The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the Window Covering Safety Council and independent retailers have joined forces to raise awareness of strangulation risks presented by window covering cords and chains. October has been designated "Window Covering Safety Month" by CPSC and the industry coalition. U.S. consumers are encouraged to repair or replace window coverings purchased before 2001 and to keep all window cords and chains out of the reach of young children. Through point-of-sale signage in retail stores, advertising circulars in newspapers and other marketing means, consumers will be alerted to the availability of free repair kits and strongly urged to repair or replace older window coverings. "Window Covering Safety Month is an important national initiative. Repairing or replacing your window coverings is the first line of defense," said CPSC Chairman Hal Stratton. "Consumers should also secure cords and chains so they are out of children's reach. Cribs and furniture should be kept away from window coverings so that children can not play with them."