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New EU Safety Standards for Internal Blinds and Protection from Strangulation Hazards Approved

Three European standards approved and published for the safety of internal blinds and protection from strangulation hazards.
    LONDON, ENGLAND, May 07, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ -- In August 2011 SGS informed the readers of a European Commission decision to address certain risks posed to children by internal blinds, corded window coverings and safety devices in SafeGuardS 150/11( SafeGuardS 181/13 ( published in September 2013 informed that three European standards were in the process of being approved by the EU.

The three European standards have now been approved and published by national standards bodies.
British Standards Institute has published the three standards.

Performance Requirements and Safety for Internal Blinds - BS EN 13120:2009+A1:2014

The scope is amended to include all internal blinds and the addition of Roman shades, Austrian/Festoon blinds, panel blinds, plantation shutters and roll-up-blinds.

Clause 3: Six new terms and definitions have been included:
- Inner cord or tape
- Pull cord or chain
- Operating loop
- Accessible cord, chain, ball chain or similar
- Hazardous loop
- Hazardous cord, chain, ball chain or similar

Clause 8.2 Protection from strangulation has been completely rewritten. Requirements for breakaway systems, fixed tensioning systems, pull cords and accessible inner cords. Specific requirements relating to safety devices including exposure to UV, mechanical endurance, effect of temperature, release of small components and impact resistance are included.

This clause applies to internal blinds intended to be installed in premises where children aged from 0 to 42 months are likely to have access to or to be present, such as, for example, homes, hotels, hospitals, churches, shops, schools, nurseries, and public places in general. This clause also applies when the destination of internal blinds is not defined.

It does not apply to internal blinds intended to be installed only in premises where children are unlikely to have access such as work premises: offices, factories, laboratories, etc. In this case, a notice with the following text "product intended to be installed in premises where children are not likely to have access (offices, factories...)" shall accompany the internal blind. Clause 15 has been amended concerning warning notices.

The significant machinery hazards dealt with are listed in Annex B. An additional annex has been included to show diagrams of common safety systems for protection from strangulation.

Conflicting national standards will be withdrawn by August 2014.

Test Methods of Protection from Strangulation Hazards - BS EN 16433:2014

The test methods described are linked to the performance requirements for internal blinds as specified in BS EN 13120: 2009+A1:2014.

Test of the tension system: Where internal blinds are operated by continuous cords forming a loop and maintained under tension, they will not break when under a specified nominal load.
Test of breakaway systems: Where internal blinds have operating systems that have pull cords forming a hazardous loop or Inner cord(s) forming a hazardous loop; the loop shall be eliminated when a vertical weight of 6Kg is applied to the cords. Accumulation system: Internal blinds where extension/retraction of the curtain and/or tilting of the slats lead to a change in length of the pull cords shall be verified that the full length of pull cords can be accumulated at any position of the curtain, including fully retracted.

Tangling test: Where the operating system of internal blinds consists of two free hanging pull cords, it shall be verified that the two cords cannot tangle producing a hazardous loop.

Inner cords: Inner cords shall be assessed for accessibility using the accessibility probe. Where the cords are accessible and a loop is created, the head probe shall be used to assess any loops.

Safety systems shall meet the requirements of the impact resistance test.

Annex A has a flowchart of testing summarizing the tests to be performed for the evaluation of internal blinds for protection from strangulation.

Requirements and Test Methods for Safety Devices - BS EN 16434:2014

The scope of the standard specifies the requirements and test methods for safety devices to be used for protection from strangulation. The devices may be fitted to blinds at the time of manufacture or for retrofitting.

Safety devices covered include:
- Tension devices
- Breakaway devices
- Accumulation devices
- Non tangling devices
- Inner cord stops

In the testing of safety devices, all related parts associated with the protection from strangulation shall be considered. Included within the standard are requirements for exposure to UV, mechanical endurance and the effect of temperature.

Additional requirements that all safety devices must fulfill are also included:
- Release of small components using the small parts test cylinder from EN 71.
- Impact resistance.
- Information and instruction for installation, use and maintenance.

Annex A presents a summary of the tests to be carried out on safety devices.

About SGS Hardgoods Services

Throughout a global network of laboratories, SGS offers consultation and comprehensive testing services including material testing (, covering the full spectrum of international product safety and regulatory standard for a wide range of consumer products.

Please do not hesitate to contact an SGS expert for further information.

Contact details:

SGS Consumer Testing Services
David Smith
Technical Consultant - Hardlines
Saunders House, 52-53 The Mall,
Ealing, London, W5 3TA

t: +91 124 6776205

SGS is the worlds leading inspection, verification, testing and certification company. SGS is recognized as the global benchmark for quality and integrity. With more than 80,000 employees, SGS operates a network of over 1,650 offices and laboratories around the world.

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