Tag Archive for: safety

Warning to parents after 31 child deaths caused by blind cords.


This harrowing video has been released showing how easily toddlers can be strangled by window blind cords, in a bid to cut the tragic number of deaths every year. At least 31 children in the UK have died as a result of blinds cords since 1999.

The message is that no parent can watch a child 24/7. New window blind safety legislation came into force in 2014. However many homes have blinds fitted before that date and older blinds need to be checked.

Dr Michael McBride, Chief Medical Officer for Northern Ireland, said: “The video aims to highlight the dangers of looped blind cords and look at ways in which blind cord injuries and deaths can be reduced.”


  • If they have a looped control chain or cord and do not have a safety device fitted, then you can easily install one of the many devices available.
  • Ensure that all operating blind cords and chains cannot be reached by children.
  • Move cots, beds and any furniture away from windows and blinds – remember children love to climb.
  • When buying a new blind, always look for one that does not contain cords, has concealed cords or has an in-built safety device and that complies with the new European Standards.

Dr McBride continued: “New blinds are covered by improved European safety legislation that came into force in 2014. However many homes have blinds fitted before this, so it is important to check them all.”

Mary Black, assistant director of health and social well-being improvement with the PHA, said: “It is impossible to watch over our children 24 hours a day, so it is essential that we take time to make the home environment as safe as possible.

“As the video highlights, it can take as little as seconds for a toddler to lose their life after becoming entangled in a window blind cord or chain.

“Simple steps – such as securing cords and chains with safety devices and keeping furniture away from windows so that children cannot climb on them – can help prevent deaths.

“It is important that parents, relatives and carers check their homes and proactively take steps to make sure that children are kept safe.

“Don’t leave it until it is too late – taking simple steps to make our homes safer for children is the best way to help prevent accidents.”
Read more at http://www.devonlive.com/warning-to-parents-about-window-bl-ind-cords/story-30185977-detail/story.html#FqkCLtMV2Ib4q5kV.99

Attraction after son’s blind twine demise

The parents of a toddler who died in a window blind cord accident have made an emotional bid to raise awareness of the dangers that blinds pose to children.

Feliciano and Maria Saba’s two-year-old son, Bryan, died 11 weeks ago after he became tangled in a looped cord at their home in Portadown, County Armagh.

Mrs Saba described the looped cords as a “silent killer” and called for a new, safer system to be introduced.

The couple have taken part in a safety campaign by the Southern Health Trust.

In an interview filmed for the trust, the couple described Bryan as a lively and loveable child who loved being outdoors.

Mrs and Mrs Saba are originally from Guinea-Bissau in west Africa but left their homeland to study and work in Italy, where they got married.

They and their seven children left Italy and moved to Northern Ireland only a short time before the tragedy.


In September, Bryan was being looked after by his adult sister and brother in their Portadown home, while the rest of the family were at work and at school.

The child had just been fed, and his sister left him to play in their living room while she walked a few steps into the kitchen to wash the dishes.

Mrs Saba said Bryan had only been left alone for a few moments but after noticing that the child was not making any noise in the next room, his sister went to check on him and found him caught up in the blind cord.

“She took him down and put him on the floor. She called out for her brother who was upstairs, he came down. Being in a country a short time, they couldn’t speak English,” Mrs Saba said.

“My daughter ran to my sister’s shop 100 metres [109 yards] away to call her and get her to call an ambulance to help him.”

Despite their attempts to save him, Bryan died on 25 September.

The grieving family has shared their story as a warning to others, as part of the trust’s campaign to reduce window blind cord accidents.

‘Death trap’

“Children like playing with things, blind cords have little pearl balls that attract the attention of toddlers,” Mrs Saba said.

“We need to have at least some form of safety device on the cord, we need to make them secure. We don’t want to see another child like Bryan die.”

Mr Saba said: “For us, the living room was the safest room in the house. We never thought that the living room would be a death trap because it had practically nothing in it. It only had a television, a sofa, a small table, that was all.”

