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Window and balcony safety

There are a number of serious, sometimes fatal accidents every year involving people falling from windows or balconies. There is a particular danger for households that contain young children and toddlers. If young children are left unsupervised, for even a short time, they can be at risk of falling.

In order to protect you and your family, the windows in your new home will be fitted with restrictors (typically limiting gaps to 100mm), which prevent them from opening fully.

When your new tenancy starts, restrictors will be fitted to your windows if:

  • they were originally fitted when the windows were installed, or
  • the window cill height is less than 900mm from the floor, making it easy for young children to climb onto

All types of window restrictor will be fitted with an override mechanism, enabling the window to be opened fully for cleaning or to increase ventilation.

To help keep you and your family safe it is important that:

  • you ensure window restrictors re-engage properly when closed, if the window has been opened fully (e.g. for cleaning)
  • you check regularly to ensure that any window restrictors are in good working order
  • you report any defects to window restrictors to Housing Direct on 0800 694 3344 as soon as possible to arrange a repair free of charge
  • you try, wherever possible, not to place furniture underneath or immediately next to windows which could be used to aid climbing

If you feel you need to have window restrictors installed on any windows that do not already have them, you should contact your local Area Housing Office who will be able to assist you further.

If your property has a private balcony, the same principles apply. Garden furniture or even children's toys can be used to aid climbing, potentially putting young children at risk of injury. Please ensure your personal items are stored safely when not in use.

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