Window treatments in general, but roman shades in particular, have been getting a lot of heat from various consumer groups, regulatory organizations, as well as the media.
According to the Window Coverings Safety Council and others, window coverings (such as blinds, roman shades, etc.) are among the top 5 “hidden dangers” in a home due to their dependence upon cords to operate them.
Over the past few years there has been a big push for consumers to purchase cordless or motorized shades and blinds.
The discussion over this touches everyone because you either have children or you know someone who has children and nobody wants to turn on the news and hear about a child that has gotten hurt because they were playing with the cords on the blinds. Unfortunately it happens despite the best efforts of everyone involved.
There are those who have called for the immediate halt in the production of any type of window covering that uses cords. Which is great if you own a company that makes plantation shutters or motorized shades, but not so good if you own a company that makes/sells blinds, roman shades, or draperies.
There are those who believe that the government should step in and dictate how the products should be made. Yeah, that will work, afterall, they have a 40-page binder that helps them decide which $500.00 screwdriver to purchase.
Frankly. It’s not about regulation it’s about education.
Everyone involved in the process needs to make sure they are sharing the information that is available.
The companies that manufacture the products (who are the ones that have the financial and technical resources to make changes in the design if necessary) need to make sure that their dealers understand the risks and the alternative options that are available within their product lines.
The dealers need to make sure that their sales reps and installers understand the potential risks and the proper installation techniques to reduce or eliminate the risks to the homeowners and individuals purchasing the products.
And the consumers need to make sure that they understand the potential risks involved before they make the purchase and if necessary, change to a different product or upgrade to a cordless or motorized type product.
It is a fact of life, regardless of how much you try to protect your children, and regardless of how much you try to warn them not to mess with the cords on the shades or other potentially harmful household items, kids will be kids and they will play with stuff they are not supposed to.
If it is left to the government or some other sort of “regulatory commission” to determine the requirements for roman shades and other types of corded window treatments, what you may find in the future is a distinct lack of product options to choose from. Either the companies will decide it is not worth the hassle to comply with those regulations or the consumers will decide that the added costs to purchase a compliant product is too high. And as a result those products will be “regulated” right out of existence.
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