Window blind manufacturers, importers and retailers continue to provide non-compliant products to Canadians, more than three years after new safety regulations were passed.
Passed in 2019, enforcement of the new regulations only started in May 2022. Between June 24 and September 9, Health Canada issued at least 11 recall notices involving more than 350 different products which fail to meet the new safety requirements designed to better protect children from strangulation.
Canada’s Corded Window Coverings Regulations was first passed in 2019 after many years of study and debate.Iits initial implementation date was set to May 2021 to allow the industry to produce compliant products. Enforcement was pushed back for an additional year because retailers expressed difficulties in understanding testing requirements – which were different from U.S. rules – and because of supply chain issues related to COVID-19. Health Canada acquiesced, electing to emphasize education rather than enforcement for the period from May 2021 to May 2022.
Since the enforcement began, non-compliant products have been reported and recalled. The first was Brite Blinds, a producer located in Burnaby British Columbia. All subsequent recalls have been of products made outside Canada, primarily China, but also Vietnam, Cambodia, the United States and Sweden.
Importers and online retailers providing the products include established brands such as Bed, Bath & Beyond, Canadian Tire, IKEA and online retailer Wayfair.
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. Many of the recalled products also include a choking hazard because of small, detachable parts.