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The Specialty Group

What everyone needs
to know about Window Coverings Safety Standards

Window covering safety is a shared responsibility among manufacturers, distributors, retailers and consumers. By manufacturing and sourcing only products that comply with the new Safety Standards and informing our customers, we can all do our part to promote safety.

Specialty's Child Safety
For Window Treatments


This publication is intended to raise awareness of the current window coverings Safety Standards.
It should not be used as a substitute for reading ANSI/WCMA A100.1-201 (PS2). We recommend obtaining a copy of the Safety Standards.


Questions and Answers for the new
Window Coverings Safety Standards

1. What are these new window covering safety standards that everyone is talking about?

The new safety standards are included in the 2ND PROVISIONAL AMERICAN NATIONAL STANDARD FOR SAFETY OF CORDED WINDOW FASHIONS (ANSI/WCMA A100.1-2010 (PS2)) published by the Window Coverings Manufacturers Association (WCMA). The Safety Standards were approved on September 3, 2010, under procedures of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Copies are available at
http://www.wcmanet.org/wcmastandard.html or by visiting our showroom.


2. What window coverings are affected?

The scope of ANSI/WCMA A100.1-2010 (PS2) includes all corded window coverings:"Window covering products covered include cellular shades, horizontal blinds, pleated shades, roll-up blinds, roller shades, roman style shades, traverse rods, and vertical blinds, and stock and custom products" (Section 1.3). (i.e. any window treatment with a cord)


3. What if I Bought a window covering that is not in compliance?


Contact the source of any non compliant treatment for a complete rework. Recalls of window treatment products can be seen below.


4. When are the new Safety Standards effective?

The new Safety Standards were approved for publication on September 3, 2010. Through a corrective action plan proposed by the Window Covering Safety Council (WCSC), member companies agreed that, beginning December 3, 2010, all newly manufactured shades will comply with ANSI/WCMA A100.1-2010 (PS2).


5. What are the new Roman Shade guidelines that were added to the Safety Standards?

Sections 4.5 & 4.6 and appendixes C & D outline very specific requirements and testing for all Roman style shades to help prevent cords on these shades from forming a hazardous loop. Fabricators can build or purchase their own testing devices according to the precise plans in the Safety Standards and/ or have their shades tested by an independent lab. In one test, the device pulls the rear cord of a Roman shade with 5 pounds of tension or until a distance of 25 inches is created, and then a probe the size of a child's head is inserted into the formed loop with 10 pounds of lateral force. In order to pass, the shade must not allow the formation of a loop through which the head probe may pass.(Please see the referenced sections of the Safety Standards for details of the test criteria.)


6. What are the requirements for window coverings operated with a CORD OR CHAIN LOOP?

Among other requirements, the Safety Standards indicate that a cord tension device should be attached to the cord or bead loop. Manufacturers are required to design, place, and ship the tension device so that — "unless properly installed or altered from the shipping condition with sequential process or tools, it prevents the window covering from operating." When not properly installed, the tension device must "at least partially prevent the lift system from moving the window covering through lowering and raising." (Section 6.5.1 and 6.5.2). Therefore, the Safety Standards would, for example, preclude the use of a P-Clip which does not even have to be installed.


7. What are the requirements for window coverings DRAWN WITH AN OPERATING CORD?

If a window covering is designed with a draw cord for operation, the manufacturer has several choices: separate operating cords (Section 4.3.2), a cord release device (Section 4.3.3), a retraction device (Section 4.3.4), a shear device (Section 4.3.5), a shroud device (Section 4.3.6), a tension device (Section 4.3.7) or a cord connector (Section 4.3.8). Each of these devices is defined with specific requirements in the Safety Standards.

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8. What other requirements are in the Safety Standards?

ANSI/WCMA A100.1-2010 (PS2) includes requirements pertaining to lead content (Section 4.1), devices intended to separate from the product (Section 4.2), labeling and operational tags (Section 5.1 - 5.4), as well as specific definitions and testing methods for all of the devices mentioned. Some people may feel that there are too many warning tags and labels on window coverings. However, these tags and labels are part of the Safety Standards, and they are there to help protect the consumer. Every installer should know to leave these tags on for the consumer. The Safety Standards have specific labeling requirements, which are addressed in a 9-page section of the Safety Standards (Section 5).

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9. What is Specialty Drapery doing to ensure all its products comply with the new roman style shade safety requirements?

First Specialty has sought out the best solutions from our component suppliers who are performing tests per the new standards to offer solutions for each window treatment type.

Roman Shades. Our Roman style shades with rear lift cords will no longer be offered in typical cord lock. Specialty has removed all lift cords from it's shade and uses a shade liner mechanism to lift the shade, eliminating all lift cords.

