Child Safety

What is “ANSI/WCMA A100 1-2022” Window Covering Safety Standard?

The “ANSI/WCMA A100 1-2022” Window Covering Safety Standard is a set of safety guidelines established by the U.S. government to enhance the safety of window coverings. These standards, jointly agreed upon by the Window Covering Manufacturers Association (WCMA) and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), primarily focus on eliminating hazardous free-hanging cords commonly found in window coverings, such as tilt cords and cord-lock operating cords.

The aim of this safety standard is to bolster the safety of window covering products, especially concerning the well-being of young children. All companies involved in manufacturing, distributing, or selling window coverings in the U.S. must comply with these regulations by June 1, 2024. Non-compliant products manufactured for residential or commercial use after this date cannot be sold in the United States. Enforcement of these regulations falls under the jurisdiction of the CPSC, which has the authority to impose fines and recalls on non-compliant companies.

Key provisions of this safety standard include:

  • Prohibits dangling cords used in cord lock operating systems and tilt cord mechanisms
  • Elimination of slatted horizontal products with continuous loop systems
  • Mandates that non-horizontal products with continuous loop systems have tensioning devices that abide by the following requirements:
    • Tensioning device is to be factory installed and made to be permanent
    • The manufacturer must attach the tensioning device to the chain and headrail or clutch
    • Proper installation of the tensioning device is necessary; otherwise, the window covering will be inoperable
    • Constant tension on the cord loop must be maintained by the tensioning device and without constant tension, the window covering will be inoperable
    • Tensioning devices must pass cycle testing, UV stability testing, and impact testing to ensure sufficient durability
    • Wood substrate fasteners along with installation instructions must be provided
  • For retractable cord lift systems, the following requirements apply:
    • Retractable cord lift system must be permanently attached to the window covering
    • Retractable cord lift system must maintain full retraction even with the operating interface having up to 30 grams of mass applied to it
    • Retractable cord lift system’s stroke length cannot exceed 36”
    • Only rigid operating interfaces are permitted such as ring and pole or wand designs
    • Retractable cord lift systems are required to pass testing for service life and UV exposure

The safety standard also updates warning label requirements on products with retractable cord and continuous loop operating systems, includes provisions for remote control battery accessibility that follows ANSI/UL 4200A, limits lead usage in exterior components 12” or more inches below the headrail to 0.01% by weight, and requires that any safety component or device that separates from the product meets the small parts requirements in Federal Standard: 16 CFR Part 1501.

FAQ:

Will any of BB Commercial Solutions’ product categories be phased out due to the ANSI/WCMA A100 1-2022 safety standard?

No, none of BB Commercial Solutions’ product categories will be discontinued. We have been offering compliant operating and lift system options for all our product categories, including blinds, shades, shutters, and drapes, for many years.

If my business or building has non-compliant corded products installed, am I obligated to replace them?

While business owners are not required to replace existing non-compliant products, it’s crucial to acknowledge the real risk of strangulation posed by these corded products, particularly to young children. Given the availability of compliant cordless and motorized commercial window covering solutions, retaining such hazardous products presents an unnecessary safety concern. A BB Commercial Solutions expert can assist you in selecting an appropriate window covering solution that enhances functionality, comfort, and safety in your space. Begin by scheduling a complimentary consultation.

Are motorized window treatments affected by the ANSI/WCMA A100 1-2022 safety standard?

The new safety standard does not impact motorized window treatments as they operate using motors installed in the headrail, and are devoid of hazardous dangling operating cords. In fact, we strongly recommend motorized window treatments as replacements for old, corded products. Not only are they child-safe, but they also offer numerous additional benefits, such as the ability to control shades that are out of reach, heavy or too numerous to manually operate one-by-one throughout the day. Motorization enhances convenience by enabling remote control, smartphone operation, voice commands, and automated scheduling for adjusting shades at specific times of the day.