A lot owner from NSW has a question about child window safety devices and obtaining compliance certificates for all windows. Leanne Habib, Premium Strata and Anthony Shakar, ASQB Window Safety provide the following response.
Question: Two lots in our building have not cooperated with the fitting of child window safety devices. Can our building still get a compliance certificate, excluding these lots or are we able to enter and fit without their permission?
We have completed the child window safety devices for almost all of our building. However, we have two lots which were not available at the time of the fitting.
We have chased the lot owners repeatedly, trying to book a suitable time to have the child window safety devices fitted, but with no response.
Can I ask the window lock company to issue a compliance certificate for the building, excluding these outstanding two units for our records? Will this make us complaint?
Otherwise, what do you suggest to overcome the lack of response from the two lot owners? Are we able to enter their lots without permission to fit the child window safety devices?
Answer: It may take up to four visits to capture all lots in a building.
ANTHONY: Often 100% access will not be achieved on the first visit. On most occasions, ASQB will return a 2nd, 3rd, and sometimes even a 4th occasion to fully complete an installation.
There have however been occasions in which the occupants outright refuse entry. Depending on the individual strata manager one of two actions will be taken:
- A section 65 is applied. This is forced entry. All associated charges are applied to the individual unit owners.
- ASQB will issue individual compliance certificates to all completed units. The pending units will not receive certificates. ASQB will also provide the owners with an installation log outlining the failed access attempts to the remaining units.
LEANNE: It is arguable whether section 65 / new Section 122 may be used, as the entry required is not really an emergency per se. We feel you would need to obtain orders for access from NCAT instead.
Usually, we would have advised the scheme to implement a by-law regarding the requirement for access, liability, prohibition on malicious damage, tampering etc. prior to having engaged a contract.
This post appears in Strata News #195.
This article is not intended to be personal advice and you should not rely on it as a substitute for any form of advice.
NSW: Child Window Safety Devices – Ongoing Maintenance
August 2017 – This article about the ongoing maintenance of child window safety devices has been supplied by Anthony Shakar, ASQB Window Safety.
As the March 2018 deadline for window safety approaches, countless strata managers are arranging their window safety upgrades. Many are also inquiring/ planning their ongoing maintenance and annual inspection schedules.
While most within the industry recognise that the ongoing maintenance of child window safety devices is the responsibility of the owners corporation, a few believe the issue to be a grey area.
For these few and the strata community in general, ASQB has put together the following information.
Why Annual Compliance Checks are Important
Once a fall prevention device is attached to a window, it becomes a fixture and part of common property. As a result, the owners’ corporation is responsible for maintaining all fall prevention devices to a standard required by legislation.
Over time, child window safety devices can fail to work effectively causing a window to become non-compliant. The most efficient and effective way to ensure all devices remain in good working order is to carry out an annual compliance check. This will enable any faulty devices to be regularly identified, and rectified, whilst also maintaining a detailed record for the building, thereby minimising any risk.
Maintaining a safe environment for young children is paramount, so it is important that devices are regularly tested and maintained to ensure their effectiveness. Doing so will prevent any serious injuries from occurring, and will ultimately save lives.
How Can a Window Become Non-compliant?
It can be hard to monitor the way in which fall prevention devices are being used by the occupants of individual dwellings, therefore highlighting the importance of carrying out a regular audit. The following are some of the most common ways a window may become non-compliant:
- Misuse of a device, leaving it unable to operate as intended
- Removal of a device, leaving the window unrestricted
- Damage to device, leaving it unable to operate effectively
- Missing keys, leaving the child window safety devices non-compliant
What Does a Window Compliance Check Involve
- The assessment of each window safety device throughout the property, as well as the general condition of each affected window. Each window safety device will be checked in accordance with the Strata Schemes Management Regulations – Child Window Safety.
- Updated Certification issued for each unit. This will include detailed photos for reference.
- If required, on the spot maintenance/ replacement of non-compliant window safety device (time permitting)
Annual Compliance Checks For Your Child Window Safety Devices
As an industry leader in window safety compliance, our specialised services include the ongoing testing, maintenance, and annual re-inspection of fall prevention devices.
Annual re-inspections ensure that your windows will remain compliant with legislation, whilst also maintaining a safe environment for young children.
For all your window safety requirements, contact ASQB Window Safety.
This post appears in Strata News #155.
Are you interested in more information about the ongoing maintenance of child window safety devices or other strata information particular to NSW? Visit our FactSheet: Maintenance and Common Property OR FactSheet: Strata Legislation NSW