A new standard was published today: AS 5203:2016, Protection of openable windows/fall prevention—Test sequence and compliance method. The standard aims to provide the test method to help reduce the risk of injury and death associated with accidental falls through open windows, specifically for children five years old and younger.
In 1 May 2013, the National Construction Code requirements changed to mandate fall prevention measures in new early childhood centres and in bedrooms of new residential buildings where the floor below the window is more than 2 metres above the surface beneath. This followed research which showed that young children are most at risk from window falls in these buildings because they often play unsupervised.
While the National Construction Code (NCC) sets out the dimensional and load requirements for fall prevention through openable windows, there was no test standard available to which the requirement could be tested to; this new Australian Standard provides the test methods to satisfy this requirement.
Tracey Gramlick, CEO and Executive Director of the Australian Window Association, described the potential impact of this publication.
“The standard will provide assurance to the marketplace that these products have been tested to a recognised methodology and will be fit for their intended purpose: assisting in the prevention of falls.”
“These falls often occur over the warmer months when families leave windows and doors to balconies, open both during the day and at night. Children aged from one to five years are most at risk as they are naturally curious, but lack the ability to recognise danger,” said Ms Gramlick.