The couple’s recorded interview was shown at a recent safety workshop in Craigavon, County Armagh, organised by the trust’s accident prevention officer, Nina Daly.

‘Lasting legacy’

“Many people still remain unaware of the danger that looped cords present to babies and young children,” Ms Daly said.

“If a child’s neck gets entangled in a cord even for a few seconds they can be left permanently brain damaged or die. It really does happen that quickly, without warning and with the child often not able to cry out for help.”

She praised the Saba family’s “courage and determination to warn others of this danger” and said the video will be “a lasting legacy to their son and form part of the trust’s ongoing efforts to address blind cord accidents”.

Gahanna girl dies after becoming entangled in window-blind cord



Services will be held on Wednesday for a 3-year-old Gahanna girl who died after she accidentally became entangled in a window-blind cord last week.

Roselynn “Rosie” Mae Hanna died on Saturday at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, where she had been hospitalized for four days. Gahanna police and Mifflin Township Fire paramedics had gone to the girl’s home, in the 300 block of Broken Arrow Drive, shortly after noon on April 12.

Whitney Hanna, the girl’s mother, frantically called 911 to say her daughter was not breathing. Police found the girl by a couch and a nearby window that had a blind with a standard cord. The girl had a visible ligature mark around her neck, police said.

The mother told police that she had been tending to her 2-year-old son in another room for about five minutes when she came into the family room and found Roselynn tangled in the cord. She called 911 and administered CPR until police and fire arrived.

The death highlights a nationwide problem, said Linda Kaiser of Parents for Window Blind Safety. According to the group’s website, there have been nearly 600 strangulations of children who were tangled in window-blind cords over the past 30 years. She started the organization after losing her 1-year-old daughter that way almost 14 years ago.

“This is a product issue, it’s not a supervisory issue,” Kaiser said.

But she said that parents of small children should be aware of the potential dangers. And though there are advances in safety, such as breakaway devices, she said that children are still getting injured or dying because of the cords that remain on some blinds in homes.

“The problem is it’s a hazard in plain sight that parents don’t think about or they trust in the safety device to keep their kids safe,” Kaiser said.

The better option for blinds are cordless ones. Some companies, including IKEA, Target and SelectBlinds.com have voluntarily stopped selling blinds with cords, she said.

Services for Rosie will be at 10 a.m. today at Schoedinger Northeast Funeral Home. Her uncle has started a GoFundMe page to help the family with funeral and medical expenses. More than $21,000 had been raised by late Tuesday.

In addition to her mother and younger brother, Rosie is survived by her father and an older brother and sister.

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Sixteen-month-old girl died in ‘freak accident’ after getting tangled in cord of her grandparents’ window blinds

  • 16-month-old girl Bronwyn Taylor got tangled in a cord of window blinds
  • She had been playing in the conservatory of her grandparents’ house
  • It is understood Bronwyn had been left alone for just a matter of moments 
  • Her parents Matthew and Cathy Taylor were out at the theatre at the time 
  • They urged other families to install safety devices to all curtain cords 

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3526089/Sixteen-month-old-girl-died-freak-accident-getting-tangled-cord-grandparents-window-blinds.html#ixzz457xJbRZu
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32E430C400000578-0-image-a-2_1459935659008A 16-month-old girl died in a ‘freak accident’ after getting tangled in a cord of her grandparents’ window blinds.

Bronwyn Taylor was found unconscious tangled in the cord on Saturday.

The little girl was taken to hospital but never recovered.

She had been at her grandparents’ as her parents Matthew, 40, and Cathy, 42, had gone to the theatre to watch Chitty Chitty Bang Bang with their two other sons.

Her devastated parents, who lost a baby girl Megan in 2013 who was stillborn, have now paid tribute to their ‘little star’ and urged other parents to safety-proof their homes following the tragic accident.

Since 1999, 28 children in the UK have died after becoming tangled in blind cords.

In 2014, new European standards were introduced following a campaign by a mother whose baby daughter died after an accident involving a blind.

