March 13th, 2018 marks the deadline for having your window locks updated so that they comply with new safety standards. If you’ve just read that sentence and panicked, it’s OK – there’s still time to get things sorted out.
If you’re aware that your window locks aren’t up to date, it’s not too late to make an appointment with your local locksmith to fit compliant window safety devices. If you’re unsure whether or not your existing fixtures make the grade, it’s also a good idea to call a locksmith to check them out.
The sooner you organise a trusted locksmith to have a look, the better. You could be running the risk of voiding any insurance policies that apply to your property – which could be very costly in the long term if your property is broken into, or if – touch wood – an accident should occur.
If you’re renting a property, or you own a property under strata title the body corporate should have sorted out the required procedure for you, and informed you of all requirements. If they haven’t, get in touch with them.
For anyone unaware of what needs to happen regarding your window safety devices, here’s a helpful rundown:
Which windows need to be checked?
Every window more than two metres above external ground level which can be opened from a height of 1.7 metres or less from the internal floor level.
My windows are fitted with bars and/or a flyscreen – is that good enough to pass a safety check?
Maybe. As long as bars or grilles have gaps of less than 12.5cm between openings, and flyscreens are reinforced security screens (i.e. not plain mesh) you should be fine. The main point here is that whatever protective structure surrounds your window opening MUST be strong enough to withstand the outward pressure of a falling child.
Is the 13th March deadline flexible?
No. You or your body corporate may face fines if upgrades have not been organised by this date. The best thing to do is get an inspection sorted – quickly.
Will my windows still open if I have to fit new locks?
Yes. They’ll still be able to open to 12.5cm.
How do I know if my window safety devices tick the right boxes?
Your windows, when opened, must be able to withstand 25 kilograms of direct pressure (equal to 250 Newtons). They must also present no escapable gaps of more than 12.5 centimetres.
If your window forms part of a swimming pool barrier, it must present no escapable gap of over 10 centimetres.
Where can I find more information about the required upgrades?
You can visit the NSW Department of Fair Trading at http://www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au.
If you think that your windows might be about to violate these basic requirements, call your local locksmith to make sure everything can be made A-OK. If you live in the surrounding regions of Sydney’s beautiful North Shore, get in touch with Lock, Stock & Barrel Locksmiths who are specialists in window safety.