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US CPSC Publishes Safety Standard for Operating Cords on Custom Window Coverings

SafeGuardSHome Furnishings and Houseware29 Apr, 2022

On January 7, 2022 the US CPSC published two NPRs which aim to reduce strangulation hazards associated with window cords.

On January 7, 2022, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) published two proposed rules for standard and custom window coverings. These rules are as follows.

  1. Amended: Substantial Product Hazard List: Window Covering Cords
  2. New: Safety Standard for Operating Cords on Custom Window Coverings

The first proposed rule would amend 16 CFR 1120, a substantial product hazard list, to include two new definitions. These definitions define the terms “stock window covering” and “custom window covering” to be consistent with the definitions in the American National Standard for Safety of Corded Window Covering Products. 

Consumer products which are listed within 16 CFR 1120 have characteristics which present a substantial product hazard. The CPSC has determined these hazards are effectively mitigated via a product design which conforms to applicable industry standards. Products contained within this list must comply with applicable standards to be candidate for sale or import. 

The proposed rule would deem stock window coverings that fail to comply with one or more of three readily observable characteristics in the American National Standard for Safety of Corded Window Covering Products a substantial product risk:

  • Operating cord requirements in sections 4.3.1.1 (cordless operating system), 4.3.1.2 (short static or access cord), or 4.3.1.3 (inaccessible operating cord)
  • Inner cord requirements in sections 4.5, 6.3, 6.7, Appendix C, and Appendix D, and
  • On-product manufacturer labels in section 5.3

Additionally, custom window coverings that fail to comply with one or more of two readily observable characteristics in the same American National Standard are deemed a substantial product risk:

  • Inner cord requirements in section 4.5, 6.3, 6.7, Appendix C, and Appendix D, and
  • On-product manufacturer labels in section 5.3

The second proposed rule, Safety Standard for Operating Cords on Custom Window Coverings, will be published under designation 16 CFR 1260. This rule would require that operating cords belonging to custom window coverings comply with the same performance requirements as operating cords on stock window coverings. These requirements are contained within the same American National Standard in section 4.3.1. These requirements are detailed within the below table.

Table 7 – Requirements for Operating Cords on Stock Window Coverings in ANSI/WCMA-2018

Stock window coverings section of the standard

Explanation

A. Operating cord:

  • 4.3.1.1 Cordless Operating System, “The product shall have no operating cords” 

  • 4.3.1.2 Short Static or Access Cords, “The product shall have a Short Cord” 

  • 4.3.1.3 Inaccessible Operating Cords, “The operating cords shall be inaccessible as determined per the test requirements in Appendix C: Test Procedure for Accessible Cords”

  • (a) Operating cord not present, or

  • (b) Operating cord is 8 inches or shorter in any use position, or

  • (c) Operating cord is inaccessible when tested using cord shroud accessibility probe

Lastly, the second proposed rule will amend 16 CFR 1112, requirements pertaining to third party conformity assessment bodies, to include 16 CFR 1260. This will make third party testing, by a CPSC-accepted third party conformity assessment body, obligatory for window coverings classified as a children’s product. 

SGS Furnishings Services

SGS adds value from the drawing board to the shop floor. With a full range of services, including product design analysis, component and product testing, auditing, inspection and retail store checks, SGS helps businesses deliver well-designed, functional, durable and safe products to their customers. They have the furnishings industry, regulatory and technical expertise required to check a products’ compliance against relevant standards and/or a manufacturer’s own specifications. Learn more about SGS’s Furnishings Services.

References

  1. Notice of Proposed Rule 16 CFR 1120
  2. Notice of Proposed Rule 16 CFR 1112 & 1260

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For enquiries, please contact:
Allen Moldovan
Technical Specialist - Hardlines
t: +1 (201) 207-8503

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