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30 Minutes with Workroom Tech, Episode 82 / Changes to the Cord Safety Standard: Q & A with WCMA

Updated: 4 days ago


Workroom Tech podcast about changes to the cord safety standards

On this episode of The Sew Much More Podcast: 30 Mintues with Workroom Tech, Ceil DiGuglielmo and Susan Woodcock are joined by special guests Joe Jankoski and Ralph Vasami with the Window Covering Manufacturers Association (WCMA) to discuss updates to the Safety Standard for Operating Cords on Custom Window Coverings. This is an important topic for anyone who manufactures, sells, or installs custom window coverings.


Joe Jankoski, President WCMA



Joe Jankoski, President, WCMA




Ralph Vasami, Executive Director, WCMA



Ralph Vasami, Executive Director, WCMA





You can listen to this episode of the podcast here:


There has been a lot of confusion about the changes to the cord safety standard due to the mandatory rule by the Consumer Products Safety Commission in May of 2022. This was followed by a legal challenge by the WCMA in November 2022. The U.S. District Court of Appeals ruled in favor of WCMA to vacate the CPSC rule in September 2023.


Key Activity Timeline

Graphic showing key activity timeline for cord safety standards

At the time of this podcast (December 23, 2023) the revised cord safety standard will go into effect on June 1, 2024.


graphic showing compliance date for cord safety standard

A copy of the safety standard is available to view on the WCMA's website here. You can purchase a copy to download for a small fee.


Important changes for custom workroom businesses is the elimination of free operating cords, cord tilts and cord stops and joiners. You will no longer be in compliance if you make shades with cordlocks or screw eyes with cord cleats, even if you use a cord shroud for the inner cords.


The good news is that you will be able to use retractable operating cords like the "Coulisse Twin Pull" and continious bead chain loops with a tension device like used to operate roller tube and track/spool clutch systems. See the graphics below to better understand the changes.


graphic comparing changes for operating systems

graphic showing changes for retractable systems

graphic showing changes for continuous cord loop systems

Whether you are designing, fabricating or installing custom window coverings, it is always best practice to choose completely cord-free styles or cordless operating systems. Exciting innovations in the window covering industry have given us many choices and we will continue to see more options in the future.


Look for more information about cord safety, systems, best practices, and fabrication methods in upcoming Workroom Tech classes, blog/podcast episodes, and presentations to industry organizations.


Resources:


Window Covering Manufacturers Association www.wcmanet.com

Window Covering Safety Council www.windowcoverings.org


Consumer Products Safety Commission www.cpsc.gov



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