Window Safety - new rules for double storey buildings
The National Construction Code (ex Building Code of Australia) was altered in May 2013 to make it compulsory for windows that are at least 1.865 metres above ground level to be fitted with either:
a) a locking mechanism that will fix the window opening width at no more than 125mm; or
b) an appropriate screen that withstands 250 Nm force per square centimetre;
and both of these devices must be capable of being unlocked or removed to facilitate cleaning of the windows.
The deadline for implementation of this new law is 1 April 2018, however, it is strongly recommended with buildings are fitted as early as possible. Recently a child in Seaforth Sydney almost fell out of an apartment block window, emphasizing the importance of this action.
The Strata and Residential Tenancies Act will be altered in due course to require owners corporations to install these safety devices on the required windows and these will form part of the new condition report for letting agents to regularly check.
Exclusively Strata has had its strata owners install window locks at double storey blocks of apartments. However, for COMMUNITY title units, the responsibility is left to the INDIVIDUAL owners. We urge these owners to implement the National Construction Code described above.
No life is worth being too stingy to fit these safety devices.