Fire escape window

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    Fire escape window

    I have a property in which I used to live. I installed DG Upvc windows. The back bedroom has a fire escape window. This window is hinged horizontally and opens out really wide. When I had it installed the company (Safestyle) supplied me with little red bits of plastic that went in the metal bits in the side of the window and prevented it from opening more than a few inches. These were to be removed in the event of a fire.

    As my windows are now over 10 years old, and the tenants have picked out all my supply of red bits of plastic, Safestyle won't even talk to me about replacement red bits.

    I attached a safety restrictor (apparently they use them in hotels) which could be fully opened by releasing it with a key. This no longer works and the key will not lock the restrictor.

    I asked somebody to come round to give me a quote for a tilt and turn window, and when I had recovered from my faint induced by the quote (£550 for a 72" high 36 " wide window)he told me I HAD to have a fire escape window upstairs.


    Do I have to have a fire escape window? Is the quote a normal amount?

    #2
    Safestyle are a company I would avoid just because of that stupid bald headed bloke with a mullett and cape who shouts their TV ad at the screen.

    In a new build building regulations would insist you have a casement window (side hinged) for escape purposes upstairs but in existing dwellings there is no insistence. The salesman is wrong.

    I would not buy a new window over this! If tenants have children who might open the window then consider applying those nursery bars available at baby stores - they have a quick release mechanism.

    Restrictors as you describe a are still available and last year I had some put in a landing window in a block I manage. If you pm me I will tell you the company which is near where I live but the item is probably available online somewhere.



    Freedom at the point of zero............

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      #3
      Originally posted by Interlaken View Post
      In a new build building regulations would insist you have a casement window (side hinged) for escape purposes upstairs but in existing dwellings there is no insistence. The salesman is wrong.
      Actually no, there's a fundamental building regs rule that when you replace a window you can't make things 'worse' than what they are currently (regardless of the age of the building), so if there's already a fire escape window, you can't remove it. (Similarly you couldn't replaced double-glazed windows which had been fitted in an old house with single-glazed ones).

      One of my properties has a big tilt and turn windows (what's with the 'turn' by the way?!) and i just have a standard £3 door chain at the top, out of reach of kids but easily removable in the event of a fire.

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        #4
        Thank you for your replies. I'll have a look for those nursery bars. Should I buy them or should it be the responsibility of the T?

        The tilt and turn windows are where you turn the handle one way and the window tilts inwards, horizontally, from hinges at the bottom of the window. Turn is where you turn the handle in the other direction and the window opens inwards on vertical hinges. It opens all the way inwards so you can clean it. The chain is another good idea, thanks, wish I'd thought of that years ago!

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          #5
          Do you have link or details of that building regs rule Eric? This question comes up often in differing forms.

          I think the original 'tilt and turn' windows which were single glazed and appeared in multi story blocks in the 1960's did turn on hinges at the halfway stage.

          They were very dangerous as several people were catapulted out to their deaths whilst trying to clean them and restrictors were brought in to limit openings and prevent cleaning.

          I like the chain idea, simple and inexpensive but I don't think it would work with a casement window without the chain getting shut in between glass and frame.



          Freedom at the point of zero............

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Interlaken View Post
            Do you have link or details of that building regs rule Eric? This question comes up often in differing forms.
            It's mentioned here on the FENSA website, where it relates specifically to windows (click on "What has to be certified?"; I can't immediately see it in the original source, ie the Building Regs documents, but there's a lot to wade through!

            I like the chain idea, simple and inexpensive but I don't think it would work with a casement window without the chain getting shut in between glass and frame.
            Works for me: I've just had a look at my collection of photos for that property, and found this one: you can see the chain if you look at the reflection in the mirror and zoom in! Certainly doesn't foul the window, whether the chain is engaged or not.

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