FAQ on our Safety Testing

Is the PFWBS a 501 C non profit?

Where does the $600 (and subsequent $400 ) testing fee go in the Non-Profit (not to mention the advertising packages to link and show your product on the safety testing pages)?

  • The $600 fee covers cost of testing, insurance and all branding rights for approved products. All sponsorships for advertising help keep PFWBS running. PFWBS has various programs such as Grief support, Educational Campaign and Safety Testing that require funds to operate. We are not funded by any government agency nor any grants. Since its inception 10 years ago, PFWBS has successfully worked toward our mission solely with the support of donations.

The Guidelines state: “With express written authorization from Parents for Window Blind Safety, the Seal of Approval can be used only for approved window dressing services and window products that have no exposed cords, looped cords, cord joiners, or any pull cords in excess of 7 ¼ inches in length or capable of attaining a length greater than 7 ¼ inches. Products that have cord shrouds or enclosed cords will be considered on a case-by-case basis.  Who determined the benchmark and number- 7-1/4; was this information PFWBS received as a member of the technical committee?

  • CPSC provided this recommendation in 1994 and has been pressing the window covering industry to use this as a standard for years, in order to reduce exposure to accessible cords. For more information on how WCMA has handled past safety meetings, see CPSC FIOA library. This PDF is of particular interest.

Also, who is testing – an independent testing lab? How does the seal of approval fit into compliance with the soon to be published standard?

  • As set forth on our safety testing website, there is a safety committee made up of individuals with extensive experience in the window covering industry and have reviewed the strangulation data, including a team of retired government officials, human factors experts, product safety consultants, engineers and product liability attorneys. This committee provides recommendations and votes once testing has been performed on the product.  PFWBS Seal of Approval guidelines and criteria eliminates ALL strangulation hazards. ANSI standard does not. We are in the process of posting the criteria on our new site, but if someone would like to review the same, please contact us.

Can I set up a “lab” and start handing out seals too?

  • PFWBS has never claimed to be a lab.  We simply test on a criteria based on design rather than performance requirements such as ANSI.  Our standard is essentially one of inaccessible cords, so as to ELIMINATE the hazards associated with exposed and accessible cords.

The Seal of Approval is an indication that the product bearing the Seal has been approved by Parents for Window Blind Safety as a product that has a REDUCED risk of cord strangulation, as compared to traditional window covering products.  Why do you say REDUCE and not eliminate in your guidelines?

  • Our criteria requires the elimination of the hazard.  However, legal counsel, consistent with the recommendation of legal counsel to the WCMA, advise that it is never a good idea to make a definitive representation that a product ELIMINATES all hazards, for there is always the possibility that the product can be broken or egregiously abused, resulting in injury.  Hence, the word “reduce” is in our guidelines. The difference is that our criteria eliminates hazards in the reasonably foreseeable circumstances when the product is used in homes with small children, whereas the criteria of the WMCA fails to address these foreseeable situations.  Safety Advocates, the CPSC, and government regulators were promised that the new ANSI standard would significantly reduce blind cord hazards, which it does not. The new ANSI standard allows operational pull cords which are responsible for 80% of all injuries and deaths.  The PFWBS criteria for the “Seal of Approval” does not allow accessible pull cords or accessible inner cords.

I would think that if you are offering testing and approval that you would want to use the most stringent guidelines as professed by the founder. 

  • PFWBS criteria is the most stringent that you will find. Our criteria is strictly SAFETY BASED, for the protection of children from risk of needless strangulation.  Call (314) 494-7890 with further questions.