After Decades of Loop Cord Hazards, Window Blind Tie-Downs Still Miss the Mark on Safety

I’ve returned from another round of familiar frustration in Washington D.C. Recently, Consumer Product Safety Commission meetings with the Window Covering Manufacturers Association have only fueled a repetitive loop of inaction and obstruction by the industry.

Once again, WCMA proudly rolled out “new” tie-down devices as their proposed solution after 50 years of lethal looped operating cords stealing young lives. Hundreds of children have also perished on blind cords even after they were separated to reduce strangulation potential.

Their continuous proposal of inadequate compromises has left over 600 strangulation accidents of children since the 1980s alone. A little history – over 200 children strangled between 1981 and 1996 before companies were even asked to separate cords on some blinds while merely attaching flimsy tension devices elsewhere.

Yet children continue dying tangled in deadly loops on various shades and blinds equipped with tie-downs billed as safeguards and on separated cords. Ironically as of today, custom blinds sold directly to consumers can still contain hazardous loops, whereas WCMA finally after 30 years eliminated separated cords on stock and custom products.

Why do these devices consistently fail? Their Achilles heel is assuming proper consumer installation and security of finicky hardware parts that commonly detach. The result? Endless deathtraps freely dangling despite the decorative tethers.

WCMA’s latest prototypes recycle the same concepts that watchdogs labeled unreliable over six years ago. However, the industry dodged key questions on mandating more tamper-proof cord shrouding and providing other safety options for consumers.

Looped operating cords, whether they be looped pull cords OR continuous loops, have been the leading design hazard on window covering products since 1950.

The public deserves better than another generation left vulnerable by hazardous loops tied to window manufacturers’ bottom lines. Progress stalled is progress denied. Go Cordless.