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Window Blinds Manufacturers Introduce Even Safer Cordless Options

Aug 30, 2008
Manufacturers of window treatments have become increasingly concerned with reports of the dangers of dangling cords from window shades and blinds. Toddlers, with their boundless curiosity, are the most common victims but older children, newborns, and even pets are in danger.

Consumers demand safety but aren't often willing to sacrifice style, ease of operation, or cost. Designers have come up with several innovative ways to make today's window shades safer while retaining all the benefits of past window treatments.

Shorter Cords and Magic Wands
You won't find many window blinds today with the same long cords they used to have. Most window treatments use shorter cords that remain the same length as the shade is lowered or raised. The short cord stay out of the reach of exploring hands and it eliminates unsightly cord pooling. Often the cord can be tucked into the headrail, making it even safer.

Some manufacturers take this one step further. The Hunter Douglas UltraGlide system has a retracting cord; you pull the cord to raise the shade then once you release it, the cord shortens itself automatically.

Another popular innovation on vertical window blinds is to eliminate the cord entirely and replace it with a wand. You open and close the blinds by twisting the wand so no dangerous cord is needed. Hunter Douglas blinds that have this option are their M3 and Vertical Solutions lines.

One Touch Operation
One of the cleverest methods of blinds operation uses no cord or wand at all. Instead you open the blinds just as you would open a window, only much more easily. A gentle touch on the bottom rail raises or lowers the blinds. The action is smooth and the blinds stay where you put them.

The one touch operation works on top-down blinds as well.

Hunter Douglas offers their LiteRise in a variety of their productions including both faux wood and real wood blinds and honeycomb shades. Comfortex offers this feature on their Chordless Ultra honeycomb shades, and Levolor has lines of wood blinds and honeycomb shades as well.

Motorized Operation
The ultimate solution has to be remote-controlled motorized blinds that can be operated from anywhere in the room. Not only are they the very definition of luxury and convenience, this can be an essential option for hard-to-reach windows or for homeowners with limited mobility.

The Hunter Douglas PowerRise feature is available on many of their window treatments, including honeycomb shades and Roman shades. They can be installed into any home and are operated with a small infrared remote control. Additional options include an RF remote control that allows operation even if not in line-of-site, and hard-wired systems that can also be operated from a wall switch or from a home automation system.

Comfortex also offers a variety of motorized shades, including honeycomb and Roman. They offer similar options, such as RF remotes and wall switches, as well as wireless timers and sun sensors to allow automatic shade operation.
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