Friday, March 1, 2024

Feedback sought on window safety devices

The NSW Department of Planning and Environment (DPE) is seeking feedback on a discussion paper that could expand the installation of child-proof safety devices in homes across the State.

DPE Executive Director of Infrastructure Policy Jonathon Schipp said feedback was crucial to inform any proposed new laws aimed at preventing small children accidentally falling from windows.

“We want to hear the community’s views on proposed changes requiring safety devices to be fitted in most homes on windows less than 1.7 metres from the floor, if the floor is two metres or more above ground level,” Mr Schipp said.

“The discussion paper considers extending the rules that apply to windows in strata buildings to the majority of homes in NSW, new or old.”

Since 2013, child-proof safety devices have been required for windows above a certain height in new bedrooms of most homes and all strata buildings in NSW, such as apartments and townhouses.

Mr Schipp said these life-saving devices have provided a key line of defence to avoid serious injury or death to small children.

“The discussion paper highlights areas where the legislation could be bolstered to make more homes safer, not just those in strata schemes. If approved, property owners would have 18 months to source and install a lock or other suitable device,” he said.

“We know that cost of living pressures means many people are doing it tough at the moment, and we want to hear from the community on this and other issues they feel should be examined.”

Public comment is sought on requiring the installation of devices which:

  • Restrict window opening to less than 125 millimetres;
  • Resist forceful opening of windows equivalent to 25 kilograms; and
  • Have child-resistant mechanisms if the device can be removed, overridden, or unlocked.

The discussion paper responds to the NSW Deputy State Coroner’s recommendations after the death of a three-year-old who fell from a third-floor residential apartment window which did not have a safety device.

To view the discussion paper and to provide feedback by 21 August, 2023 visit Window safety.

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