Encased Liftcord Tape

We will only offer spring and motorized versions of operators. Bead cord clutch operators will have appropriate cord tension devices.


10. What is Specialty Drapery doing to ensure all its products comply with cord and loop safety requirements?

In order to ensure complete compliance with the Safety Standards (Sections 4.3.3 & Section 6.5), all shades have attached spring tension devices. In addition to child safety, clients also demand fashion and ease of use. Specialty’s newest cord tension devices are designed to do all three. Shades with draw cords are made in compliance with Sections 4.3.2 and 4.3.8 of the Safety Standards.

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11. What about Specialty's other products?

Specialty seeks out the safest products to ensure all our products meet the new safety standards and/or provides products from other manufacturers who can provide us with verification of compliance with these standards. If you have questions about any of our products or about the safety standards just give us a call.


12. What do you do now concerning these safety standards?

If you have purchased a corded product from Specialty as noted above (basically any product with a cord operator or cord lift device) please contact us immediately to review our residential retrofit options for your products. Retrofit Solutions are as simple as adding a cord tension device to a cord operator which you can install yourself and we will provide you free of charge with proof of purchase or may be purchased for $2.50 each. We will be happy to quote the remake of products, such as Roman style shades, to meet the safety standards.

Safety fixes for previously sold window treatments

ProductFixCost on previously purchased productCostTake down and re-hang
Cord Operated DraperyInstall cord tension device Provided free of charge with proof of purchase$2.50 Available in central VA
Replace cord with wand Quoted based on productVariousAvailable in central VA
Replace cord with Motorization Quoted based on productVariousAvailable in central VA
Cord Operated ShadesInstall cord or beaded chain tension device for operating cords Provided free of charge with proof of purchase$2.50 Available in central VA
Cord Operated BlindsLift cords are separated with separate tassels applied to each cord so no cord has a formed loop Quoted based per blindVarious Available in central VA
Motorization replaces lift cords Quoted based on productVariousAvailable in central VA
Cord Lift Roman ShadesReplace lift cords with spring, clutch, or motorized operator Quoted based on options, shade size, and construction.VariousAvailable in central VA

List of Voluntary Recalls to Repair Roman Shades and Roll Up Blinds

Company (link to recall)

Number of Units

Sold At

All Roman shades (25 million) and
Roll-up blinds (27 million)

Retailers nationwide

500,000 Roman shades
600,000 Roll-up blinds

Walmart stores and other retailers

More than 2.2 million Roman shades
340 Roll-up blinds


250,000 Roll-up blinds

Ace Hardware and Big Lots

290,000 Roman shades

Walmart stores and other retailers

350,000 Roman shades
45,000 Roller shades

Pottery Barn Kids, Pottery Barn, and PBTeens

355,000 Roll-up blinds

Big Lots

42,000 Roman shades

West Elm's catalog and website

2,000 Roman shades

Land of Nod Stores

6,300 Roman shades

Ross stores

1,800 Roman shades

Specialty window covering dealers nationwide

1,000 Horizontal blinds

Paramount Window Furnishings and Signature Window Coverings stores in Texas

4,600 Roman shades

Restoration Hardware Baby & Child stores and catalog

5,000 Roman shades

Specialty Dealers and Expo Design Centers

240,000 Roman shades and Roll-Up blinds

Meijer Stores and Meijer.com

163,000 Roman shades

Ethan Allen Design Centers

25,000 Roman shades and Roll-Up blinds

5,600 Roman shades

Blair and other retail stores in Warren and Grove City, PA, Blair catalogs and website

3,360,000 Roman shades, Roller Blinds, and Roll-Up blinds

IKEA stores nationwide

6,200 Roll-Up blinds

Online retailers including Overstock.com, Bestwindowtreatments.com, Bedbathstore.com, Unbeatablesale.com, Bonton.com, Linensource.com, and Solutions.com

1,160,000 Roman shades and 115,000 roller shades

Smith+Noble online at www.smithandnoble.com and catalog sales nationwide

1,800 Roll-Up Blinds

Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores

200,000 Roman shades

Specialty home textile retail shops and mail order companies nationwide

495,000 Roman shades and 28,500 Roller/Roll-up blinds

Hanover Direct/Domestications, the Company Store/Company Kids; online at www.domestications.com and
www.thecompanystore.com; and through catalog sales nationwide

6 million Roman shades and 5 million roll-up blinds

Lowe's stores and other retail stores; online at www.lowes.com

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specialtydrapery.com 804 264 3000 Richmond, VA
1221 Admiral St. Richmond, VA 23220 ©Specialty Drapery

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