The standards make it a requirement that new blinds must be safe or supplied with appropriate child safety devices.

But the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) estimates there are still as many as 200 million existing blinds across the UK that may not comply with the new standards.

Bronwyn’s mother, Cathy Taylor, said: ‘This accident shouldn’t have happened and the blinds shouldn’t have been there. Everybody with small children needs to check and make sure they have safety blinds.

‘Bronwyn’s grandparents absolutely adored her. She was only left alone for a few seconds. It’s just absolutely tragic.’

16-month-old girl Bronwyn Taylor died in a ‘freak accident’ after becoming entangled in the metal cord of her grandparents’ window blinds

Mr Taylor, who runs a heating engineering firm in Basford, Staffordshire, said: ‘Our whole world has been blown apart. Parents should never have to bury their child.

‘My mum and dad have been blaming themselves but we don’t blame them. It was a freak accident. We are all devastated.

‘She was adored by everyone. So many people would come over to her wherever we were and say hello. Bronwyn was a little star.’


Matthew Taylor said his family had been ripped apart by the tragedy (pictured from left to right: Bronwyn, Owen, 10, Boden, 16, Dylan, 10)










It is understood Bronwyn had been left alone for just a matter of moments when the tragedy occurred











32E7BEE700000578-3526089-image-a-17_1459956013556 Father Matthew, Dylan, Cathy, Owen and Boden pictured today following Saturday’s tragic accident








Matthew and Cathy had taken their other two sons, Dylan, 10, and Owen, 10, who are from different relationships, to the theatre on the day of the accident.

It meant Bronwyn was at the home of her grandparents, Shirley and Barry Taylor, and was being cared for by her grandmother the time of the accident.

Mrs Taylor, 66, is also a registered carer for Bronwyn’s brother Boden, 16, who has cerebral palsy.

She only left the toddler for a matter of seconds when the tragedy occurred.

Bronwyn’s grandmother found the little girl already in cardiac arrest. Paramedics were called to the couple’s home, in Fegg Hayes, Stoke-on-Trent at around 3.30pm.

But Bronwyn never regained consciousness and was pronounced dead at the Royal Stoke University Hospital.

Her grandfather, 79, collapsed in shock after the incident and remains in hospital where there are concerns for his physical and mental health.

Bronwyn’s mother, from Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffs, said: ‘Fate was against her. A lot of older grandchildren are usually there in the room but none of the grandchildren were around that day.

‘She blames herself but she shouldn’t at all. We want to raise awareness of the dangers of blinds and their cords when you have small children. We want people to be aware her death was not in vain.’

Mr Taylor added: ‘My dad, who is 80 next month, went upstairs for a nap and my mum had the kids downstairs.

‘Bronwyn had been playing on the slide in the garden and went into the conservatory to play with a little toy hoover.

‘We don’t know exactly what happened but somehow she got the blinds, which were on a shelf above the floor, wrapped around her neck.

‘Either the blind cord came down or Bronwyn reached up and knocked it down, we just don’t know.

‘My mum was probably looking after Boden and had her back turned for a matter of minutes. It was an accident but we are so keen to warn other people of the dangers.

‘If anything can come out of this it must be to warn other people to put safety catches on their blinds.

‘We just want something to come from this. We can’t let what happened to be in vain.

‘Life is so precious and people must make sure their surroundings are safe as best they can.

‘But it is not just about blinds, it could happen with anything. People must make sure everything is child-proof as much as they can.

‘If they have old blinds they must double check the cords are tied away or replace them with safety blinds.’



The new rules relating to blind cords were introduced following a spate of deaths of young children. They state that blinds have a snap-mechanism when more than 4kg is applied.

According to RoSPA, in the UK between 1999 and 2013 there were 28 deaths linked to blind cords, with 15 of those since 2010 alone.

But the charity believes there may have also been many more ‘near misses’.

Children under the age of five are said to be most at risk from blind cords. It is estimated that it can take as little as 18 seconds for a toddler to lose their life after becoming entangled in a window blind cord or chain.

