Corded window coverings cannot be made compliant by the addition of separate cord shields, an updated safety notice from Health Canada says.
The February update references guidelines outlined in the original Regulatory Impact Analysis Statement, stating the goal was that the products themselves must be safe “without relying on installation, alteration, additional safety devices or consumer behaviour.”
The update was in response to numerous queries about the compliance of separate ‘add-ons’ such as cord shields (plastic tubes or sleeves) that could be assembled onto operating cords, either included with the product or provided later.
Health Canada said the products must be compliant with safety regulations when they are received by the consumer. If the cord is not assembled when received, or can easily be removed without a tool, the product is non-compliant.
New regulations were passed in 2019 to take effect in May 2021, that limited 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. The new regulations were established to reduce the risks of child strangulation.
Enforcement was delayed until May 2022 because manufacturers and importers expressed difficulty in producing compliant products during COVID. In the first six months after enforcement began, more than 350 different products were recalled by Health Canada for failure to meet the new safety requirements.