The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the Window Covering Safety Council (WCSC) say the month-long campaign will call attention to window cord strangulation hazards and will launch an official recommendation that pre-2001 corded window coverings be repaired or replaced with the safer products now in the marketplace (see D&WC, August 2003, page 16).
The unusual information and promotion campaign will be identified with a “Kids, Cords, Caution” safety slogan for use in manufacturer and retailer promotions as well as with WCSC-directed media, information and relations efforts.
AIMED AT CONSUMER LEVEL
Unlike most window cord safety education efforts of the past, the National Window Covering Safety Month campaign will place strong emphasis on reaching consumers at the retail level. Kids, Cords, Caution promotional signs and related marketing activities will be used to create in-store consumer awareness of cord safety concerns. In addition, point-of-purchase signs displaying the CPSC insignia will urge consumers to replace their pre-2001 window coverings with new ones.
The Window Covering Safety Council will carry out umbrella public relations and marketing activities for the campaign. This includes developing news releases and feature stories for the broadcast and print media, cooperative promotional efforts with other safety and parents groups, special safety month pages on its Web site (www.windowcoverings.org) and campaign kick-off activities with the CPSC staff and commissioner’s office.
WCSC distributed promotional kits to its members this summer. The kits included a description of the campaign, news releases, sample ad slicks, suggested promotional activities and camera-ready artwork for the Kids, Cords, Caution logo and the CPSC insignia poster urging consumers to purchase new window coverings.
COUNCIL’S RECORD ON SAFETY
Since 1994, WCSC has spearheaded the industry’s redesign of corded products in response to child strangulation concerns. In 1995, the ANSI/WCMA product safety standard came into effect calling for access limiting cord designs, permanently attached tie-downs and warning hangtags. In 2001, cord stops were required for all horizontal blinds and shades to eliminate inner-cord strangulation concerns and the ANSI/WCMA safety standard was revised (see D&WC, December 2000, page 56).
In addition, the WCSC continues to operate its national window cord safety information and education program and to provide consumers with free retrofit tassels, tie-downs and cord stops for repairing older window coverings through its Web site and its toll-free phone line: (800) 506-4636.
Eliminate looped pull cords
(pre-1995 mini-blinds and pleated shades)
1. Cut the looped pull cord just above the tassel and remove equalizer buckle (if any).
2. Insert cord through tassel and tie cord ends to secure the tassel.
Install Cord Stops
(all pre-2001 horizontal blinds and
1. Lower the blind to its proper length and lock cords into position at headrail.
2. Pinch together a portion of the pull cord to create a loop near the headrail, then slide the cord stop over the loop end.
3. Slip the free end of the pull cord through the loop to loosely knot the cord stop onto the pull cord.
4. Tighten the knot to secure the cord stop one to two inches below the headrail.