Impress

Safe window coverings are a ‘smart’ choice

Tracey and John MCGinnis own Comox-based Blinds & Bubbles Boutique, an exclusive Hunter Douglas Gallery retailer.  - PETER DIESPECKER
Tracey and John MCGinnis own Comox-based Blinds & Bubbles Boutique, an exclusive Hunter Douglas Gallery retailer.
— image credit: PETER DIESPECKER

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A household feature as commonplace as a window covering may warrant a second look.

The cord on a window blind can be a strangulation hazard for young children and pets. While incidents are rare, Parents for Window Blind Safety states from 1996 to 2012 about 1,600 children were treated for near-strangulation by window cord entanglement in American emergency rooms. Curious toddlers can maneuver their heads through a looped cord, wrap a cord around their neck, and pull the inner cords out of a window covering.

Tracey McGinnis recommends cordless or inaccessible-cord alternatives. And if there is anyone who’s an expert on window coverings, it’s Tracey. Tracey grew up in the blinds business – as a high school student she worked at one of the dozen Slat Blinds locations her family operated in Ontario.

Today, she and her husband John own Comox-based Blinds & Bubbles Boutique, an exclusive Hunter Douglas Gallery retailer.

Hunter Douglas offers a multitude of cordless and inaccessible-cord window treatment options designed with child safety in mind. Increasingly popular are shades that can be controlled remotely, completely eliminating the need for cords. And as remote cordless products have become more popular, they’ve become more affordable, Tracey says.

Customers can operate their window treatments with a remote control – or they can do it on their smartphone. Homeowners now have the option of programming their child-safe, cordless blinds to adjust automatically on a customized schedule through the Hunter Douglas PowerView Motorization system.

By using the PowerView app on their phone or tablet, customers can choose the position of their shades throughout the day depending on the desired light and privacy. The system can also be integrated with the Nest smart home thermostat, which can sense when no one is home, to optimize energy conservation.

Even without PowerView, the right window treatment can help homeowners save on energy costs. Tracey says one of their top-selling styles is the remote-controlled top-down, bottom-up honeycomb Duette shade. Hunter Douglas created the honeycomb shade in the 1980s in response to rising energy concerns and has since updated the design.

Window treatments that provide insulation, such as the honeycomb, help prevent the transfer of heat from inside the home through the glass (in addition, ensure your windows are properly caulked and weather-stripped).

Function and safety are always top of mind for Tracey, who conducts in-home consultations along with sales associate Brenda Taylor.

“We tend to come in with the idea that we want to look for the function part first. Lots [of window treatments] can look pretty, but if it doesn’t work for you it’s pointless,” she says.

Window treatment safety tips from Hunter Douglas:

  • Position cribs, beds and playpens along walls without windows and window cords
  • Keep cords out of reach of children
  • Anchor continuous cord loop window covering cords to the floor or wall
  • Eliminate dangling cords with cordless window treatments

 

 

 

 

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