Safety catches on upstairs windows

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    Safety catches on upstairs windows

    Recently had first visit from new Managing Agents for a look around to a block of PB flats over 2 floors. There are some opening windows in the common areas at ground, first and second floors. The visit report mentions that safety catches (restrictions) on first and second floor windows are needed.
    I am unsure if they can insist on this...the block is 32 years old and the windows were all changed to new PVC about a decade ago. No one seems to have thought this necessary at the time or since, until now. I challenged the idea by saying that there are stairs but no safety gate for them, and the idea that someone small could get up to the windows and fall out is of course possible, but this is in the common area, not inside the flats. (where of course there are similar unrestricted windows).
    This new agent has loaded leaseholders with so many new costs since taking over. Now I know they are working for the FH, but surely those of us that have bought leases in good faith, where we expected that all common areas meet with legislation at that time should not have to pay for this type of expense??
    Furthermore, how would this stack up with Fire regulations???
    Any comments plse

    #2
    Just fit restrictors on anything above ground. How would you feel if a kiddie fell out ?

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      #3
      Well all windows do have lockable handles, so an easier solution would be to lock them all up. That would solve that problem, but would not stop the burning smell that lingers in the common areas, the only reason the windows are opened in the first place...say no more!!!.

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        #4
        Is there any legislation regarding `restrictors` on opening windows above ground floor in common areas of purpose built flats? (ie sill height above floor).
        The managing agent is going ahead with getting quotes for all common area windows, but I am still not sure why this is required after 30 years, other than of course its a possibility that someone could climb up and fall out, but what about fire escape if needed?

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          #5
          Interestingly we fitted restrictors to all 1st and 2nd floor windows to our three holiday flats on conversion as we knew they would be let to families with small children.
          When the building inspector did his final inspection at completion of conversion he commented that the restrictors actually contradicted the need for escape windows in case of fire. He 'allowed' them though because the windows themselves were in situ prior to the flat conversion works and I suppose he considered child safety, particularly at 2nd floor level, was more important and the restrictors could be unlatched by an adult when needed.

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            #6
            I can't imagine why emergency escape from windows in common areas would ever be required.

            If there is a fire in a flat then those affected would exit normally via the common area escape route not climb out of any window.
            Flat entrance doors opening onto a common area should be fire resistant and self-closing to protect the common area.

            If fire or smoke is affecting the common area then most PB flats are designed to ensure safety via compartmentalisation until the fire can be dealt with by the fire services. Residents should normally be staying put if not affected directly by fire and not venturing into unsafe common areas.

            Windows in common areas are primarily used by the fire services to vent smoke.

            Obviously Grenfell has shaken things up for high rise and externally cladded buildings but you don't seem to be in that category.

            I can't imagine fitting window restrictors will be very expensive.

            There should be a revised version of Fire Safety in PB flats out soon:
            https://www.local.gov.uk/publication...se-built-flats

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              #7
              I appreciate all comments, but cannot help wondering why, if restrictors are needed and required in any common area window, why the same is not required in internal flat windows (assuming their need is to stop children falling out).

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