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New Jersey Manufacturer Recalls Dangerous Window Coverings

Hanover Direct Inc., headquartered in Weehawken, New Jersey, has agreed to recall about 495,000 roman shades and 28,500 other window coverings because they pose a potential strangulation risk to children.

Roman Shade Recall

The defective product recall was announced after an Iowa toddler became trapped and was fatally injured by the pull cord of the company's roman-shade blinds. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), five fatalities and 16 near-strangulations involving roman shades have been reported to the CPSC since 2006.

The Hanover roman-shade recall adds to an October 2009 recall of about 90,000 roman shades. The potentially-dangerous window coverings were sold through Hanover and other retailers, including:

  • Wal-Mart
  • J.C. Penney Co.
  • Ace Hardware
  • Big Lots
  • Pottery Barn

New Safety Standards

This roman-shade recall occurred as the window-covering industry seeks to craft better standards for window-covering safety in the U.S. The executive director of the Window Covering Manufacturers Association, Ralph Vasami, said that manufacturers are currently revising their voluntary safety rules for all types of blinds manufactured and sold in America.

At present, the standards for roman shades require that they:

  • Are cordless,
  • Have cords that are inaccessible to children, or
  • Have cords that cannot form a loop that could trap a child's head

Vasami stated these roman-shade standards are likely to serve as a model for the new safety rules for all window coverings.

While thousands of roman shades and other blinds have been recalled over the past two decades, consumer-safety advocates point out that fatality rates have decreased only slightly over the years. Therefore, new window-covering safety standards that eliminate strangulation risks are especially important to prevent tragic injuries and deaths.

Source: "Window Shades, Blinds Recalled Amid Safety Review", Blind Recall: How to Check if Your Roman Shades Are Safe

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