Window safety for student accommodation can be easily overlooked while focusing on things such as gas and electrical safety. However, providers of student accommodation have a duty of care, and this includes ensuring windows are safe.
Tragically, the consequences for not ensuring windows in student accommodation are safe can be fatal. Here are just three heart-breaking examples from recent times:-
- In 2021, a third-year student in Wolverhampton died after falling from the fourth floor of university accommodation.
- In 2019, a University of Hertfordshire student fell from the third floor while trying to close a window, sustaining serious, life-changing injuries.
- In 2019, a 21-year-old chemical engineering student died in Edinburgh after a fall from a height.
What are the considerations of window safety?
Window safety includes:
1: Preventing falls from windows
2: Preventing intruders entering through windows
3: Ensuring adequate ventilation to prevent mould
4: Preventing objects being dropped from windows potentially injuring passers-by
With the increase in the use of multi-storey buildings for student accommodation the risks of falls and of injury to passers-by are heightened.
How to improve window safety in student accommodation
Window restrictors are a simple and effective method of improving window safety. A high quality window restrictor will prevent windows from being opened wider than 100mm, which will prevent falls, intruder entry and objects from being dropped, while still allowing for adequate ventilation.
Window restrictors can be fitted on aluminium, wood and UPVC windows as well as sash and inward opening windows. Installing window locks and restrictors are a low cost and simple way to provide peace of mind for students, their families, and accommodation providers.
Once you’ve decided to fit window restrictors choosing the right design is important. At Jackloc we do not recommend twist or push-twist operated window restrictors for student accommodation. Our reasoning for this is that many students will open the window fully to get more airflow into their accommodation or to sit on window ledges, posing the same risk as not having a restrictor in place at all.
We recommend key-operated window restrictors for student accommodation. The key should be held in a secure place by a building manager or caretaker.
The options for key operated window restrictors include the Pro-5 cable window restrictors or the Pro-2 key operated window restrictor which is available in boxes of 20. An important advantage of the Pro-2 is that once locked the security screws are hidden adding an extra layer of safety and security. There is evidence on student forums of discussions about how to release screws from window restrictors, which isn’t possible with the Pro-2.
For student accommodation in high crime areas, fitting the Sold Secure awarded Titan steel window lock could give students and their parents extra reassurance.
Maintaining window safety
It’s important that a regular window maintenance schedule is created and adhered to in order to ensure the windows themselves are secure and functioning properly and that the window restrictors are all in good working order. Any broken or malfunctioning units should be repaired promptly to mitigate risks.
Why choose Jackloc?
Jackloc products don’t only pass the safety tests, they exceed them. In tests to identify how much weight the window restrictor can withstand before the window profile gave way our Pro 5 key lockable window restrictor withstood 2200N load (34 stone). This is seven times above the British Standard requirement. Our Titan window lock withstood a load of 4600N (74 stone) before the window profile collapsed. This gives us and you the confidence that a person leaning on or falling into a window will not fall out of the window.
We don’t only make sure the window restrictor product is incredibly durable. Fixings matter too and that’s why with Jackloc products we include one way clutch head grade 4 security screws that are case hardened so they will not bend or snap. The only exception is the Pro-2 which has grade 2 security screws.
When you choose Jackloc you can be confident that the window restrictor will do the job it’s designed to do – prevent falls and intrusion.