Being a parent and keeping children safe is a full-time job. Understanding child safety laws as they apply to windows is extremely important and an extra thing for parents to consider when it comes to child safety in the home.
Children are naturally curious; they don’t always understand or recognise danger and consequences. Climbing onto a sill to look through a window can be tempting for little ones to help them see what is happening outside and if the window is open to let in a breeze, this brings the added threat of a child falling from the unsecured opening.
In Australia, fifty children suffer serious injury or death annually – from something as simple as falling out of an open window or through a substandard fly screen.
- According to a study by the University of Queensland, between 1998 and 2002 there were 3,177 participating Qld emergency department visits for children under the age of five years for high falls.
- Between 2002 and 2012, the Queensland Injury Surveillance Unit (QISU) identified 936 child balcony fall visits to emergency departments. The peak age of these was 0-4 years and 3% of children these children required resuscitation.
- More than 90% of these falls occurred at home.
- 50% of falls from windows or balconies in small children resulted in brain injury.
- These injuries were preventable.
The most common reasons for falls from windows include:
- Failure of screens to protect opened windows – flyscreens in particular, as they are a very flimsy product,
- Furniture (including chairs, tables, beds, desks and even cots) placed below openable windows,
- Non-safety-grade window glass.
Most falls from windows occur during spring and summer when windows are left open.
These incidents are even more common in apartment blocks.
Windows and Child Safety Laws in Australia
In NSW, the Kids Can’t Fly campaign aims to ensure parents, caregivers and landlords understand the nationwide safety requirements for windows and balconies implemented in 2013. It raises awareness on the necessary precautions needed to keep kids safe in accordance with Australian child safety laws.
When it comes to child safety laws and windows in Australia, the National Construction Code (NCC) and the Building Code of Australia (BCA) provide regulations for new building work. These regulations apply to all new residential buildings and childcare centres nationally and all strata buildings in NSW.
- According to current guidelines, elevated and openable windows that have a drop of 2m or more to the surface beneath (and where the sill of the window is lower than 1.7m from the floor) must have adequate window protection to prevent children from falling through them. This must either restrict the opening capacity of the window to no more than 12.5cm or incorporate a strong, secure screen.
- Where there is a drop of 4m or more to the ground below, a physical window barrier is required.
Choose Vincent Security
The safety and security of your family and your home are paramount, as is that of your business. We manufacture and install security screens to all of the Brisbane Metro area and we help you comply with the child safety laws as they relate to windows.
Vincent Security, established in 1970, is a Queensland-owned and -operated business specialising in Brisbane Security Screens and Doors. We have been under the same management for more than thirty years and we have a great reputation in terms of product quality and customer service. We are a cut above the rest in the security screen industry.
At Vincent Security, we work with you to help you to make the best decision for securing your home, business or commercial project, selecting the products to most suit your needs and budget and to keep your family safe.