In 2013, Sophia Parslow died aged 17 months after accidentally hanging herself on the blind cord in her family’s living room.

Following her death, her devastated mother Amanda O’Halloran, from Gloucestershire, started a campaign for the design of blinds to be outlawed to prevent a similar fate befalling other children and launched Sophia’s Cause.

In February last year, 13-month-old Johnny Doran died after an accident involving a blind cord. He was found suspended above the ground next to the window by his father Martin, 35, when he walked into the room.

Mr Doran tried to resuscitate his son before ambulance crews arrived and took him to Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital. But the toddler never regained consciousness.

Last November, a boy of three accidentally strangled himself with a Venetian blind cord while playing at his home. Haseeb Javaid was found hanging by mum Saima Bi, 29. She took him into the street and screamed for help.

But despite the efforts of passers-by and paramedics in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, he died three days later as a result of a brain injury.

RoSPA recommends that parents install blinds which do not have a cord, particularly in a child’s bedroom and that a child’s cot, bed, playpen or highchair are not near a window.

Pull cords on curtains and blinds should be kept short and out of reach of children, the charity advises.

Last year, Swedish furniture giant Ikea said it would no longer sell window blinds with cords. In February, Homebase recalled ‘dangerous’ bamboo blinds over fears children could strangle themselves on them.

32E51B4700000578-3526089-image-a-34_1459937297676Following the tragedy, Mrs Taylor said: ‘Our world has been blown apart and will never be the same again’











Bronwyn’s devastated parents hope her death will serve as a warning to others to put safety catches on their blinds and have urged people to make everything in their house as ‘child-proof’ as they can







Matthew and Cathy were informed of the horrific news when police officers met them at the theatre on Saturday afternoon.

Mrs Taylor said: ‘The light in the middle of our family has gone out. Bronwyn was so precious and had her whole life ahead of her.

‘She was a perfectly healthy and beautiful little girl and her life has been taken away from her.

‘I was looking forward to watching all the Disney films with her, dress her up like a princess and do her hair. That’s gone because of a stupid little accident.’

Staffordshire Police are preparing a report into Bronwyn’s death.

A West Midlands Ambulance Service spokesman said: ‘Our crews found a baby girl in cardiac arrest.

‘Sadly, despite the best efforts of ambulance staff, doctors and hospital medics nothing could be done to save the girl and she was confirmed dead at hospital.’

Bronwyn had recently started at Southlands Nursery in Newcastle-under-Lyme.

A spokesman said: ‘Bronwyn was like a breath of fresh air. She was a beautiful little girl who responded positively to everyone in our nursery.

‘She was one of the easiest children we have integrated into our nursery due to her lovely, easy-going temperament. Although she was with us for such a short time, our memories of her will remain with us forever.’

32E4E5C000000578-3526089-image-m-25_1459935968156Paramedics found the tot in cardiac arrest after being called to the house in Stoke-on-Trent on Saturday








Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3526089/Sixteen-month-old-girl-died-freak-accident-getting-tangled-cord-grandparents-window-blinds.html#ixzz4581ED0my
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Homebase recall blind after child safety fears

One of the blinds being recalled by Homebase.


Homebase customers have been warned of a potential safety issue on a model of Bamboo Roll Up Blinds.

The company have stressed that there have been no incidents reported, but the pull cord breakaways on the blinds are too strongly locked, which could pose a risk of strangulation to young children as the force required to break the safety device may be too great.

As a precautionary measure, Homebase advise customers to call for a free replacement breakaway device and instructions if they have a product purchased after June 1 2014.

Alternatively customers can return the blind to their nearest Homebase store for a full refund – no proof of purchase is necessary.

A Homebase spokesperson said: “The safety of products sold through Homebase is of paramount importance to us and we are working closely with Trading Standards.

“We are offering customers a replacement breakaway device with instructions on how to fit the device correctly, which should only take a few minutes. Customers have also been advised to stop using the blind or ensure that children are kept clear of the blind until they have fitted the replacement device.

