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AS5203 – Fall Prevention | Mechanical performance evaluation of components for building envelopes, framing and interior lining | NATA | Windows & Doors

About this standard: (kids don’t fly)

We played a significant role in evolving the ‘Kids Don’t Fly’ initiative into comprehensive fall prevention standards. Our contributions helped shape and refine these standards, reflecting our ongoing commitment to enhancing safety measures for openable windows.

An increasing number of children are admitted to hospital each year as a result of falling from windows and balconies. These falls are often in their own home and can result in death or serious injury. Children aged from one to five years are most at risk as they are naturally curious but lack the ability to recognise danger. Falls occur more often in the warmer months when families leave windows and doors to balconies open both during the day and at night. The Building Code of Australia permits a maximum opening of 12.5cm for windows and balustrades (where regulated). There are no laws that require window and balustrade openings in older buildings to meet current building standards. However, there are things you can do to improve safety. If you live in a rented property make sure to get your landlord’s written consent before adding a fixture or making an alteration to your home. By law, a landlord cannot unreasonably refuse consent for a tenant to make minor changes, such as installing window safety devices or other security features.

Window safety Children can fall out of a window that is open more than 12.5cm, even if a flyscreen is fitted.

To prevent children from falling from your windows, it is recommended that:

  • where possible, all windows, especially bedroom windows:
    •  are not open more than 12.5cm when located above the ground floor.
    • have window latches/locks fitted to stop windows opening more than 12.5cm or guards to protect the opening

Window Safety Product Guide:

  • open from the top.
  • beds and other furniture are kept away from windows so that children cannot use them to climb up to the windows.
  • you do not rely on flyscreens to prevent a child from falling out of a window.
  • children are taught to play away from windows.
  • children are always supervised.

Balcony safety To prevent children from falling from your balcony, it is recommended that:

  • where possible, balustrades (railings):
    • are at least 1 metre high.
    • have vertical bars that are no more than 12.5cm apart (use a ruler to measure the gaps between your vertical balustrade posts).
    • have no horizontal or near-horizontal parts that would allow children to climb.
  • all furniture, potted plants and other climbable objects are kept away from the edge of balconies.
  • you are aware of furniture that is light enough for children to drag to the balcony edge.
  • doors leading to balconies are locked to prevent child access to them.
  • children are always supervised.

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