We all know that kids will be kids. It’s natural for children to explore and experiment as they grow, develop and learn. As a parent, protecting your children from harm is your greatest responsibility but it can also be your greatest challenge. While it’s impossible to protect your children 24/7, there are some risks you can minimise.
Each year in Australia, an increasing number of children are admitted to hospital after falling from windows. Sadly, these falls most often occur in the home and can result in serious injury or death. According to NSW Health, children aged from one to five years are most at risk as they are inquisitive but don’t always understand the dangerous consequences of their actions. And most falls occur during the warmer months as windows are left open during the day and night more frequently.
To help prevent these accidents, the National Construction Code (NCC) specifies various requirements for certain openable windows to limit the risk of a person – specifically a young child falling through an opened window.
What are the National Construction Code requirements?
New Residential Buildings
From the 1st May 2013, The Australian Building Code states that any openable windows with a fall of two metres or more to the surface below, require protection to prevent children falling through them.
If your window or opening is 1.7m or more above floor level, you won’t require additional protection.
Older Residential Buildings
While there are currently no laws that require windows in older buildings to meet new residential building standards, you should consider following these standards to keep your children safe.
What does this mean for you?
As a property owner of a new residential building in Australia, where a child could fall through an openable window located more than two metres above a surface below, a barrier or balustrade must be constructed to prevent the risk of injury.
According to the Australian Business Code, children can fall out of a window which is open more than 12.5cm. So this is the standard that needs to be followed to prevent risk.
What are the requirements?
According to the Australian Building Codes Board the window must be fitted with either:
- A device to restrict the window opening; or
- A suitable screen that will not permit a 125 mm diameter sphere (this represents the size of a young child’s head) from passing through.
- If a screen is used, it must also be able to withstand an outward horizontal force of 250 N.
How Crimsafe Window Security Screens Help
The easiest way to prevent falls is to lock up your windows and throw away the key. But if you want to take advantage of the breeze and get some fresh air into your home, you can install security screens that meet ABCB’s standards. That’s when Crismafe steps in.
Crimsafe Window Screens meet these requirements and can be customised for any style or size of window giving you the bonus of security against intruders without compromising on design. Have a look at our full range of window applications here.
Crimsafe ranges Regular, Ultimate and iQ are suitable for fall prevention.*
*Crimsafe Classic is yet to be tested
Crimsafe Security Windows Meeting Safety Requirements
Crimsafe commissioned a test laboratory to conduct a test using the proper procedure outlined by the ICP005 Australian Window Association Industry Code of Practice – Protection of Openable Windows.
The test setup simulated a face fixed aluminium window installation of a Crimsafe fixed window screen – the screen easily passed the force requirement of 250N (25kg) with no gaps present.
The force was increased to an incredible 1000N (100kg) – four times the amount required by the NCC – and again no gaps were present.
What if I am renting?
If you live in a rented property, be sure to seek written consent from your landlord before making any modifications or adding any fixtures to the window. The good news is that by law, landlords cannot unreasonably refuse your application to make minor changes, such as installing window safety devices or other security features.
What else can I do to protect my children?
To prevent children falling from windows it is recommended that where possible, you:
- Do not open windows – especially bedroom windows – more than 12.5cm when located above the ground floor.
- Have window latches/locks fitted to stop windows opening more than 12.5cm or guards to protect the opening (see Kids Don’t Fly Window Safety Product Guide).
- Keep beds and other furniture away from windows, so that children cannot leverage them to access windows.
- Do not rely on flyscreens to prevent a child falling out of a window.
- Teach your children to play away from windows.
- Always supervise your children.