Together with Health Canada, the Window Covering Safety Council has announced a voluntary recall for certain corded bottom-up top-down (BUTD) window blinds and shades, most of which are custom-made.
Health Canada deems corded BUTD shades with a cord joiner device on the intermediate rail operating cord, specifically those which are not meant to separate under force, do not meet the 2008 Canadian Corded Window Coverings Regulations. The exposed loop above the joined cord of the intermediate rail operating cord creates a strangulation hazard for young children.
According to Health Canada, there has been one fatality in Canada (in 2011) and one in the United States (in 2008), both involving children under three years of age.
The products in question come in various shapes and sizes, but all have an intermediate rail with its own cord between the bottom rail and head rail of the shade.
Consumers can contact the WCSC for a free retrofit kit, which converts the joined cord into separate cords and includes cord cleats to help further child-proof the shades.