“Replacement breakaway devices can be ordered free of charge by visiting our Spares Website (http://clickspares.co.uk/blind), where instructions on how to fit the new device are available to download.

“Homebase Customer Service Teams will also be happy to assist with any additional queries.”

Homebase UK Customers – 0345 077 8888

Homebase Republic of Ireland Customers – 0044 345 077 8888

* The blinds affected are: Homebase Article Number Description

273756 HB Brown Bamboo Roll Up Blind 60cm

273757 HB Brown Bamboo Roll Up Blind 90cm

273759 HB Brown Bamboo Roll Up Blind 120cm

273760 HB Brown Bamboo Roll Up Blind 180cm

273762 HB Natural Bamboo Roll Up Blind 60cm

273763 HB Natural Bamboo Roll Up Blind 90cm

273764 HB Natural Bamboo Roll Up Blind 120cm

273765 HB Natural Bamboo Roll Up Blind 180cm

Read more: http://www.sunderlandecho.com/news/trending/homebase-recall-blind-after-child-safety-fears-1-7736298#ixzz40YbrwPQr

Sunderland blind firm joins safety campaign after death of Sophie Allen

homefair blinds

A COMPANY is joining calls to raise awareness of potentially deadly blind cords after a toddler was tragically killed.

Steve Ellithorn, whose Sunderland-based blinds company did not supply those which strangled little Sophie Allen, wants to raise awareness of how blinds can be made safe.

The firm’s showroom in Fawcett Street hands out information leaflets to potential customers and also provide safety devices for making older blinds more child-friendly.

But there are still millions of potentially deadly blinds in family homes across the country.

Sophie’s devastated parents, Peter Allen and Danielle Hudson, have joined the Echo with our campaign For Sophie’s Sake, to raise awareness of the dangers of blind cords.

They watched in agony as medics at Sunderland Royal Hospital and the Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle, battled to save Sophie in April.

Tragically, all efforts failed and Sophie’s life support was switched off in the early hours of April 26 after scans showed there was no activity in the toddler’s brain.

Homefair Blinds refuses to fit blinds unless they comply with new safety regulations, which came into force in February, and is offering free advice to anyone with concerns.

Steve, a 44-year-old father of two, said: “When I read about Sophie, I felt sick. It’s just the normal human reaction. I have children aged seven and nine.”

He added that new measures had been welcomed by the industry, but some customers still object to their blinds being fitted with safety devices.

He said: “People say, ‘I haven’t got any kids’, but if you buy a car, you can’t say you don’t want seatbelts because I’m not going to hit anything.

“What happens when you sell the car to someone else? If you move, your blinds are still in the house.

“People think it isn’t going to happen to them. We thought people would be more resistent when the legislation came in, but thankfully they were in the minority.”

At the two-year-old’s inquest earlier this month, the city’s senior coroner Derek Winter heard that 28 children in the UK have been strangled by looped cords since 1999 – 15 in the last four years.

Sophie’s parents said: “Too many children die because of blind cords. They have been banned in America and other countries.

“The reason being, children still have accidents with blind cords when safety devices are fitted.

“Devices have failed in the past – cord breakers have not snapped and clips on the walls have been able to be pulled off.

“Basically, these safety devices still don’t prevent blind cord accidents.’’

They added: “Our campaign is to make people aware and make them safe for the millions of people that already have blinds fitted in their homes.’’



‘Inquisitive’ two-year-old girl strangled to death by blind cord after it wrapped around her neck as she looked out of the window.

  • Sophie Allen, 2, was found hanging from a cord in her bedroom

  • Inquest hears cord wrapped around her neck while she looked out of bedroom window

  • Coroner Derek Winter demands more to be done to prevent future deaths

  • Says millions of families could have deadly blind cords in their homes

A coroner has demanded the government do more to improve the safety of blind cords warning millions of homes could still have deadly blinds after a two-year-old girl was strangled to death.

