NSW enacts hi-rise window laws

Following a spate of accidents involving children falling from high-rise windows, NSW minister for fair trading Anthony Roberts has regulated that all windows above the ground floor in existing residential strata schemes must be fitted with locks or safety devices that can prevent the windows from opening more than 12.5cm or the width of a baby’s head.

The proposed safety measure, to be enforced in May, will cost between $10 and $40 per window but owners have five years to comply.

However, mandatory safety locks on windows will not protect children from falling out of the windows of apartments built between 1950 and 1970, according to strata engineer Chris Mo’ane. He maintains these do not have sufficient framework to support the weight of a child leaning against it, even if they are locked.

Of the 70,000 strata schemes in NSW, more than half are for buildings built between 1950 and 1970, figures show.

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