Child Safe Windows – A Clear Cause For Review


SSKB recommends all owners corporations in NSW be proactive in installing child safe window locks

Twenty-five years ago this year, rock star Eric Clapton suffered the tragic loss of a son.

Conor Clapton, aged just four, plunged 49 storeys from an open apartment window in New York. The boy was killed instantly.

The legacy was the Grammy winning ballad Tears In Heaven and a renewed awareness of window safety around young children.

In 2013, the New South Wales Legislative Assembly passed a law that strata communities must install window safety locks on all windows above the ground floor. This law becomes mandatory on 13 March 2018.

Let’s look at the specifics:

Regulation 31 of the Strata Schemes Management Amendment (Child Window Safety Devices) Act 2013 requires the installation of a screen, lock or a window safety device which must meet all of the following:

  • Restrict the opening of a window at 12.5cm. This means that there should be a lock at 12.5cm or alternatives to locks may be screens, bars or grills that do not have a gap larger than 12.5cm. The window may open more than 12.5cm but the lock or other alternatives must be in place.
  • Resist an outward horizontal action of 250 newtons. This means screens are suitably robust. Generally, ordinary flyscreens do not meet this standard.
  • Have a child resistant release mechanism, in the case of a device that can be removed, overridden or unlocked.

The above requirements apply to windows that meet all of the following:

  • A window that can be opened.
  • A window that is less than 1.7m above the internal floor.
  • The internal floor is more than 2m above the outside ground below the window.
  • A window on common property to which access can be gained from a residence in a strata scheme or a window on any part of the building that is part of a residence.

SSKB recommends that NSW strata communities don’t wait until the requirements become mandatory but to act now to ensure children who live or who are staying in multi-storey residential apartments are safe. Your community manager can arrange a complete safety report which will make recommendations and give peace-of-mind that your community meets the requirements that helps keep children safe.

We also recommend Owners Corporations consider reflecting the new legislation in their By-Laws so as to indemnify them should a lot owner make any alterations to the windows within their lot that are not in accordance with the legislation.

Owners Corporations need to be aware that in accordance with the Part 2 Section 64A (1) Window Safety Devices – Child Safety of the Strata Schemes Management Act 1996, An owners corporation of a strata scheme to which this section applies must ensure that there are complying window safety devices for all windows of each building in the strata scheme that are windows to which this section applies.”

We encourage you to contact your SSKB Community Manager for further information.



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