Hanover Direct Recalling 523,500 Blinds After Death

Hanover Direct Inc., a Weehawken, New Jersey-based seller of housewares over the Internet, recalled 523,500 window blinds after a child was strangled by a pull-cord, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said.

The recall covers Roman shades and roll-up blinds sold by Hanover through its Domestications, Company Store and Company Kids brands. Consumers should stop using the blinds and contact the Window Covering Safety Council for a free repair kit, the agency said today in an e-mailed statement.

CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum told the window-covering industry yesterday that it needed to speed up efforts to write tougher design rules as the number of strangling deaths mount.

“A young child is likely to die this month in a window- cord incident,” Inez Tenenbaum said at an industry meeting in Bethesda, Maryland. “These tragedies are preventable.”

The CPSC orchestrated one of the agency’s largest recalls in December to remove more than 50 million Roman and roll-up blinds, covering all such products sold at retailers including Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Pottery Barn outlets owned by Williams- Sonoma Inc. and Restoration Hardware Inc.

U.S. regulators received reports of five deaths and 16 near-strangulations in Roman shades since 2006 and three deaths involving roll-up blinds since 2001, the CPSC said in December.

The fatality prompting today’s recall occurred after a 22- month-old boy in Cedar Falls, Iowa, was found in May, hanging from the neck in the pull cord of a Roman shade, the agency said. The boy was rescued by his father and died in the hospital.

Online Shade Sales

Hanover Direct sells coverings online and through catalogs, the CPSC said. The agency directed consumers to call Hanover at 1-800-453-1106. Repair kits are available from the Window Covering Safety Council at 1-800-506-4636 or through the http://www.windowcoverings.org website.

The company recalled 90,000 window coverings in October 2009, the CPSC said. That action followed a March 2008 incident in which a 2-year-old boy in Ocean View, Delaware, became entangled in a cord after climbing a toy chest to look out of a window, the CPSC said.

Swedish furniture retailer IKEA recalled 3.36 million window blinds in June in the U.S. and Canada after a child died and two others were almost strangled.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jeff Plungis in Washington at jplungis@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Larry Liebert at lliebert@bloomberg.net

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