Make It Safe campaign
The British Blind and Shutter Association (BBSA) launched the Make It Safe campaign in 2009, campaigning for safer blinds. The BBSA welcomes the mandatory requirements for internal blinds. The Make It Safe campaign was established by the BBSA to ensure effective development of standards for internal window blinds and to provide appropriate safety advice to homeowners and those responsible for public and commercial buildings.
The BBSA worked with European standards’ bodies to ensure the development of new standards for internal window blinds. Published in the UK at the end of February 2014, these standards defined a safe product under the General Product Safety Regulations and the BBSA fully supported the legal requirements this placed on the entire industry.
In effect, this meant any trader manufacturing, importing, selling or installing window blinds is legally required to comply with these standards.
The BBSA was pleased to see that there were also new standards regarding the testing of safety devices themselves. It meant consumers could buy retrofit items safe in the knowledge they were fit for purpose.
Information and advice
Since 2009, the BBSA has supplied over 1.3 million Make It Safe brochures to consumers as well as childcare and health professionals across the UK. The original Make It Safe brochure was made available in Welsh, Polish and Gaelic. The internationally recognised Make It Safe video elaborated on how to make existing blinds safer and reflected on what to consider when deciding on new blinds.
The BBSA provided tens of thousands of safety devices free of charge to members of the public, irrespective of where they bought their blind. We have provided RoSPA with subsidised and free safety devices and brochures to support their work. RoSPA have provided in excess of 430,000 packs as part of their work with the Make It Safe campaign.
The BBSA worked with the UK Government, Trading Standards and a number of safety organisations (such as the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents and the Child Accident Prevention Trust) to ensure that the industry and those who use internal window blinds were given expert advice.
The Make It Safe campaign is widely referenced in other European countries and the BBSA has taken part in the EU’s International Product Safety Week in Brussels as well as safety presentations in Northern Ireland, Italy and China. We work with our colleagues in Europe and further afield to share information and best practice.
WINDOW BLIND SAFETY
‘Make it safe’ says mum-of-three, Rachael Maynard
My daughter, Megan, became entangled in a window blind chain in her bedroom when she was two and a half years old. She spent four days in hospital on a life support machine before we knew she was going to recover. Something as simple as a window blind cord or chain can present a real danger to young children but with awareness and by taking some simple actions, the danger can be eliminated. Make sure you always make it safe.