Window Covering Manufacturers Association Launches Process to Update Corded Window Covering Safety Standard

WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Window Covering Manufacturers Association (WCMA) announced today
that it has initiated the process of revising the voluntary corded
window covering safety standard. The update to the standard will be done
in strict accordance with the internationally-respected American
National Standards Institute (ANSI) process and will be the seventh
revision of the standard since 1996.

“The current U.S. standard, ANSI/WCMA A100.1-2012, last updated in 2012,
is already the most stringent in the world,” said WCMA Executive Ralph
Vasami. “However, we have pledged to constantly reexamine the standard
to ensure that window covering products are on the leading edge of
safety and quality, and the industry wants to continue to incorporate
ongoing innovation and new product development in order to make its
products as safe and up to date as possible.”

The revisions to the standard will be done in accordance with the ANSI
essential requirements, which mandate an open and balanced process with
public review opportunities. The process will require assembling a
consensus body (the canvass group), accepting proposals, developing a
draft standard, submitting the draft standard to the canvass group for
ballot and comment, addressing the comments received, re-balloting, a
public review period and then finally achieving approval of the
standard. The first organizational meeting will be held by the end of
the year.

“We will have an inclusive process to update the standard, and we look
forward to working with representatives from the Consumer Products
Safety Commission (CPSC), Health Canada, the United Kingdom and the
European Union, as well as representatives from consumer groups and all
facets of the window covering industry throughout this process,” said
Vasami. “We will also take this opportunity to investigate the
possibility of developing a joint standard with the Canadian Standards
Association to ensure regulatory consistency between the U.S. and
Canada.”

The last update to the standard, ANSI/WCMA A100.1-2012, added
requirements for durability and performance testing of all safety
devices (including devices used to hold cords under tension); new
requirements for the installation and anchoring of products; and,
specific warnings and pictograms on packaging and merchandising
materials for products containing cords. It also provided a method for
new innovations for controlling cords to be tested immediately for
compliance to the standard; added new requirements for products that
rely on “wide lift bands” to raise and lower window coverings; and added
and expanded test requirements for cord accessibility and hazardous loop
testing.

In addition to updating the new standard, WCMA and its member companies
continue to support the Window Covering Safety Council’s year-around
national public education and information program to educate consumers
about making the right choice and only using cordless products or
products with inaccessible cords in homes with young children. October
is National Window Covering Safety Month, jointly sponsored by the
Window Covering Safety Council (WCSC) and the CPSC, designed to raise
awareness of safety issues.

“The WCMA will continue to support industry efforts to educate consumers
about the strangulation hazard to infants and young children posed by
exposed or dangling cords, and we invite all stakeholders to join us in
helping improve window covering safety in the United States by
participating in these education efforts and in updating the voluntary
standard,” concluded Vasami.

To learn more about the voluntary standard for corded window covering
products, please visit http://www.wcmanet.org/wcmastandard.html.

About WCMA

Organized in the 1950s as the Venetian Blind Council, the Window
Covering Manufacturers Association (WCMA) represents the interests of
the window covering industry manufacturers, fabricators and assemblers.
Industry products include blinds, shades, shutters, curtains, curtain
rods, drapes, drapery hardware and other window treatments. Visit us on
the web at
www.wcmanet.org.

Contacts

Window Covering Manufacturers Association
Tim Bennett,
212-297-2108

TBennett@kellencompany.com