Sophie Allen suffered brain damage after she was found hanging from the blind cord in her bedroom at her home in Sunderland.

At an inquest into her death, it was heard that the inquisitive toddler, who was playing with her brother, is thought to have climbed on to a storage box to look at her pet rabbits out of the window.

Two-year-old Sophie Allen from Sunderland, who died after she became entangled in a blind cord in her bedroom 


Sophie was found in this bedroom at the family’s home in Sunderland after looking out of the window to see her pet rabbits

But the box tipped over and Sophie got her head caught in the noose of the cord and when she slipped, it cut her air supply off.

She was rushed to hospital but despite doctors’ best efforts scans showed there was no activity in the toddler’s brain and her life support machine was switched off.

Now coroner Derek Winter has urged the Government to do more to prevent future deaths.

New safety regulations governing the manufacture of blind cords came into force in February.

But Mr Winter said this would mean there are still millions of potentially deadly blinds in family homes.

He added he plans to use his powers to write to the Government to see if more can be done to prevent future deaths.

Recording a conclusion of accidental death, he explained: ‘I will ask that they reply within 56 days as to what additional measures can be taken to highlight public awareness, so those people who have existing blinds fitted can take immediate action to take away the risk of those blinds, and the regulations that are in place from February are brought to everyone’s attention and the number of deaths from blind cords can be eliminated or almost certainly reduced.


Sophie, pictured with her brother Jayden, right, who she shared a bedroom with, and her baby sister Amelia


At the inquest in Sunderland it was heard that Sophie lived with her parents Peter Allen and Danielle Hudson, along with her siblings Amelia and Jayden, with whom she shared a bedroom.

The hearing was told that Sophie, who would have been three in December, was ‘a very inquisitive child’, and enjoyed looking out of her bedroom window to keep an eye on her pet rabbits.



In February, new safety regulations came into effect covering cords on most types of blinds.

The new rules means that blinds must be ‘safe by design’ and supplied with an appropriate child safety device.

These devices break the cord or chain under pressure or provide the facility to store the cord out of reach.


Detective Inspector Shelly Hudson, from Northumbria Police, said at about 8.30am on April 20, Sophie’s parents heard the two children playing in their bedroom.

Her mother got up to go to the toilet and saw Sophie’s brother was standing on his bed and a storage unit in the bedroom had tipped over.


DI Hudson said: “Sophie’s sibling told his mam that Sophie was stuck, but because she was an inquisitive little girl, she assumed she was hiding.


‘She went quickly to the toilet and went back to the bedroom and as she opened the child gate, she noticed her brother was looking concerned and standing on his bed.

‘She asked him again where she was and he pointed at the storage unit next to the window.


‘She noticed a shadow behind the curtain, moved the curtain to one side and realised Sophie had the blind cord around her neck.’

The frantic mother freed the unconscious toddler and carried her downstairs where they parents tried to perform CPR.


When it did not work they went to a neighbour’s house to call an ambulance as Miss Hudson could not get through on her phone.


At an inquest, Sophie was described as an ‘inquisitive’ child who liked to look out of her bedroom window to keep an eye on her pet rabbits 


The two-year-old was treated at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle, pictured, after being transferred from Sunderland Royal Hospital but doctors were unable to save her

Sophie was rushed to Sunderland Royal Hospital before being transferred to a specialist children’s unit at the Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle.


But despite efforts of medics, her life support machine was switched off in the early hours of April 26.


DI Hudson said that 28 children in the UK have been strangled by looped cords since 1999, with 15 of the deaths in the last four years.


The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accident (RoSPA) estimates there are more than 200 hundred million unsafe blind cords in the UK.


