Bunnings tangled in curtain cord safety probe

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has accepted a court enforceable undertaking from Bunnings Group Ltd for selling window blinds that failed to comply with mandatory safety standards.

The ACCC found that Bunnings sold Matchstick Blinds that did not carry mandatory safety warnings on the retail packaging, during routine market surveillance.

“Safety warnings are crucial, especially when they relate to children. Labels on external packaging are meant to warn consumers prior to purchase of the risk of serious injury to children,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.

“Loose curtain and blind cords can be dangerous to children – they may play with them, become tangled and not be able to release themselves to prevent choking. Parents should follow the tips below to keep their children safe.”

Bunnings has agreed to implement a range of compliance initiatives as part of the undertaking for this matter. Bunnings has assured the ACCC that it will strengthen its current compliance program for window coverings, which will include conducting pre-shipping inspections, upgrading training for management and buyers and conducting regular audits.

Bunnings has already recalled over 3,600 Matchstick Blinds, which were sold between January 2013 and March 2013.

Safety Tips for Parents

  • Go through every room in your home and check for any blinds or curtains with long cords that are either loose or looped. To keep them out of children’s reach you should secure these cords with either cleats or tension devices that enclose cords and chain loops.
  • Do not put children’s cots, beds, highchairs or playpens near a window where children can reach the blind or curtain cords.
  • Do not place sofas, chairs, tables, shelves or bookcases near windows with corded blinds or curtains.
  • Make sure blind and curtain cords are not hanging anywhere within
    children’s reach.
  • Always supervise children in any rooms with reachable blind or curtain cords.

Further information on blind cord safety can be found at ACCC’s Product Safety site.