Don’t Take the Chance

If you have no young children and you think this is not your problem, think of others who may buy your house or rent it or come to visit.

David Croucher (creator of Uni-Q) calls it the “Casino syndrome” – after a scene from “Casino”, the film about mafia involvement in Vegas. In one scene the old Mafiosi heads have been charged for various crimes and they are discussing potential hostile witnesses, one being a union official. He’s a very good boy – loyal says one old man – and it goes round the table each agreeing; but the main man just says “But why take a chance?”

Of course the Government could take the advice of David Croucher and ban the click lock; then any strangulation problems would go away for venetian blinds. If this was a toy with a potential hazard it would be banned from sale; but literally thousands of jobs depend on this product, so that won’t happen and nor should it because the solution is so simple. For once they ignore “why take a chance?”<?span>

The Problem with Blind Cords & Strangulation Risk

Around the world, many children and babies have died as a result of being strangulated by a blind cord. Evidence can be found across the Internet, from sites such as

If 3 children between 18-20months died in 4 month period in NSW alone [Oct 2013- Jan 2014], how many more children have died around the world? Something needs to be done!

These images reveal how even a small blind cord is short to begin with (70cm), yet becomes 220cm when up!


Click the images to view full size.

Is ‘Click Lock’ the Culprit?

To explain properly, let’s go back in time to when venetian or horizontal slated blinds [1st patent was in 1740] and 50mm slats were all that was available. These were very heavy. Whatever the material used, whether wood or aluminium (and those of you with wooden venetians will know this), they were heavy. At the time, Venetians were not mass produced. As a result, they had to be hauled up by hand and tied off with a cleat to keep them up.

Years later, the automatic slat cutting machine was invented. (Quote: “I saw one at Luxaflex factory in Welshpool 35yrs ago!” – David Croucher, Uni-Q Creator) It was this technology that led to massive price reductions over the years and the mass production of 25 & 16mm slats, both in aluminium and P.V.C. [400 million of P.V.C. type imported into USA in 2001 alone]. All of them used a click lock.

Click Lock

Click Lock – a brass roller, held in with a wire, which looks like a straight bar on this picture.

Now the picture you see is a “click lock”. Here you can see the brass roller held in with a wire (which looks like a straight bar on this picture).

It was introduced only 30 or more years ago and called a ‘click lock’ because it allows venetian blinds to be raised and lowered to a desired height with a simple pull on the cords to lock or release.

Using a Cleat for Safety

The “Click Lock” is a great idea and today you can buy a P.V.C. venetian blind from Bunnings for $5. It will include all the safety labels required by law in Australia [voluntary code in USA] and has a cleat. The cleat is very important as this was the last update in regulations to be required to be supplied, and if sold as an installed product, the cleat must be installed by installer on pain of huge fines.

OK, so if the cleat is for safety, why do we still say the innocuous “click lock” device is the cause of so many child deaths and the suffering parents and relatives go through? Why do click locks pose such a threat?

As we have said venetian blinds, raised with cords, cords get much longer and longer the further you raise it. Now, if wrapped around a cleat it does not hang freely into, say a cot under the window, where baby can play with it and sometimes tragically wrapping cord around its neck.

If, however, the cleat is not properly used, the click lock is easily released – even by a child innocently playing. The blind then starts to come down and the baby is strangled. Go and feel the weight of a venetian when next in Bunnings, even a small one, and then think how little pressure applied to a baby’s neck is required to cause death. Sadly, there are millions of existing venetian blinds without a cleat installed as the law is only new. Even more sadly, because the click lock is so simple to use, most people wont use the safety cleat anyway – even if it has been installed! 

The Simple Solution

  1. The first solution – simply order your blinds without the moving brass roller. The roller is very simple to remove before the blind gets assembled. Then use the cleat which must be supplied by law to secure blind when up.
  2. The second solution – if you have existing blinds, cut through the wire holding the roller in place; then buy and install a cleat. It is not very difficult nor is it expensive.

Order Safe Blinds without Cords

Remember, all types of blinds can be made without chains or cords – just request them.