A British Columbia manufacturer became the first company to have its products recalled under the new window covering safety regulations that came into effect May 1.
Health Canada announced the recall of Brite Blinds Brand 2” SafeCord Fauxwood blinds because of the potential strangulation hazard to children. The “SafeCords” weren’t that safe, as various configurations of the products can create loops exceeding the 44 cm limit set by the regulations, and “young children may pull looped cords around their neck causing a strangulation and entanglement hazard,” Health Canada said.
The Health Canada notice advised consumers to stop using the product immediately and contact Brite Blinds for a repair kit.
Canada’s Corded Window Coverings Regulations were first passed in 2019 after many years of study and debate, with an implementation date of May 2021 to allow manufacturers and importers to produce compliant products. Enforcement was pushed back another year because retailers expressed difficulties in understanding the testing requirements – which differed from U.S. regulations – as well as supply chain issues related to COVID-19.
The new regulations limit the length and “pull force” of any cord on a window covering product. Any free-hanging cord or tethered cord cannot exceed 22 cm, and no cord (including inner cords) can produce a loop larger than 44 cm. Brite Blinds reported that 1,087 units of the product were sold in Canada between May and June 2022. Brite Blinds is located in Burnaby, British Columbia, and the product is manufactured domestically. The company has no reports of incidents or injuries in Canada.
A second recall was issued in early July. Horizontal Venetian Slat Light Filtering Mini Window Blinds were recalled for the same safety hazard. These products were manufactured in China and distributed by Wayfair’s U.S. operation.