By now, you may have seen or heard the news stories regarding the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s announcement of a voluntary “recall to repair” roman shades and roll-up blinds to reduce the risk of strangulation to young children. Hunter Douglas supports these efforts to make window coverings safer.

Our investment in this area has produced Vignette® Modern Roman shades – the industry’s only roman shade with no exposed rear cords. We developed the industry’s first Break-Thru® Safety Tassel for horizontal blinds; and introduced a complete line of LiteRise® cordless operating systems for Vignette® Tiered Modern Roman Shades, Duette® and Applause® honeycomb shades, Brilliance® pleated shades and Hunter Douglas horizontal blinds (Wood, Faux Wood and Aluminum); a broad line of products that use the UltraGlide® retractable cord operating system; a full line of PowerRise® cordless battery powered products, plus a full line of screen and window shades and three types of shutters … all of which are designed with child safety in mind.

Of course, it is important to understand what products are actually covered by the “recall to repair.” The “recall to repair” covers traditional roman shades and roll-up blinds. The roman shades that are covered are the ones with exposed cords running down the back of the shade. It would not include products like Vignette® Tiered Modern Roman Shades, where the inner cord is contained within the fabric. The roll-up blinds covered by the “recall to repair” are those with a lifting loop that is placed around the fabric at the bottom of the shade which can slide off the fabric to create a free-standing loop. Hunter Douglas does not sell or offer roll-up blinds or shades.

It is also important to understand that this is not a recall in the traditional sense, but a “recall to repair.” The consumer does not actually return any product. Instead, they can contact the Window Covering Safety Council to obtain free CPSC-approved retrofit kits for roman shades and roll-up blinds. Consumers can contact the Window Covering Safety Council (WCSC) at or by calling (800) 506-4636.

In connection with the Voluntary Corrective Action Plan submitted by the WCSC, the American National Standard for Safety of Corded Window Covering Products is being revised to include updated requirements to further reduce the potential risks associated with roman shades and roll-up blinds. We are pleased to inform you that product modifications already made to Hunter Douglas’s Designer Screen Roman Shades, Alustra® Woven Textures® Roman Shades or Provenance® Woven Woods Roman Shades on September 1, 2009 put these products in full compliance with the new provisional ANSI standard, in advance of the effective date.

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