Social housing providers need to urgently review opening window safety

Tragically, we still regularly learn of instances of children and vulnerable adults falling from windows in council-managed residences and social housing.

An inquest in December 2023 reported on the tragic death of a 1-year old toddler who fell from an open window of a 7th floor flat in a tower block. Despite repeated family requests for additional window restriction, sadly no additional safety locks were installed.

This incident, once again, raises important questions about the safety of opening windows in high rise properties across the UK.  Further education and a review of legislation, at the housing provision level, is urgently required.

High rise social housing in need of window restrictors

Coroner recommendations

At one inquest, following the death of a 6-year old from a tower block window, the coroner stated: “I recommend that you consider the feasibility of having fixed and permanent window restrictors fitted so that the window can only be opened to such a width as to prevent a child accidentally falling through.

I accept that this could have repercussions regarding a tenant being able to clean the window on the outside panel but I consider the safety of a child or vulnerable occupant is of paramount importance and should override this factor.”

“When the windows were fitted, they should have had these retaining locks on.  The point of these retaining locks is they are removable, adjustable and set at a level which would restrict the width the window could open. Had these retaining locks been fitted, this accident could have been prevented.”

The coroner also recommended regular inspections of the properties to ensure safety features are in place and working.

Shocking Statistics

According to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) more than 4,000 children under the age of 15 are injured due to falling from windows annually in the UK and approximately 10 children lose their life.

Similarly, the Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT) says that one child under the age of five is admitted to hospital every day after falling from a building.

Both RoSPA and CAPT recommend fitting devices to prevent windows opening too wide. Although children can’t be supervised 100% of the time, a few simple adjustments to opening windows, utilising quality products, means that serious falls from windows are preventable.


Open window with Jackloc restrictor fitted

Only specify tested and proven products

Jackloc are committed to designing, engineering and manufacturing the strongest and safest window restrictor products. All Jackloc products are manufactured in the UK and have been independently tested to exceed every element of BS EN 13126 and BS EN 14351.

Unfortunately, not all window restrictors are fit for purpose and meet these standards.  Far too often we receive urgent phonecalls for assistance where sub-standard locks and restrictors have failed, sometimes leading to falls and deaths. It is important for housing associations, local authorities and landlords to do their research and ensure they specify products that are sufficiently tested and approved.

Our video below details why Jackloc window restrictors are the obvious choice for social housing providers to be confident of tenant safety and security.

Jackloc don't just meet standards. We set them.

Window restrictor standards

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Jiniesh Chavaramplakal

Senior Quantity Surveyor, Pro-Fit Windows and Doors Ltd

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