• Safety Guide to Childproofing your Home Windows

    A shocking statistic emerged in 2011 which stated that in a week, at least one child falls from a window in Australia. It was found that these incidents often took place in their own home and sometimes had more drastic results such as the death of the child. This led to the foundation of the 'Kids Don't Fly' campaign whose main purpose was to keep kids safe near unprotected windows.

    As a parent, you would go to any measure just to keep your child safe from danger and harm. To help you keep your kids safe from falling from an unprotected window, we have come up with a safety guide to help you childproof your windows.

    Window Regulations VIC

    For child safety, legal requirements are implemented and applied to strata and new buildings in Australia.

    A screen or device could be detachable or removable only if there aren't any climbable elements below 760mm from the ground. However, it should still have a release mechanism that is child-resistant.

    In 2018, a law came into effect for all strata buildings in Australia to have a well-fitted safety device or screen to lock windows above ground level to below 12.5 cm.

    According to the National Construction Code in Australia, bedroom windows where the ground distance is more than 2 meters, should be protected by a certified fall prevention screen or the opening should be restricted to less than 12.5cm. The screen must also be equipped to withstand the pressure of 25kgs in various spots.

    How to Keep My Child Secure?

    Window bars in CarltonAs a house owner, landlord, or tenant, you could still get a security device installed. However, if you are a tenant, you should first get a written permit from the landlord allowing you to install the safety device and you should reach an agreement regarding what happens after you vacate and who would pay for it just to be thorough.

    Mentioned below are six products you could use to prevent falls by limiting the opening to 12.5cm only:

    • Safety Nets - Attach the anchorage to the framework with screws and once you are done, hook on the safety net to the anchorage. This safety device also allows you to easily unhook it and exit in case of an emergency.
    • Fixed Screen - It is certified and tested to withstand an internal pressure of up to 25 kgs in three different parts. Such a device would require a professional for accurate installation.
    • Guards - You would need to screw on the guard mounts to the frame of your window. These types of barriers help in protecting the opening. However, ensure it has a release button that can be used for quick and easy removal in times of an emergency.
    • Key-operating Locks - After you attach it to the framework with screws, you can mount it to limit the window opening to not more than 12.5cm. The device can be unlocked using the key provided in an emergency.
    • Restrictors - This device also requires screws for fixing onto the frame. In an emergency, you can use the provided key to unlock it and disengage for opening the window.
    • Wedges - You would need to fix the loop strip to your frame and then connect the wedge to the stripping. It allows you to limit the opening of your window and stop your children from opening it by wedging it shut.

    Safety nets, wedges, and key-operating locks are applicable for sliding and single and double-hung windows. Whereas, guards and restrictors are applicable on these as well as awning/hopper and casement windows too.

    Additional Tips to Prevent Falls

    Although childproofing is important and helpful, sometimes you need more than that to protect your brilliant child from making their way out.

    Here are a few tips to implement to keep your child safe and your mind at ease.

    • Always keep windows that aren't being used locked
    • Install windows that need to be opened from the top
    • Always supervise your kids around open windows
    • Keep away any light objects that can be used as stackable items for kids to climb
    • Move away from any furniture items that can be used as a ladder for children to climb up
    • Teach your kids to play far away from any open space
    • Do not assume your fly screen is strong enough to stop your kid from falling out

    How Can Kids Play Safely Around an Open Window?

    With durable and sturdy security bars and security screens, there is still hope for your kids to be able to play safely. Additionally, having these safety devices from a reputable company installed by a skilled expert would give you peace of mind knowing that your kid is safe even though they are playing around an open casement.

    Although the idea of a child playing near an open and unprotected casement brings fear to every parent due to the life-threatening danger it possesses, there is still hope! Security bars and screens are the way to go to ensure your child’s safety while playing near an open window.