Apologies for having to write a very sad and upsetting post today.
A coroner in Boston, Lincolnshire, has just recorded a verdict of accidental death for a six year old boy, William Coy who fell from his bedroom window.
William’s death could easily have been prevented if a window restrictor had been fitted in his bedroom. These are very cheap, easy to install and are very widely available. They are often a legal requirement and the 2004 Housing Act makes the preventions of falls ‘between levels’ (which can include from a window) the responsibility of landlords. There is some useful information on the website of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents here . . .
Do note the advice they give about not using restrictors that need keys. The point being that if there is a fire and the key has been misplaced – the window can’t then be used as an escape route.
You might remember that we blogged on a similar story last year. Please help make sure that we never have to write a post about a similar tragedy happening in Sandwell. If you are a landlord – please act now to keep your tenants safe.
A window restrictor, that’s what.
Horrible as it is to think about, young children can fall out of windows. So Sandwell Council, various landlord organisations and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents, (RoSPA) all recommend you fit restrictors where children sleep. But this isn’t just a recommendation. It is also a legal requirement under the 2004 Housing Act to fit these on all windows on first floor and above in rented accomodation.
Sadly, real tragedies which should have been easy to prevent still happen because people aren’t fitting restrictors, despite the fact that doing so is very cheap, quick and easy (and obligatory!).
So, if you are a landlord whose tenants have children, (or perhaps you have your own at home), please do think about whether you should be fitting restrictors. Just one point to bear in mind; RoSPA recommend avoiding those that have keys. Keys get lost. If there was a fire, that could have serious consequences. The good news though is that there are plenty of easily available alternative types which use child proof catches instead. If in doubt, do please look at the RoSPA website.