Photo: Unsplash/Eduard Militaru.

Are you living in, owning or managing a townhouse or unit block in New South Wales? Fair Trade NSW has announced new measures to prevent children falling from windows.

From 13 March 2018, strata schemes must have window safety devices installed on all applicable windows.

This applies to openable windows where the internal floor is more than 2 metres above the surface outside and within a child’s reach (less than 1.7 metres above the inside floor).

See the diagram below

Window safety diagram
Image: Fair Trade NSW.

The devices must:

  • Enable the maximum opening to be less than 12.5cm (a device that allows the window to be fully opened, fully closed and limited to less than 12.5cm is compliant); and
  • Be able to withstand a force of 250 newtons (equal to 25kg of force).

What’s a complying device?

Complying safety devices include devices attached to a window frame or robust bars (as long as the opening can be limited to less than 12.5cm and can withstand a force of 250 newtons). Complying devices must also be installed on applicable windows in all common access areas, such as stair landings.

If window safety devices are not installed by 13 March 2018, owners corporations may face fines. Owners corporations are not required to monitor or enforce the use of window safety devices but must ensure they are installed by the 13 March deadline.

Residents with safety devices installed can still fully open their windows if they wish to do so, but it is strongly recommended that devices be engaged whenever children are present, to prevent falls.

Read the NSW government’s Fair Trading information page about the new rules.