Preventative Window Maintenance in High-Rise Buildings and HHSRS Risk Reduction

The Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS), a risk-based evaluation framework established under the Housing Act 2004 for properties in England and Wales, serves as a guide for identifying and mitigating potential health and safety hazards. This article shines a light on how quality window maintenance can influence several HHSRS hazards, underscoring the importance of a landlord’s repair service in mitigating risks associated with high-rise windows.

Hazard 2 – Excess Cold

The threat of health issues arising from cold homes is real, particularly for the elderly. Inefficient windows contribute to heat loss, raising the risk associated with excess cold. Effective window maintenance ensures proper insulation, keeping residents warm and reducing the risk of winter-related health problems.  In addition, windows can be enhanced by replacing older double glazed units with modern energy efficient units with lower u-values.

Hazard 3 – Excess Heat

Excess heat poses a significant risk to the over 65’s group.. Ensuring windows are operational and well-maintained aids in regulating indoor temperatures by enabling natural ventilation and cooling.

Hazard 12 – Entry by Intruders

Windows that are insecure due to poor construction or disrepair increase the risk of unauthorized entry. Maintaining windows to ensure they are secure and equipped with adequate locks can significantly reduce this hazard.  This is especially important for low-rise blocks or flats where windows can be accessed from balconies.

Hazard 13 – Lighting

Inadequate natural light affects both physical and mental health. Regular window maintenance ensures failed double glazed units are replaced so that windows are clear and unobstructed, providing sufficient daylight and contributing to the well-being of residents.

Hazard 14 – Noise

Exposure to persistent noise can disturb the peace of home life. Well-maintained windows can mitigate noise penetration from outside, ensuring a tranquil living environment for residents.

On upper floors, windows with gaps can cause significant noise nuisance and residents often complain of the sound of wind blowing through window gaps or through faulty vents.

Hazard 22 – Falls Between Levels

This hazard highlights the risk of falls from windows, which can be mitigated by ensuring windows are designed and maintained with safety in mind. Features such as safety catches and opening limiters are crucial in preventing such accidents.

Children under 5 years old are most likely to fall between levels, which can include falls from
windows, landings and balconies etc.

Certain styles of windows such as Pivot, Reversible and Tilt & Turn can be opened enough to enable a person to fall out.  Regular checks can be used to ensure safety measures are in-tact have not broken or are damaged and have not been tampered with.  This is especially important where the landlord is aware the resident is vulnerable, giving them an enhanced duty of care.

Hazard 26 – Collision and Entrapment

Poorly maintained or designed windows increase the risk of residents injuring themselves through collision or entrapment. Regular maintenance can address these risks by ensuring windows operate smoothly and safely.

Again window that can fully open are a particular risk at higher levels as they are subject to gusty winds which could cause a window sash to open or close quickly due to the window and may strike a nearby resident.

Hazard 28 – Ergonomics – Position and Operability of Amenities

Difficulties in operating windows can cause physical strain, particularly for the elderly. Ensuring that window controls are easily accessible and operable is essential in reducing this risk.

Where windows are located behind sinks or other obstructions, opening assistors such as a teleflex system may be used to enhance operability to residents.

Hazard 29 – Structural Collapse and Falling Elements

The risk of windows or their components falling due to disrepair or inadequate fixing poses a significant danger. Regular checks and maintenance work are crucial in preventing such hazards, safeguarding both residents and the public.

The worst case scenario for windows failing in a high rise building is where a window sash hinges fail and the window sash falls onto the public below.  Unfortunately this is a situation that has occurred several times in the past decade.

SAFEKEEP Strategy for High Rise Window Maintenance

Speak to Mila if you have any issues with High-Rise window repairs that you manage.  Mila are the experts for this kind of project.  We have over 30 years experience and access to the best window supply chain in the market.  Our engineers are fully training for working at height, harness working and protecting residents when carrying out repairs.  Our simple model is called SAFEKEEP.

Survey (S): Detailed Checks with Tailored Reporting

Our engineers conduct meticulous checks on your windows and doors.  Firstly for correct operation. Then for compliance with health and safety regulations.  Thirdly, signs of water and air ingress. We also consider any additional factors requested by our clients to furnish landlords with a detailed report. Not only does this report spotlight areas that need fixing. It also serves as a tangible audit trail, showcasing safety precautions undertaken. Finally, the report proposes potential enhancements for the windows.

Adjust (A): Preventing Small Issues from Becoming Major Ones

The emphasis here is on proactive care. Windows require continual small adjustments to windows and regular lubrication.  This prevents minor issues from spiraling into bigger, costlier problems. Guarding against more significant repairs and, worst case, complete window replacements.

Fix (F): Swift and Uncomplicated Solutions

Our approach to fixing is straightforward and effective. Once a problem is identified, our team ensures it’s repaired efficiently.  We prioritise the safety and functionality of the windows and doors to uphold the comfort and security of our residents.

Enhance (E): Advancing Beyond the Basic Functions

Enhancements go beyond mere fixes. It could involve elevating ventilation to combat issues like mould or damp. Or escalating the energy efficiency of windows. Or upgrading security features. In every enhancement action, the objective is to boost the existing functionality. Enhancements may also prolong the lifespan of your installations.

KEEP: Keep your Windows and Residents SAFE

By engaging in long-term contracts, landlords can spread repair costs over an extended period. They gain preferential access to Mila’s responsive repair services. The ‘KEEP’ phase protects your window and door investment.  It is the scheduled programme of future safety audits.  This provides a steadfast availability of a repairs service when it’s needed.  It’s how you KEEP your resident’s windows operational over the long-term with all safety measures functional.  It’s how you prevent small problems becoming large expensive ones.

Learn more about how SAFEKEEP can benefit your properties. Contact Mila today to request our High Level Window Maintenance Brochure

Subscribe for regular Window & Door Maintenance Best Practice

If you would like more information on these services, please sign up for our monthly update email.  This email will also give you a summary of blog posts from our Website where we share our knowledge of strategies, methods and techniques for maintaining windows in residential and commercial properties and extending the life of windows and reducing ongoing building repair costs.

The changes to Data Protection legislation require us to have clear consent to provide you with this relevant marketing information.

Please can you use the form below to confirm your contact details and tick the box to opt in to receive our monthly updates.

We will use the information you provide in accordance with our Privacy Policy, which can be reviewed by following this link.

Mila Maintenance
& Installation Services