2 May 2019
Canada Adopts Tougher Safety Requirements for Corded Window Coverings
The Canadian government has adopted more stringent requirements for corded window coverings in an effort to reduce the risk of strangulation posed to children by these products. Currently, a corded window covering product may not be manufactured, imported, advertised or sold in Canada if it does not meet the requirements for safety and labelling set out in the relevant Canadian standard. After conducting a comprehensive risk assessment, Health Canada found that corded window covering products compliant with the relevant standard continue to pose preventable risks of strangulation to young children. In addition, numerous incidents in Canada and the United States have shown that a single cord or multiple long cords can easily form a loop that can fatally strangle a child.
Accordingly, Canada has established the following requirements effective from 1 May 2021.
- Small Parts. Every part of a corded window covering that is accessible to a child and is small enough to be totally enclosed in a small parts cylinder must be affixed to the corded window covering so that the part does not become detached when it is subjected to a force of 90 N applied in any direction.
- Lead Content. Every external component of a corded window covering must not contain more than 90 mg/kg of lead when tested in accordance with the principles set out in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development document entitled OECD Principles of Good Laboratory Practice, Number 1 of the OECD Series on Principles of Good Laboratory Practice and Compliance Monitoring, ENV/MC/CHEM(98)17.
- Unreachable Cords. A cord that is not reachable must remain so, whether the corded window covering is fully opened, fully closed or in any position in between, throughout the useful life of the corded window covering.
- Reachable Cords. A reachable cord with one free end must not exceed 22 centimetres in length when it is pulled in any direction by the gradual application of force attaining 35 N. A reachable cord with no free end must not exceed 22 cm in length between two consecutive contact points when it is pulled in any direction by the gradual application of force attaining 35 N. If a reachable cord is pulled in any direction by the gradual application of force attaining 35 N, the perimeter of any loop, whether it is existing, created or enlarged, must not exceed 44 cm. If two reachable cords with one free end each can be connected to one another, end to end, after each has been pulled in any direction by the gradual application of force attaining 35 N, the following criteria must be met: (i) the length of the resulting cord must not exceed 22 cm and (ii) the perimeter of the loop that is created must not exceed 44 cm.
- Required Information. The following information must appear on every corded window covering as well as on any packaging in which the corded window covering is displayed to the consumer: (i) model name or model number; (ii) date of manufacture, consisting of the year and either the month or week listed in that order; (iii) in the case of a corded window covering that is manufactured in Canada, the name and principal place of business of the manufacturer or the person for whom the corded window covering was manufactured; and (iv) in the case of a corded window covering that is imported for commercial purposes, the name and principal place of business of the manufacturer and the importer.
The following instructions must accompany every corded window covering in text, drawings or photographs, or in any combination thereof: (i) how to assemble the corded window covering and a quantitative list of its parts, if it is sold not fully assembled; (ii) how to install it; and (iii) how to operate it. Moreover, certain specific or equivalent warning language must appear on every corded window covering, any packaging thereof, any accompanying instructions, and all of the advertisements for the corded window covering.
Information that appears on a corded window covering, that accompanies one or that is in any advertisement for one must not make any direct or indirect reference to the Canada Consumer Product Safety Act or the Corded Window Coverings Regulations.
- Presentation of Information. Required information must (i) appear in both English and French; (ii) be legible and prominently and clearly displayed and, in particular, the characters must be in a colour that contrasts sharply with the background; (iii) remain legible and visible throughout the useful life of the corded window covering under normal conditions of transportation, storage, sale and use; and (iv) in the case of information that is required on the corded window covering, be indelibly printed on the product itself or on a label that is permanently affixed to it.
The required information must be printed in a standard sans-serif type that is not compressed, expanded or decorative, and has a large x-height relative to the ascender or descender of the type. The height of the type is determined by measuring an upper case letter or a lower case letter that has an ascender or descender, such as “b” or “p”. The signal words “Warning” and “Mise en garde” must be in boldfaced, upper case type not less than five millimetres in height, while all other required information must be in type not less than 2.5 mm in height.