The charity has handed out more than 50,000 free ‘cleats’, which tie up blind cords, as part of an ongoing safety campaign.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2651357/Coroner-demands-action-inquisitive-two-year-old-girl-strangled-death-blind-cord.html#ixzz342LpkzHo
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Remodeling 101: Simple Roller Blinds by Christine Chang Hanway




My living accommodations in architecture school came with windows, but no window treatments. On a student budget, I did nothing, a solution which suited me just fine—the purist in me strongly believed that windows should be allowed to do their job of letting light in unfettered by the messiness of curtains or the clutter of Venetian blinds. And then one day a friend pointed out that while I may be comfortable exposing myself for the sake of architecture, those with a view into my room at night might not feel the same way. The owner of the local hardware store suggested roller blinds. I installed them myself—my first DIY—and have been committed to their simple effectiveness ever since. Read on to see why roller blinds have been my one and only window treatment everywhere I’ve lived.

What is a roller blind?

A roller blind is comprised of a rectangular swath of material (it can vary from  attached to an aluminum tube and mounted between two brackets. A chain pulley system or a spring mechanism rolls the fabric up or down, depending on where you want it. Automated roller blinds are available, but in my opinion automation seems to unnecessarily complicate things. That said, hanging cords and loops present a bonafide hazard in house’s with young kids; read the New York Times’ report on the subject before selecting the right model for you.

Ikea Enje Roller Blind | Remodelista

Above: The Ikea Enje Roller Blind filters light and reduces glare on computers and televisions; it’s available in a variety of sizes. The Enje Roller Blind UK comes with a pulley cord and is priced at £14 to £22, while the Enje Roller Blind US comes cordless for increased child safety, $17.99 to $34.99.

Why are roller blinds my favorite window treatment?

I like the dimensions of my windows to be fully exposed, and in their open position, roller blinds disappear in a way that curtains, shutters, Venetian blinds, and Roman shades never do. And when I have to lower them, roller blinds have a visual consistency that allows them to become part of the architecture as opposed to an added layer of decoration (though, conversely, curtains can add a grandeur that shades lack. They can also keep out drafts).

Sheer roller Blinds in white living room | Remodelista

Above: Simple roller blinds in a white setting become part of the architecture of a room. In a room with a series of same-sized windows, roller blinds lined up at the same height appeal to those of us who appreciate precision. Image via DBA Blinds.

How much light can roller blinds let in or block out?

Whatever your reasons for needing window shades, there are many fabric options from sheer to opaque to give you the degree of control you’re after. In our house in London, we wanted two extremes: we are inclined to let in as much light in as possible during the day, and yet when we sleep, we want to be able to black out all early morning light. We needed blinds on all our windows because on the street front we have a privacy issue and throughout there’s computer glare. For visual consistency, we chose the same sheer fabric for all our windows, and our solution in the bedrooms was to install a double roller blind with sheer fabric on one roller and a blackout shade on the other.

Double roller blinds | Remodelista

Above: Three double roller blinds are used to cover a wall of windows. During the day, the sheer blinds filter and diffuse the light coming in, while the blackout blinds keep the room dark at night. Image via Ati Shutters and Blinds.

Double roller blind hardware | Remodelista

Above: On a double roller blind, two rollers can accommodate two different fabrics, so you can have sheer and blackout options. Image via Sunlight.

What type of settings do roller blinds work well in?

In their simplicity, roller blinds have a neutral appearance and go with all styles of decor, from traditional to contemporary. They can be mounted a number of ways: in between the window frames (but beware that some light may leak in from the sides), in front of the window frames, or even from the ceiling. The mounting options, of course, depend on your existing conditions. When roller blinds are mounted between the frames, the windows stand out; if they’re mounted in front of the window frames, they typically mask the frames, and a ceiling mount can make a room feel taller.

Sheer roller blinds in traditional window frames | Remodelista

Above: The roller blinds have been mounted to the underside of these traditional wooden window frames and the fabric, when rolled up, sits between the frames as a barely noticeable horizontal line. Image via Solid Frog.

Sheer roller blinds in white diining room, white ceiling pendants | Remodelista

Above: This modern setting has a roller blind that’s been mounted to roll down in front of the window and its frame. Image via Slijkhuis-Interieur.

Are roller blinds easy to clean?

