If you are planning to buy new window coverings for your home, there are some regulations soon to take effect that you may care to know about.
Faith Plett is a sales representative with Plett Custom Window Coverings in Steinbach. She says essentially Health Canada has put new rules in place against the manufacturing of corded blinds. The change takes effect on May 1st.
"There are to be no cords exposed on blinds, whether that be operation or just showing, those do not pass," explains Plett. "So everything must be cordless and no exposed cords."
According to Plett these changes were already introduced a number of years ago. However, they will now be enforced, beginning next month.
Plett is quick to point out that this change is only for the production or sale of these blinds. She notes this does not impact the corded blinds already in your home.
"If you have window coverings as of right now, it is by no sense illegal," she stresses. "In fact, if you have ordered corded blinds from us recently and you still have warranty on it, a lot of our companies are actually willing to work on these corded blinds for a certain amount of time."
Plett says the good thing about this change is that they have had time to prepare. Not only that, but she says they have been offering many different types of cord-free options for several years already, including battery operated, remote controlled or blinds with Bluetooth technology.
"It's nothing crazy for us, it's just going to be an adjustment, so it's something new to get used to," she points out.
Plett says to the best of her knowledge, Canada is the first jurisdiction that is imposing this mandate. However, she admits she would not be surprised if this eventually becomes a North American or even worldwide mandate.
Meanwhile, Steve Pellend is a window covering consultant at E.G. Penner Building Centre in Steinbach.
"It complicates the selling process," says Pellend with respect to the new regulations.
For example, he says some customers are hesitant to buy blinds containing parts that may soon have no warranty.
Pellend says because these regulations have been in the works for some time, many companies have been developing new systems as quickly as possible to ensure that there are stil options once the transition point comes. He notes there are also some cord control sytems that still exist which have been modified to meet the new standards.
However, he says losing the corded options will get rid of the entry price point.
"The very best price points of product, for the most part is going to be moving up," he says.
According to Pellend, the overwhelming response from customers is that this is just another case of over-regulation. He notes customers are saying these new policies are not necessary.
He notes in 2018, the United States made major changes to what they allowed and because they have so much buying power, it basically changed the way blinds were made worldwide. Pellend says Canada is now breaking away from every other country with their standards, which means Canada is asking multi-national companies to change the way they make products, but for Canada only.
"So quite the aggressive change when there were already very strict regulations in place that other countries are still sticking with," he adds.