A focus on cords
New curtains and blinds have mandatory standards to prevent child strangulation, but these do not apply to older window coverings such as the one which strangled Jack Mackay, aged 18 months, last August in Port Stephens.
For landlords who do not want to replace window coverings, there are several ways of making existing fittings safer.
- Supplying a cleat on the wall at least 160cm from the floor so blind cords can be safely stowed.
- Retrofitting the bottom of the cord or chain so that attached to the floor or base of the window and kept under tension.
- Using safety tassels which join cords together but break under pressure.
“A couple of dollars for a cleat could save a life,” she said. “Every year, at least two deaths from cords are reported, and those deaths are preventable.”