Falls from height are most often associated with construction sites, scaffolding, ladders, and high-rise buildings, but also pose a significant risk to residents in care settings. In 2019, for example, a care home in Airdrie, Scotland was fined after a resident fell more than 4.5 metres from his bedroom window, resulting in multiple fractures including a broken pelvis.
Following the prosecution, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said, “Risks of falls from windows in care settings are well documented… This incident could so easily have been avoided by simply carrying out correct control measures and safe working practices.”
Residents of care homes are particularly vulnerable to falls from height, especially as those with dementia or cognitive impairment are often placed on upper floors to prevent them from leaving the building unsupervised, but may become confused about their location and/or the presence of windows. Residents on strong painkillers or other medication may also be unaware of their surroundings, so stringent safety measures are essential to prevent them from accidentally falling from height.
The Importance Of Window Restrictors In Care Homes
Window restrictors are a legal necessity in care homes and can be installed as part of your routine window and door maintenance. Constructed from a strong plastic cable that attaches to the window at one end and the frame at the other, window restrictors make it physically impossible to open the window wide enough for a person to fall through, but can be easily released by Fire and Rescue personnel in the event of an emergency.
Window restrictor regulations in care homes are easy to follow to avoid confusion and ensure that every establishment complies fully with the law, thereby making falls from height a problem of the past:
- Window restrictors for care homes must be fitted to all windows that open.
- It must be possible to open the window restrictor using a key or special device, not fingers.
- They should be tamper-proof to prevent a resident from accidentally or deliberately releasing them.
- Window restrictors must be able to resist a force in excess of 350 Newtons for at least one minute.
- The devices must be regularly checked as part of the care home’s preventive maintenance plan.
Our Range Of Reliable Window Restrictors
At Mila Maintenance, we install Jackloc Window Restrictors which comply with the latest safety regulations for care homes. Jackloc Window Restrictors:
- Are rigorously tested to comply with British Standards.
- Restrict window openings to 100mm to provide effective ventilation without the risk of a resident falling through the gap.
- Can only be opened with a key to prevent them from being accidentally or manually released.
- Resist a force equivalent to 34 stones in weight.
By choosing Mila Maintenance to install your care home’s window restrictors, you can be reassured that your residents will be safe, while rooms can be ventilated to improve their living conditions.
Your Next Steps
To find out more about our Window Safety Services for Care Homes, please get in touch today.
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