The importance of window safety in social housing should not be underestimated. While children, the elderly, and people with mental health issues are most at risk of a fall from height – over 4,000 under-15s are injured every year in this way – anyone who lives in buildings of two floors or more is potentially vulnerable to the danger, which is why all social housing must have measures in place to help prevent these falls.
Windows must, however, be able to open to allow the free flow of fresh air into a property as poor ventilation can cause condensation to accumulate, and mould to grow, particularly around window frames and in hidden corners behind furniture. Mould releases allergens and toxic substances that can cause watery eyes, runny nose, sneezing, and rashes, and worsens existing respiratory conditions, such as asthma.
In this article, we’ll discuss how to ensure a balance between achieving maximising window safety and ventilation in high-rise building windows.
Window Restrictors: A Crucial Addition To Safety Measures In High-Rise Buildings
Restrictors on windows in high-rise social housing and student accommodation are highly effective in preventing falls from a height without obstructing the flow of fresh air into an apartment. But what are window restrictors and are they required by law?
What Are Window Restrictors?
Window restrictors – also known by the tradename Jacklocs – ensure maximum security by minimising how far a window can be opened. Consisting of a strong, durable cable and a locking system, window restrictors prevent a window from being opened more than 100mm – sufficient to allow fresh air into the property but narrow enough to prevent even the smallest of people from slipping through the gap. Tested to respect British safety standards, Jacklocs can resist immense pressure, so that windows cannot be opened, either accidentally or forcibly.
How Are Jacklocs Operated?
Window restrictors can be retrofitted to existing windows as part of routine maintenance. The cable is permanently attached and can only be disengaged using a special tool or key. This means that it cannot be disconnected by accident, for example by a child who fiddles with the device. However, in an emergency, Fire and Rescue personnel will be able to disengage the restrictor to gain access to the building.
Are Window Restrictors A Legal Requirement?
Window restrictors are required by law in properties where occupants are deemed to be vulnerable to the risk of falling from a height, such as care homes. While not legally necessary in social housing or student accommodation, Jacklocs are highly recommended as they are guaranteed to eliminate the risk of someone falling from a window and suffering life-changing injuries or death. Property managers must demonstrate that they take action to ensure accommodation is safe for residents, so installing window restrictors is a common sense and cost-effective solution to a serious problem.
Contact Mila Maintenance To Find Out More
If you would like to discuss fitting window restrictors to your high-rise property, our expert consultants will be happy to conduct a site survey to ascertain your needs and devise a cost-effective solution on your behalf.
To find out more, please call Mila Maintenance today on 0808 100 8881 or book a meeting with one of our team.