Landlords who supply corded window coverings in rental properties must now comply with Mandatory Product Standards designed to reduce the risk of strangulation of young children.
The legislation is part of the Australian Consumer Law which came into effect on 1 January 2011 and incorporates the Trade Practices Act.
The legislation states that any window coverings such as vertical blinds, Venetian blinds, Holland blinds, Roman blinds, cane blinds, curtains and any fittings containing cords, such as curtain rods and tracks, must comply.
All window coverings with cords must contain warning labels and a child safety device so that children are not able to access the cords. Tenants should be advised not to position children’s cots/beds under windows which have cords, and to report breakages and/or damage of safety devices.
Failure to comply may expose you to penalties and may also be a breach of your duty of care to provide safe products in the home, which also exposes you to the risk of litigation which your insurance may not cover.
More information can be found on the ACCC website (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission) or www.productsafety.gov.au.
If you think that your window coverings may not comply, then contact your Property Manager who can arrange for a specialised compliance inspection, for cord safety devices to be installed in your property/properties as per the Safety Standards and to put your mind at ease.