Beware curtain cords can kill

Thursday 03 Jan 2019

Professional real estate agencies, like First National Real Estate Rochedale, are aware of the dangers of corded window blinds and are ensuring that landlords understand the dangers and comply with current regulations.

Every year, toddlers worldwide become entangled in curtain cords or unsecured blind chains. However the risk is also very high for young children and when we assess your rental property, this may be an element of risk we comment on.

At First National Rochedale we believe it is not only our duty to warn our landlords of their safety obligations but to make sure action is taken to make our rental properties as safe for children as possible.

A mandatory safety standard for blinds has been in place since 2004. The most recent standard, which was introduced in 2010, requires blinds and curtains to have the necessary installation instructions, warning labels and tags.

It’s important that any loose or looped cords are secured so they can’t hang down, where children can reach them. If possible, looped cords should be removed by cutting the cord and installing tassels. Looped cords can also be kept out of children’s reach with tie downs (cleats) or tension devices that enclose cords and chain loops.

There have also been recorded instances where household cats have been tangled in blind cords and almost died from strangulation.  Landlords can securely affix tie downs or tension devices to the wall or window frame to prevent a child from removing them.  Ideally, it’s better to only install curtains or blinds without cords or chains.

Safety checks of window coverings are now considered as important as other items like pools fences, gas appliances, timber balconies and smoke detectors.  First National Real Estate Rochedale advises its landlords of current regulatory standards and makes appropriate recommendations for action concerning items of safety in the property’s condition report.

If a landlord’s property doesn’t have blinds or curtains, we recommend their installation by a properly licensed tradesperson with experience in property management. This also avoids tenants requesting permission to self-install and potentially purchasing dangerous life-threatening window covers.