Window Blind Safety

window blind safety

About Us

Aaron O'Connell, founder of windowblindsafety.ie

Aaron O'Connell, founder of windowblindsafety.ie

“No child should die like Arran” (Irish Examiner)

Certainly no child should die or be injured by a window blind.
The purpose of this website is to educate and inform you the consumer on what you can do to prevent injury or death through window blinds.
The idea to set up this website came about through my conversations with Arran’s father, Shane Malley. I have come across some websites covering window blind child safety but none of them, in my opinion, were comprehensive with very little practical information available.
With over 25 years experience in the window blind industry in Cork, I felt I could provide a better website for the consumer. I have designed windowblindsafety.ie in a personal capacity with Shane.

We have approached this website from two sides, the first being advice for those of you who have existing blinds which you wish to make safe and the second being advice on purchasing new blinds. There are plenty of photographs on this site which are self explanatory and language is kept as simple as possible. We have attempted to cover the most popular blinds available in this country. However, if you have a product which we haven’t covered we will be happy to provide advice for you and include your blind on our website.

We hope the information included in this website is of help to you. If it can prevent such tragedies from occurring again we will be very happy.

This website is dedicated to Arran Malley.

Since this website has gone live on the web I was invited to participate in a voluntary capacity in the European Committee for Standardization. I was a member of WG3/TG3 which was charged with the responsibility of revising the current EU standard for internal window blinds, EN13120. The last time this standard was revised was 2009 but it was felt that the child safety element of this standard could be vastly improved. This work was completed in late 2013 and the standard was published in February 2014.

The new revised standard lists the requirements that internal blinds need to fulfill when they are installed. The document now covers all types of window blinds, including honeycomb blinds, Roman shades, Austrian/Festoon blinds, panel blinds, plantation shutters and roll-up blinds. Significant attention is paid to the child safety aspect of the standard.

In addition to revising the EN13120 two new standards were drafted. EN 16433:2014 ‘Internal blinds – Protection from strangulation hazards – Test methods’  lists the test methods, to ensure that the window blind will be child safe when it is installed with the appropriate safety device.

EN 16434:2014 ‘Internal blinds – Protection from strangulation hazards – Requirements and Test methods for safety devices’  will ensure that these safety devices are fit for their purpose. As a member of the working group, I have found that a raft of untested and inappropriate safety devices have been placed in the marketplace, particularly since 2009, and it was necessary to regulate these in some way. These safety devices can either be fitted to window blinds during the manufacturing process or retro-fitted to existing window blinds.

On a national level, I was chairperson of the NSAI Committee on Internal Window Blind Safety, which drafted two Irish standards in September 2012. IS386 represents a first for Europe and provides advice and guidance for the industry with particular emphasis on safety in areas such as procurement, sales and measuring, manufacturing, installation and after sales. IS387 is essentially a ’stop-gap measure’. It includes the requirements for blinds, such as romans, which are not included in the current version of the European Standard, EN13120.This standard has been withdrawn following the publication of EN13120:2014.

I have also designed a new consumer safety leaflet,  portions of which you will see in the News section of this website and on the Facebook page.

Hopefully with tougher standards for the industry and greater public awareness we can save some more lives.

Aaron O’Connell