Friday, January 13, 2012

Retrofitting Corded Window Coverings

Window coverings like Roman shades and traverse draperies have accessible cords which can be a hazard for young children.  In 2010 Standards for Corded Window Coverings were issued by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) to address the issue of cord safety.

The standards require lift cords on the back of shades to be contained or that the lift cord or combined loop of fabric and lift cord not form a loop larger than 16”. 

Cord or bead chain loops, used to operate traverse rods or shade lift systems must be held taut and not dangling, with a device that will make the window covering partially inoperable if the device is removed.

Older shades were made with shade rings and lifting cords.  The cords can easily be pulled from the shade. The solution?  Create new shades and retrofit older ones using Encased Lift Cord Tape or Tube, which when sewn on as instructed will    not allow for an unacceptable sized cord loop to be formed.

On this old shade you can see how easy it is to pull the cord away from the shade.

The cord is contained within the shroud, preventing it from being pulled away from the shade.

To retrofit an existing Roman shade, cut cord from shade and carefully remove shade rings, leaving only the rings across the bottom of the shade.  Replace the rings with Encased Lift Cord Tape or Tube, sewing the tape to the shade where the rings were sewn.

At the bottom of the shade, fish the cord from the tape and tie off to the old shade ring.  At the top of the shade, fish the cord from the tape allowing enough to operate the shade and then cut off the empty tape even with the top of the shade. This creates a shade with lift cord that move freely but is contained within the shroud.  By sewing the tape with fixed spacing, the loop is minimized.

See this video to learn how:  Retrofitting a Roman Shade

If your shade has multiple cords exiting the side of the shade, the cords can be connected together with a Cord Condenser, allowing for a single pull cord.  A cord cleat must be used to secure the shade in a raised position and to keep cords out of the reach of children.  Install the cord cleat as high as possible.

Another simple and easy option is to create a stationary shade.  To do this, pull up your shade to the desired position and cinch together the rings using a split-ring or small cable tie and then cut-away all cords from the shade.

If you have a shade with a cord or bead chain loop, a Universal Drive Tension Device can easily be added.  Not only will this make the cord or bead loop less likely to become hazardous, it will make the shade smoother and easier to operate.  

Before delivery the bead chain loop is cinched to the tension device and a safety warning tag is added.  Be sure to follow all product instructions.
Draperies that are installed on corded traverse rods can be retrofitted with a Universal Drive Tension Device.  Older devices will need to be replaced with ones designed to meet the new standards.

Traverse rods can also be made completely cord-free and hand operated.  To do this cut the operating cords, being certain to cut away knots at the back of master carriers and carefully pull the cords from the rod.  A baton or wand with a metal clip can be attached to the back of the master carriers which will allow for operation of the drapery without handling the material.

Other Safety Tips:

Do not place cribs, beds or furniture next to windows where children can climb on them and become entangled in the window coverings.

Choose cord-free window coverings in nurseries, playrooms and homes with children.

For more information about window covering safety visit the ConsumerProduct Safety Commission and Window Coverings ManufacturersAssociation

1 comment:

  1. The window look turned out it..fantastic.

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