Building code updated to prevent falls from windows

From May 2013 the National Construction Code will require that all bedroom windows in new homes and apartments where the floor beneath the window is more than two metres off the ground, must be either fitted with devices that stop the window being opened more than 125mm (12.5cm) or must have reinforced screens to prevent children from falling from a height. The device or screen can have a child resistant release mechanism (eg a key lock) enabling it to be removed, unlocked or overridden, for example so the window can be cleaned.

This amendment seeks to reduce the number of children falling from windows. Each year more than 50 children fall from windows and balconies and many suffer serious injuries, sometimes these falls are fatal.

For further information on the National Construction Code contact the Australian Building Codes Board – www.abcb.gov.au.

In addition: A barrier is not required for windows 1.7m or more above Floor Level.

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