THE LAW: NSW Child Window Safety Devices

In 2013, new window safety laws were introduced to help prevent children from falling from windows in residential strata buildings. This was in response to research by the Children’s Hospital at Westmead, which identified that an average of one child per week was admitted as a result of falling from windows, resulting in serious and life-threatening injury.

“The object of this legislation is to amend the Strata Schemes Management Act 1996 to require owners’ corporations of strata schemes to ensure that complying window safety devices to facilitate child safety are installed on strata buildings and to provide for the enforcement of that obligation.” – Strata Schemes Management Amendment (Child Window Safety Devices) 2013

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Window safety devices are mandatory

NSW Child Window Safety Legislation is in effect now. Owners’ corporations have until March 2018 to ensure that compliant window safety devices are installed on strata buildings. However, if a window fall occurs before March 2018, owners may be held personally liable.

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Owners may be personally liable

Many strata owners are unaware that their building presents a risk of personal liability. However, individual owners may be liable if insurance is insufficient or unavailable in the case of death of bodily injury. An owners’ corporation could be sued for more than $10 million to meet the cost of care for a child who has fallen from a window.