New Standard for Window-Coverings Approved

New Standard for Window-Coverings Approved

NEW YORK – November 30, 2012 – The Window Covering Manufacturers Association (WCMA) announced today the approval of the new standard that strengthens window-covering safety in the United States.  The latest revision, ANSI/WCMA A100.1-2012, was updated in strict accordance with the internationally-respected American National Standards Institute (ANSI) process and is the sixth revision of the standard since 1996.

“U.S. safety standards are already the most stringent in the world, and the new standard goes even further in minimizing potential risk,” said WCMA Executive Ralph Vasami.   We thank all the stakeholders involved in updating the standard, including representatives of the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC), Health Canada, the United Kingdom and the European Union, as well as representatives from consumer groups and all facets of the window covering industry for all the hard work and effort that went into updating the standard.”

The update to the standard was developed in strict accordance with the ANSI essential requirements, which mandate an open and balanced process with public review opportunities.  The year-long process required assembling a consensus body (the canvass group), submitting the draft standard to the canvass group for ballot and comment, addressing the comments received, re-balloting, a public review period and then finally achieving approval of the standard.

The updates included in the ANSI/WCMA A100.1-2012 standard provides multiple options for achieving compliance without mandating any particular technology or solution.  The updates include the following changes that strengthen the industry’s safety standard:

  • Adds requirements for durability and performance testing of the tension/hold down devices, including new requirements for anchoring, specific installation instructions and warnings.
  • Provides a way to address new innovations for controlling cords that do not use tension devices.
  • Adds new requirements for products that rely on “wide lift bands” to raise and lower window coverings.
  • Requires a warning label and pictograms on the outside of stock packaging and merchandising materials for corded products.
  • Adds and expands testing requirements for cord accessibility, hazardous loop testing, Roll Up style shade performance, and durability testing of all safety devices.

“The window covering industry is committed to the ongoing innovation and improvement of our products to make them as safe as possible,” Vasami said.  “In addition to the new standard, the WCMA and its member companies continue to work with the CPSC and others to implement a year-around national public education and information program to educate consumers about the safe use of window covering products.  This includes National Window Covering Safety month, jointly implemented by the Window Covering Safety Council and the CPSC, designed to raise awareness of safety issues.  The Council also distributes hundreds of thousands of free kits to retrofit older window covering products.”

“While no standard can eliminate all possible risk, we pledge to constantly reexamine these standards to ensure that our products are on the leading edge of safety and quality,” said Vasami.  “The WCMA invites all stakeholders to join us in helping improve window covering safety in the United States.  A majority of injuries involving window coverings are occurring on older products that don’t meet current standards, which is why we invite all stakeholders to join us in implementing a a multi-pronged approach to improve safety: 1) improved standards specifications, 2) consumer education and information, and 3) repair kits to retrofit older and recalled products,” Vasami concluded.

To learn more in detail about the updated standard on window-covering safety, please visit www.wcmanet.org.

###

 About WCMA

Organized in the 1950s as the Venetian Blind Council, the Window Covering Manufacturers Association (WCMA) represents the interests of the window covering industry manufacturers, fabricators and assemblers. Industry products include blinds, shades, shutters, curtains, curtain rods, drapes, drapery hardware and other window treatments. Visit us on the web at www.wcmanet.org