The Jackloc Company and IronmongeryDirect are combining forces to highlight the concerns and dangers surrounding potential negligence through lack of awareness, by some social housing providers, relating to the risks of accidental falls from opening windows, particularly in high rise properties.
A recent, tragic case of a toddler’s death once again raises important questions about the safety of opening windows in high rise properties across the country. At Jackloc, we believe that further education regarding opening window risks, at the housing provision level, is urgently required. There is a requirement from the Department of Health, Health Building Note 00-10 Part D, to have window restrictors fitted in healthcare buildings so why not have similar guidance for other public risk environments such as high-rise buildings?
Following one inquest, after the death of a 6-year-old from a tower block window, the coroner stated in a letter to the landlord: “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 consider the safety of a child or vulnerable occupant is of paramount importance.” The coroner also recommended regular inspections of the properties to ensure safety features are in place and working.
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) states that one child under the age of five is admitted to hospital every day after falling from a building.
The experts at Jackloc believe that these tragic stories and statistics clearly demonstrate that there is a real need to seriously address this issue. Both RoSPA and CAPT recommend fitting devices to prevent windows opening too wide.
All Jackloc window restrictor products are manufactured in the UK and have been independently tested to exceed every element of BS EN 13126 and BS EN 14351.
Unfortunately, though, not all window restrictors are fit for purpose and meet these rigorous standards. Leading specialist supplier, IronmongeryDirect, were Jackloc’s first Approved Retailer and they recognise that the quality of the Jackloc products is second to none. IronmongeryDirect have been in business for over 50 years and are committed to offering the safest solutions to their customers.
The full Jackloc range is stocked by IronmongeryDirect and they have a fully trained team who understand the Jackloc products. Together Jackloc and IronmongeryDirect are trusted as reputable suppliers to many social housing providers, whether in the private or public sector.
However, the Jackloc and IronmongeryDirect teams have major concerns over those social housing providers that aren’t reviewing the need for window restrictors in their properties, or where they are specifying sub-standard products. In extreme cases, where the issue has already been highlighted, organisations could potentially be subject to negligence and senior individuals may, in some circumstances, be personally liable.
Opening window safety can no longer be ignored and must be considered a key priority in the social housing sector, and their tenants demands listened to. This recent reported incident, along with previous inquest outcomes, highlights the urgent need for window safety, particularly in tower blocks, and for immediate action to be taken to stop repeated preventable deaths.