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Natasha Bobic – Thursday, July 14, 2016

In order to improve safety standards and reduce the chances of children falling from windows, all strata buildings in NSW will need to be fitted with certain safety features over the next few years.

The guidelines for these changes apply to all windows above the ground floor, and stipulate that windows should include a safety device to enable the window to be lockable to not open beyond a maximum of 12.5cm when the device is engaged.

These devices will need to be of high quality, child-proof, and installed no later than 13 March 2018.

Owners will still have the ability to open their windows to their full potential, but have the option of engaging the safety devices to lock the maximum opening.

Windows featuring security screens, bars or grills are exempt from the requirements, as long as these components:
– Have no gaps bigger than 12.5cm
– Are of reinforced security-type materials
– Can withstand strong outward pressure

These rules will cover all windows which are more than 2m above ground level when measured outside, and less than 1.7m above the floor when measured inside. These are the measurements regarded as a risk for children, with any fall from over 2m capable of causing significant injury, and windows being less than 1.7m from the floor being a height which children can reach.

Important to note is that property owners can install these devices at any time, however tenants must get written permission from their landlord. Permission cannot be refused without a valid reason. For strata properties, the owners corporation will be responsible for all common properties above the ground floor, while individual residences within a strata will generally be responsible for this themselves.

For more information on installing safety devices on windows, see the video below.