We are all aware of the rules and regulations that control our behaviour and give us the safe and tolerant society that we enjoy today. However, I sometimes wonder whether the point is missed when rules and regulations are drawn up. This occurred to me in the bath last night. I had been for a long hard bike ride (90 miles) and my treat was a lovely soak. I thought I would put on a face mask, not something I do very often and I am not sure how much good they do, but I thought that it wouldn’t do any harm. Sat there, I realised I didn’t know how long to leave it on for and I know this one can make your face go red. But I couldn’t read any of the instructions! So much information was having to be displayed by law on such a small pot that it was impossible to read without a magnifying glass! I wondered who this information was for, me the consumer or the producer to avoid litigation!
I am not saying that I shouldn’t have this information but isn’t there a better way, as there is no point supplying it if we can’t read it! Other rules and regulations seem absurd, especially in the health and safety area and often it is the EU that gets the blame. I have a good friend who is French and he told me that apparently we have over 1500 Health & Safety officers in the UK and France has 4! His comment was that the French make the rules and the British obey them! I am not sure how true that is but it is a good story. However, there are times when the EU gets it right and from this month there are now strict rules about looped curtain and blind cords. Tragically children have lost their lives getting caught up in them. You can find out a lot more on the Silent Gliss Website but I have listed the key points below. If you have looped cords and young children I would recommend you look at what you can do with existing cords to make them child safe. If you are planning on buying new blinds or curtains then ensure that they meet the new regulations and if you are having them made that your curtain maker is aware of them.
The criteria for the regulation is the cord, chain or loop forms a hazardous loop and children live or visit the premises under 42 months.
Operating cords and chains must have a breakaway system, that is a device that causes the loop to break under an applied weight of 6kg.
Alternatively a cord retainer can be used creating a fixed tension at the bottom of the cord keeping it taut and therefore not creating a hazardous loop.
This also affects the inner cords of roman blinds if the attachment points are more than 20 cms apart then a breakaway device must be used.
The length of the operating cord or chain is determined by the safety device being used, the drop of the blind and the installation height.
Although these only apply in certain circumstances I would expect that given time this will be applicable for all cords, chains and tapes and certain manufacturers are already discontinuing the old hanging cords wrapped around a cleat. If you are concerned about anything to do with your blinds and curtains you are very welcome to contact us where we can advice you on the new legislation.