It’s recommended that roller blinds be cleaned once a year, whereas curtains, because they harbor dust mites, require more frequent cleaning—three to four times a year depending on how prone your family is to allergies. Cleaning roller blinds is relatively straightforward and involves removing them from their brackets and rolling them out on the floor to towel them off with a mild cleaning solution. Curtains, on the other hand, need to be dismantled, washed, and pressed, or dry cleaned and then remounted. In my time-pressed schedule, maintaining roller blinds doesn’t fill me with dread the way cleaning curtains does, increasing the likelihood that it may happen.

Cleaning Venetian Blinds | Remodelista

Above: The process of cleaning each individual blade of a Venetian blind rules them out for me. Image via The Blinds Review.

How much do roller blinds cost and where can I get them?

Roller blinds come in a wide range of sizes and prices, from readymade versions you install yourself to designs that are made to measure. At Home Depot, a Bali Cut-to-Size White Light Filtering Vinyl Roller Shade costs 50 cents a square foot, while made-to-measure roller blinds from Levolor, The Shade Store, and Smith+Noble cost around $9 to $15 a square foot, depending on fabric and accessories. The Shade Store offers local certified installers who will come and measure and install at an additional cost; Margot tried this and was happy with the results. Well known brands like Levolor and Hunter Douglas can be ordered online or through window covering specialists in your area. In the Bay Area, Julie uses Burris Window Shades.

Roller Shade Recap


  • Clean look that becomes part of the architecture
  • Tend to be more cost-effective than curtains
  • Easier to clean and maintain than other window treatments


  • Roller blinds with cords present a safety hazard for households with young kids
  • Shades aren’t as effective as curtains at keeping out draughts
  • Roller blinds that are installed in between window frames allow light to seep in in the gap between the blind and the frame
  • Not as formal or elegant as curtains

For more window treatment ideas, see Five Ways to Cover 50 Windows on a Budget. And learn The Secret Ingredient to Make Windows Shine Bright Like a Diamond. Contemplating a remodel? Have a look at all of our Remodeling 101 posts.


Deva blinds join the “Make it safe” campaign

With the immanent ratification of BS EN 13120 where it will be mandatory for manufacturers and installers in the blinds industry to provide child safe blinds, Deva blinds have decided to join the “Make it Safe” campaign run by the British Blinds and Shutters Association.

Paul Pollard-Fraser, owner of Deva blinds said, “We have always taken child safety seriously when we fit blinds.  The new European legislation, BS EN 13120, is about to come become law.  By joining the “Make it safe” campaign run by the BBSA we will remain up to date with the legislation.”

“I am keen wherever possible to manufacture our blinds that do not pose a risk to young children and as such we no longer make vertical blinds with looped cords.  Our vertical blinds are now controlled by a wand, which is 100% child safe.”

“I installed a Roman blind made by one of our out sourced suppliers today.  The blind had a contentious looped cord and they had supplied a “P” clip that could not be attached to the cord.  As much use as a chocolate tea pot!.  The whole industry needs to get very serious about child safety.”



Make it safe



Paul Pollard-Fraser – Deva Blinds Ltd  devablinds.co.uk 

Deva blinds will no longer manufacture corded vertical blinds.

Vertical blind - Wand control


With the soon to be implemented introduction of European law EN13120 about the safety of blinds for young children, Deva blinds Ltd have taken a step to greatly increase the safety of their blinds.

Paul Pollard-Fraser, owner of Deva blinds said “The new law will hopefully reduce the risk for young children, but I want to eliminate the risk altogether.  We are going to stop manufacturing our vertical blinds with looped cords and only supply them with a wand operation.  This will ensure that there is no risk to young children.”

“I have been fitting blinds for many years now and most parents and grandparents are aware of the dangers of electric sockets and the stairs, but often forget about the dangers of looped blind cords.  By only manufacturing vertical blinds without looped cords we will be able to totally remove the risk to young children.”

“Deva blinds also offer perfect fit blinds that fit to the individual window without any trailing cords and also have sprung loaded blinds that remove the need for cord operations.”