Fitting Family-Friendly Safety Into Windows

by | Sep 14, 2021 | Hardware

Danny Openshaw from UAP Ltd, the specialist in safety and security hardware for windows and doors, discusses the role of the humble window restrictor in ensuring windows offer family-friendly safety

With UK temperature highs topping 320 this summer, windows up and down the country have been flung open to let fresh air in. The problem is that for many homes, and some commercial environments too, an open window is also a health hazard.

Danny Openshaw

RoSPA figures indicate that around 4,000 children aged 15 and under fall from windows every year in the UK. And yet there is no specific legal requirement to fit window restrictors to new homes – even those specifically designed for families – leaving it up to individual occupiers or landlords to retrofit them if restrictors have not been provided as part of the specification at build.

Approved Document B1 of the Building Regulations guidance does states that ‘window locks may be fitted to egress windows subject to the stay being fitted with a release catch, which may be child resistant’. While the installation of locks can be useful in preventing falls, this non-mandatory guidance only addresses locks used to secure the window shut, which still leaves occupiers without the option of keeping the window safely open for ventilation and cooling.

Meanwhile, in care home environments, the need to ventilate for cooling and infection risk purposes must be balanced with risk factors, such as wandering, disorientation and, in some cases, the determination of residents to ‘escape’. And in schools and nurseries, there are safety and safeguarding issues to consider.

Safety Guidance

RoSPA’s policy is for window restrictors to be fitted to all windows at or above first floor level. The Society also advises that window restrictors should be sufficiently secure to prevent children from removing them, but that it should be possible for adults to bypass the restrictor in case of a fire or other emergencies.

The HSE advocates the use of window restrictors too. The Executive advises that window openings should be restricted to 100 mm using window restrictors than can only be removed with the aid of a special tool or key.

It is important to note that window locks and window restrictors play different roles. While locks are there for security, window restrictors are there for safety and are most vital at first floor level and above. But which type of window restrictor should be used?

How to choose the right window restrictor

For properties where there are risk factors for either the very young or the very old, a lockable window restrictor is the most appropriate choice because this provides a robust defence against falls, while allowing ventilation and enabling windows to be opened fully if escape is required. It is important to select a window restrictor that is EN 13126-5:2011 + A1:2014 compliant, which means that the total opening of the whole length of the window aperture must be less than 89mm when in use for child safety, and 100mm for other environments. To meet this standard, multiple restrictors may need to be fitted, depending on the size of the window.

The window restrictor should be very strong – UAP’s lockable window restrictors have been machine tested to withstand pressures of 250kg, for example – but opening by an adult should be as simple as possible, with a universal key for all windows. In this way, any window restrictor in the property can be released quickly in an emergency, and lost keys can be replaced.

Push to lock models are an alternative to lockable window restrictors. This type locks securely but can be opened without a key making it easier to fully open the window in the event of an emergency.

Finally, a fixed window restrictor can be an ideal choice for environments where there will never be a need to use windows as a means of escape, such as hotels and offices.

Life Savers

As all kinds of environments continue to balance the need to open windows for ventilation with safety considerations, window restrictors offer a low cost and easy fit addition to any window, saving lives and delivering value far beyond their price.

uapcorporate.com

 

Related Posts

Hardware

Securitas Security Window Lock From VBH

Hardware specialist VBH has introduced the brand new greenteQ Securitas security window espagnolette. Securitas sits alongside the entry level greenteQ window espagnolette and popular PAS24 tested Invicta window shootbolt to provide three lock options for...

Hardware

Total Hardware Highlights Coloured Hardware Trends

Nationwide hardware supplier Total Hardware has reported that it is seeing strong demand for its Anthracite Grey and Tungsten coloured hardware. Chris Pell, General Manager at Total Hardware, commented: “Coloured profiles have been an important trend for a while...

Hardware

A New Ring Door Knocker From Coastal

  Coastal’s new DKB200 Ring Door Knocker from their BLU Hardware Range is manufactured from high-quality 316 Marine Grade Stainless Steel giving it the best corrosion resistance possible. Whether you’re fitting the DKB200 to a door on a property near the...

Hardware

A Full House With The greenteQ Suite

Hardware specialist VBH reports that more customers than ever are making the move to its greenteQ Suite of matching window and door furniture. greenteQ is VBH’s own brand of hardware and furniture and the Suite is an integral part of the range. The greenteQ Suite...

Hardware

New Additions To greenteQ Lifestyle Range

Hardware specialist VBH has added a number of new products to its Lifestyle range of products, their umbrella term for hardware solutions for patio doors. Having introduced the greenteQ Clearspan for bi-fold doors 8 years ago, VBH reports that it has enjoyed great...

Hardware, Software

Instagram Influencer Gets Smart With Kubu

Instagram influencer, Katrina @greygoosehouse, has upgraded her cherished home with a new Kubu equipped composite front door, that was manufactured and installed by Infinity Windows and Doors. With over 109k followers, @greygoosehouse has become a highly...

Hardware

Yale Patio Door Lock Supplied By Carl F Groupco

The Yale Patio Door Lock, supplied by door and window hardware distributor Carl F Groupco, is becoming increasingly popular, steadily gaining positive attention since first appearing in the range in 2019. Manufactured by door lock experts Yale, the Yale Patio Door...

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This