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Window Coverings Testing Services

Complying with the Revised WCMA Standard

Business Challenge

For years, Roman shades, roll-up blinds and other styles of corded window coverings have been purchased by consumers and businesses focusing mainly on size, style and color. However, between 1999 and 2011, there were a total of 276 incidents related to all types of corded window coverings. Of those 276 incidents, 140 of them were fatal.  This has led to heightened safety concerns and the need for more stringent requirements that could reduce strangulation hazards presented by such window coverings.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has recalled millions of corded window coverings in response to the problem and pushed the window coverings industry to address it. In response, the Window Covering Manufacturers Association (WCMA) has revised the ANSI/WCMA A100.1 Standard for Safety of Corded Window Covering Products with significant changes that will mean previously sold corded window coverings will most likely not be in compliance. This creates an immediate impact on manufacturers and retailers to meet these new requirements in order to sell their products with the current effective date of June 1, 2013.

Solution

Bureau Veritas has developed full capabilities for the mandatory testing under the revised standard and has worked closely with WCMA to ensure the correct interpretation of these requirements. Thus, we can assist your company in becoming compliant with the new standard that differs significantly from the previous version. The standard now specifies performance-based requirements for all corded window coverings, not just Roman shades and roll-up blinds, rather than prescriptive design features. As for roll-up blinds, the revision involves even more stringent performance-related requirements for release devices.

What are the key benefits?

  • Professional & knowledgeable assistance with your specific design or testing questions

  • Enhanced risk management and brand protection

  • Minimized possibility of costly recalls

  • Protection of the consumer from potential harm

Our Approach

Bureau Veritas is a third-party, independent test lab that has extensive experience in testing consumer products, including window blinds. Companies can demonstrate due diligence by having product evaluated to the established requirements. Our laboratories have developed full capabilities for this new testing. We can evaluate product to the applicable sections of the ANSI/WCMA standard, including the specified lead in substrate testing, UV aging test, and cycling tests.

In addition to the standard testing, Bureau Veritas also provides other services for window coverings of all types, including blinds and curtains. Our Engineering Services group can perform various evaluations to meet your product quality expectations and support your “green initiatives." Product can be evaluated for thermal efficiency, its ability to block light, and reduce noise. Whatever your concerns are in relation to safety and quality of window coverings, we can provide solutions.

Learn about Bureau Veritas' Quality Assurance Services for Hardlines.

Why Choose Bureau Veritas?

Reputation
For over 35 years, we have worked successfully with top manufacturers and retailers around the world to help them better manage risk and regulatory compliance.

Technical Knowledge & Leadership
Our staff participate in the development of international, industry and regulatory standards worldwide.

Worldwide Locations
With locations close to sourcing areas in over 40 countries, we offer you the convenience of global coverage with local service where you need it.

Personalized Service
At Bureau Veritas, we are committed to meeting your evolving needs and helping you anticipate new market trends. We offer you customized and specialized services to meet your quality assurance needs throughout your supply chain. Providing you with the highest level of service is our priority. 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What types of window coverings are affected by the revised standard?

    The standard applies to all corded window coverings, both stock product and custom made product. Per the standard, window coverings include cellular shades, horizontal blinds, pleated shades, roll-up blinds, roller shades, Roman style shades, traverse rods, and vertical blinds.

  • Will I need to re-design my product?

    Depending on the type of window covering and its features, you may or may not need to make changes. For roll-up blinds, the product doesn’t need to be completely re-designed, but compliant release devices need to be added. For other styles of window coverings like venetian blinds, cellular shades, and roller shades, the product may not need to be re-designed, but you may need to alter some aspects. For example, if those products use a continuous loop operating cord or bead chain, there have been some modifications to the requirements for tension devices.

  • Can you test my products in China where they are manufactured?

    Yes, we have facilities both in China and the US equipped to test window blinds to the new US requirements.

  • This is just an industry standard. It’s not mandatory, is it?

    The standard is an industry-developed standard, not a regulation. However, the CPSC has made it clear that window coverings need to comply with the most current version of this standard. In 2009, millions of roman shades and roll-up blinds were recalled. In November 2010, a toddler’s death from strangulation prompted a huge window coverings recall. Product not in compliance with the 2012 standard could be subject enforcement and a CPSC recall.

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