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

Glass & Glazing, Hardware

Juna Promises Quality And Convenience

Bohle has launched the new Juna shower door hinge, which not only promises to bring quality and class to the top end of the market, but also offers significant benefits to the installer, claims the company. Developed and designed by Bohle, the new Juna hinge for...

Hardware

UAP Ltd Launches New Firemongery Range And POS

UAP Ltd has launched a complete range of Firemongery fire door products designed to help customers select the right certified solutions in three easy steps. Firemongery is the UAP brand that specialises in fully-tested and certified ironmongery and locking products...

Hardware

Newly Expanded greenteQ Omega Letterbox Family

The greenteQ Omega letterbox range from VBH has evolved to include both a remodelled standard sized box and a completely new 56mm Slim version to suit ultra slim transoms. Both versions feature the clean, contemporary styling that is so popular on doors of all...

Hardware

Alutech Chooses Ingenious From Mila

Just a few months after hardware specialist Mila announced that it was adding the Ingenious range of multipoint door locks to its product line up, Alutech Systems has already adopted the Ingenious Duplex Professional lock as the default lock on its range of...

Hardware

AT Precision Hardware Salt Spray Tested

With over 5.3 million people living near our country’s coastline, aluminium fabricators are being rest assured that all hardware from hardware supplier AT Precision is designed to withstand the seaside climate. The Durham-based company recently had its entire...

Hardware

VBH And DG Supplyline Get Smart

VBH has teamed up servicing specialist DG Supplyline Ltd to offer a nationwide installation and service package for the greenteQ Q-Smart electronic smart handle. Q-Smart enables users to access their homes via phone app, fingerprint recognition or proximity fob and...

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This