keeping your tenants children safe

To minimise the risk to children, all new corded blinds, curtains and window coverings must comply with a national safety standard.

Blind and curtain cords have the potential to harm babies and children, who can be easily entangled in the loops.

According to the Office of Fair Trading, since 2000 at least 12 children have died from blind or curtain cord strangulation in Australia.

All new window coverings supplied to rental properties must follow the mandatory standard, which came into effect in 2010 and is detailed on the Product Safety Australia website.

Blinds and curtain cords supplied before 2010 can be made safe by either cutting the cords or hooking them up out of harm’s way.

Safety tassels, which join the ends of blind cords together and separate when pressure is applied, are available from hardware stores.

Alternatively, blind cords can be wrapped securely around hooks attached high on the wall.

The Office of Fair Trading recommends the bottom of any blind cord is at least 160cm above the floor level.

Lessors are obliged to ensure a rental property is in a good state of repair and fit for the tenant to live in.

What are the exact requirements by law?

  • Lessors are obliged to ensure a rental property is in a good state of repair and fit for the tenant to live in.
  • The greatest risk is with a looped cords hanging low enough to be within reach of children. It is possible for children to strangle themselves by putting their head into the loop and then falling or spinning to the point where they cannot escape the danger. There is potential for blind cords to form a loop even if they are not manufactured as a looped cord.
  • The Office of Fair Trading recommends the bottom of any blind cord is at least 160cm above the floor level.
  • Complies with the Australian Standard AS 3786-1993 or has the Standards Australia Mark or is Scientific Services Laboratory (SSL) certified
  • Any blinds that were installed prior to compliance regulations or do not comply can be made safe by either cutting the cords or hooking them up out of harm’s way.