Smith+Noble just added its name to those retailers joining the voluntary recall of r<"http://www.yourlawyer.com/practice_areas/product_liability">oman blinds and roller shades announced by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in December 2009 of ALL Roman shades and roll-up blinds. The announcement can be accessed at: http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml10/10077.html
The massive recall involves About 1.3 million (1,160,000 Roman Shades and 115,000 Roller Shades) distributed by Smith+Noble, of Corona, California. The recall was prompted following a report of the near strangulation of a child. CPSC and Smith+Noble have received a report of a five-year-old boy in Tacoma, Washington who became entangled in an unsecured continuous loop bead cord on a roller shade in May 2009. No medical treatment was required.
Strangulations can occur when a child places his/her neck between the exposed inner cord and the fabric on the backside of the Roman Shade or when a child pulls the cord out and wraps it around his/her neck. Strangulation can also occur if the Roller Blinds continuous loop cord is not attached to the wall with the tension device provided and a child’s neck becomes entangled in the freestanding loop.
This recall involves all roller shades that do not have a tension device attached to the continuous loop cord and all custom, made-to-order Roman shades. Brand names include Smith+Noble, Christopher Lowell by Smith+Noble, Jessitt Gold, Shop Blinds and Window Elements. The recalled Roman Shades and Roller Blinds were manufactured in China, Mexico, and the United States and were sold exclusively at Smith+Noble online at www.smithandnoble.com and through catalog sales nationwide from 1998 through April 2010 for between $100 and $1,600, depending on custom size and options.
The CPSC is advising consumer to immediately stop using the Roman shades and contact the Window Covering Safety Council (WCSC) for a free repair kit, toll-free, at (800) 506-4636 anytime or visit www.windowcoverings.org. Consumers should check the roller shades to make sure the tension device provided is attached to the continuous loop cord and installed into the wall. If not attached, consumers should attach the tension device securely to the wall. If they no longer have the tension device, consumers should immediately stop using the roller shades and contact WCSC to receive a free replacement tension device.
Smith+Noble can be reached toll-free at (877) 228-7683 between 6:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Pacific Time, Monday through Friday and between 7:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Pacific Time, Saturday and Sunday, or at the firm’s website at www.smithandnoble.com/productrecallinformation
The CPSC is also asking consumers to examine all shades and blinds in their homes to ensure that there are no accessible cords on the front, side, or back of the product. CPSC recommends the use of cordless window coverings in all homes where children live or visit.
We have long been writing about the dangers and countless recalls associated with Roman Blinds and Roll-Up Shades and recently wrote that the CPSC, Health Canada (HC), and the European Commissionâ€™s Directorate General for Health and Consumers (DG SANCO) joined together to call for strong and comprehensive international safety standards on window coverings from manufacturers and standards organizations.
Corded window coverings cause strangulation deaths and significant injuries in children worldwide. In the United States, CPSC staff is aware of 120 fatalities and 113 non-fatal incidents related to corded window coverings since 1999. Health Canada has received reports of 28 strangulation deaths and 23 near-strangulations linked to corded window coverings since 1986. In seven Member States of Europe, 90 children were reported to have visited hospital emergency departments for injuries caused by corded window coverings in 2002. More recently, at least six children in Europe have died from corded window coverings since 2008. Since December 2009, CPSC has recalled tens of millions of corded Roman shades and roll-up blinds sold by a variety of manufacturers and retailers.