cause children choking.
• Information regarding with product types for which this tool is manufactured.
• Use information.
• Clear and abstract instructions about kit assembly and correct location. If a special connector part is needed, it must be provided by kit supplier.
• Illustrations for better understanding.
• Other possible information about safe use.
There is not any technical regulation about roller blinds. However, according to Article 5/3 of Law no. 4703; “Manufacturer shall only supply safe products to market. Products complying with technical regulations are accepted as safe products. If technical regulation is not available, product safety is evaluated based on national or international standards. If such standards are not available either, product safety can be assessed based on best practice codes in the related sector or science and technological level or reasonable expectation of customer associated with safety. In addition, evaluations related with introduction and usage warnings can be assessed within cope of Article 14 of Law no. 4077.
First of all, manufacturers and sellers should be informed about aforementioned issues during market surveillance and audits. Urgently, it must be ensured that warnings and instructions exist in product package or accompany products properly.
When it comes to safety kit, we are in the opinion that process should proceed in coordination and communication with Ministry, manufacturers and importers.
Audits do not aim at penalizing manufacturers but they intend to create awareness and increase manufacturers. Therefore, it must be ensured that above mentioned safety requirements are satisfied in collaboration with manufacturers.