How To Prevent Window Falls
Falls from windows are a major cause of fatal accidents all over the world, especially in urban areas. The majority of these tragedies can unfortunately be avoided by simply taking a few precautionary measures; window restrictors are the ideal solution for avoiding such problems.
Hotel owners need to be especially prudent when it comes to window safety, they have a legal responsibility to protect their guests. Although children are the most at risk age group, adult guests may also be prone to accidents. Sleeping in a new environment can cause some individuals to feel confused and disorientated if they wake during the night. Alcohol and certain medications or drugs can also provoke disorientation and alter the individual’s normal awareness to danger and slow their reactions. Falls have also occurred when the window is mistaken for a natural point of exit or from sitting on the window ledge and leaning against it. Any such types of tragedy can leave hotel owners faced with hefty fines for negligence as well as a severely damaged reputation.
- Windows should be locked or fitted with restrictors to limit the window opening.
- All exits should be clearly visible.
Unfortunately, children, more specifically the under 5s are the age group most at risk from window falls in the home. Naturally inquisitive, exploring their surroundings is very much a part of their developmental phase – windows are especially appealing, providing a view of the outside world. Children and adults alike enjoy admiring the view from the window, however, most younger children have little or no awareness of the concept of heights and falling – making window falls the cause of numerous fatal falls and injuries in young children in the home right across the world. Older children may have slightly more awareness, but are often tempted to test the boundaries, and have been known to deliberately climb out of windows using ropes, or to climb onto the roof for a challenge.
- Access to all upper floor windows should be restricted, either by permanently locking – or fitting window restrictors, the latter will allow the opportunity to open the windows, letting in fresh air.
- Do not place furniture directly beneath the window or anything else young children may use for a climbing mount.
Public Buildings – Schools, Hospitals and Care Homes
All public buildings have a legal obligation to provide a safe environment for its occupants, window safety is a key feature, and must be carefully considered by architects during planning. In many of these buildings, restrictors are incorporated into the design.
Schools and Universities
Educational establishments must provide a safe environment for its students and staff alike – all window openings should be restricted to a maximum opening of 100mm.
Hospitals and Care Homes
For patient protection, window access above the ground floor is usually restricted in all hospital facilities using lockable window restrictors. This is also true of care homes where vulnerable residents may become confused or disorientated.
The Work Place
Larger organisations often have window safety incorporated into their risk and evaluation assessment.
- Window restrictors are the ideal solution for public buildings, allowing fresh air to circulate during warmer weather whilst restricting window openings and preventing any sort of tragic accident.