New laws were introduced in New South Wales on March 13, 2018 regarding window safety in all strata buildings. So what do you need to know to make sure you comply with the new legislation?
All openable windows that are 2 metres above the outside ground and within 1.7 metres above the internal floor must be fitted with a locking device ensuring that the window opens to less than 12.5cm.
The device must be robust and childproof. Windows with these locks installed should include all common areas such as hallways and stairwells.
To comply with the law, these devices should have been implemented before March 13, 2018.
Why is it Important?
These laws are for your safety and particularly for the safety of children.
Installing a lock that prohibits the window from opening further than 12.5cm will prevent children from climbing onto the window and potentially falling out and getting seriously injured.
Can I Open My Window Fully?
Yes! A window lock that allows the window to be opened and closed fully but is also able to be locked at less than 12.5cm complies with the legislation. The safety lock should always be in use however when children are around.
When is a Safety Lock Not Required?
If a window is at 1.7 metres or higher above the internal floor, then a lock is not required. This applies regardless of whether the window is positioned 2 metres or higher off the ground outside.
Alternatives To Locks
Another option is to install security screens such as bars or grills on the window. These must have gaps less than 12.5cm to be compliant with legislation.
Hire a Tradesman
Fitting the locks yourself could lead to injury or malfunction. Hire a professional who fully understands the regulations to make sure your locks are 100% safe.
Your building professionals can access the full window safety device standards in clause 30 of the Strata Schemes Management Regulation 2016. These standards are based on the National Construction Code requirements that were introduced in 2013 which apply to all openable bedroom windows in residential buildings, hotels, motels and any windows in early childhood centres.
For further assistance interpreting the NCC requirements, your building professional should read the ‘Advisory Note: Protection of Openable Windows’ released by the Australian Building Codes Board.
Need More Information?
For more details on the new legislation, head to the NSW Fair Trading website.
If you’re concerned that your Strata Management Team isn’t keeping up with the law, contact one of our friendly professionals today for advice on how to switch providers.