Environment, Safety and Standards

Blind cords – is your rental home safe?

Sally Walmsley
Written by Sally Walmsley

Landlords are being advised to check that blinds used by tenants in their rental homes are safe for young children.

Older blinds with looped cords or chains may pose a threat to children – but you can make them safer.

Changes to standards for blinds in 2014 led to improved product safety, and new blinds with looped cords must have child safety devices installed, either at the point of manufacture, or sold with the blind.

However, the Office for Product Safety and Standards has warned blinds installed earlier may not have these features – and millions of households could be affected. 

It has now issued advice for landlords and homeowners who are being told to:

  • Fit a tidy, tensioner or a cleat: tidies and tensioners should be firmly fixed to an adjoining surface so that the cord or chain are permanently held tight.
  • Position cleats out of children’s reach on an adjacent surface, at least 1.5 metres from the floor.
  • Fasten cords in a figure of eight after every use of the blind, making sure all the spare cord is secured on the cleat.
  • Move furniture away from windows. Children love to climb, so keep furniture clear of window blinds. This includes cots, beds, highchairs and playpens.

The RLA has an interactive property safety checklist tool to help you to identify what hazards to look for in your property to ensure that you are renting a safe, legal and secure home to your tenant. To check you are complying with the law click here.

About the author

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley

Sally Walmsley is the Magazine and Digital Editor for the NRLA. With 20 years’ experience writing for regional and national newspapers and magazines she is responsible for editing our members' magazine 'Property', producing our articles for our news site, the weekly and monthly bulletins and editorial content for our media partners.

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