Are your Windows Safe?
If you are an owner in a strata property, are you aware that owners and owners corporations have an obligation to have window complying safety devices installed on all applicable windows by 13 March 2018.
Windows affected are those that are openable under 1.7 metres from the internal surface and more than 2 metres above the external surface.
Fair Trading NSW has advised that Owners Corporations may face fines if the installation of window safety devices is not done by 13 March 2018 to any openable windows to which the legislation applies.
The requirements of the window safety devices are set out in the legislation however briefly they can be summarised in that they must limit the opening of the window to less than 12.5cm.
There are other alternatives such as bars and security screens (that can withstand a force of 250 newtons). The screens and bars may be unlockable however if they are unlockable they must have ‘child resistant’ unlocking devices for safety. If you are considering security bars there is additional access requirements and restrictions that must be complied with. nb Fly screens are not a complying device.
Although Owners Corporations are not required to monitor or enforce the use of window safety devices by residents, they must ensure that they are installed by the 13 March 2018 deadline.
Once the complying window devices are installed, residents may still open their own windows if they wish to do so however it is strongly recommended that any window devices are active and operational to limit the opening at all times and in particular when children are present to prevent children falling out windows. Fair Trading figures state that some 50 children a year fall from windows or balconies causing serious and at times fatal injuries.
The owners corporation should ensure that the complying window devices are operational and in use on all common property.
If you have any questions in relation to the above, please contact our Team of Lawyers at The Quinn Group on (02) 9223 9166 or submit an online enquiry form today.