Upstairs windows - risk of falling

Thats better.
Ive also just spotted your last post saying that it was a barn conversion (you posted while I was writing my last one) This muddys the waters a bit with regulations as its not technically a new build.

What I would suggest is the easiest and cheapest option for all concerned is to ask the builders to fit a 2nd restrictor on the top of the windows.
Cant quite tell from the pics but hopefully this would be out of reach from a child but even if not it should make it too complicated for them to open as you would need to hold both restrictors open simultaneously and push the window open as well.
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Please answer my last post Gazman. Just because it's a barn conversion makes no difference whatsoever. Even if planning, or if listed, the conservation officer had said no to external barriers, BC would insist on an internal one.

BTW my spellchecker changed your name to Taxman! :p
OP, forget about NHBC standards, your property does not have an NHBC warranty. It's all in the Building Regulations Part K. No need to quote anything else.
There is also the regulation for fire egress. Got to love it when regs contradict each other. Your restrictors do pass regulations.

Technically at least one window in each room should be easily open-able to get out if there is a fire.

You haven't mentioned if the sash's are side hung or top hung, Or the overall size. A few pics might help. If the window opening is at floor level the whole windows my need changing:

Width and Height - Either of these are not to be any less than 450mm
Clear Openable Area - No less than 0.33m²
Cill height - No less than 800mm and no more than 1100mm from floor level.

There are a few options depending on the above. The existing restrictors may be able to be refitted higher up out of the reach of children.

Change the hinges to restriction hinges. These are not as easy to open (can even be fiddly for adults) but as they are not key locked they will pass regs.

Hard to advise 100% without seeing the windows
Please quote the regulations that say a barrier is unnecessary and that merely restrictors will suffice.

I hadn't seen the windows before so wasn't entirely sure of their orientation but very good point there.
I do believe that laminated glass is considered acceptable (assuming these have been fitted as such) but I will have a quick look now. Feel free to correct me if you know otherwise
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Where the design incorporates low level glazing
(less than 800mm above internal floor level)
that is not fixed, eg. an openable window, the
glazing will still need to act as guarding where
the difference in height exceeds 600mm. The
window must be prevented from opening more
than 100mm in order to comply with Part K.
This means that restrictor devices commonly
fitted to windows would not be suitable
because they can be released, by a key or
manually, to allow the window to open more
than 100mm. In this position occupants would
not be afforded the required level of protection
from falling. Therefore, suitable guarding that
resists the forces referred to in the above
British Standards and complies with Part K with
respect to height and non-climbability, must be
provided, such as vertical balustrading.
Alternatively, ‘permanent’ restrictors, those
that cannot be released and would not allow
an opening where a 100mm sphere could pass
through, may be suitable. This type of restrictor
would also need to be capable of resisting the
loads detailed in BS6399 and BS6180 along
with the glass, glazing and window structure.
However, this may affect the minimum purge
ventilation requirement under the guidance in
Part F, which requires a minimum of 1/20th
floor area of the room served by openable
windows (height x width of opening part where
the window opens 30 degrees or more).
Where the window opens between 15 and 30
degrees that area needs to be doubled, ie.
1/10th floor area of room served. Therefore,
it may not be a feas ible alternative.
See Diagram 4.
Where low level windows are also designed as
escape windows, ‘permanent’ restrictors would
not be suitable as they would prevent the
window opening wide enough to allow escape.
Low level windows fitted with restrictors that
can be easily released, would be acceptable but
only where suitable guarding is also provided.
To be suitable for means of escape, the top of
the guarding should be between 800mm and
1100mm above the floor level and the minimum
dimension, 450mm, and area of the opening,
0.3m2, should be measured from the top of the
guarding up to the top of the opening.

So by the looks of it they would need permanent restrictions plus laminated glass.
Not including any fire egress windows (1 per habitable room) that need non locking restrictors and a barrier.
You cannot have permanent restrictors if they are fire egress windows. Escape will always overule, so a barrier would need to be fitted in that scenario. And if a barrier is fitted at 1100m high to meet the Regs for prevention of falling it will also meet the regs for use an an emergency escape window.
You cannot have permanent restrictors if they are fire egress windows. Escape will always overule, so a barrier would need to be fitted in that scenario. And if a barrier is fitted at 1100m high to meet the Regs for prevention of falling it will also meet the regs for use an an emergency escape window.

Very roughly judging (we cant see the overall window or measurements) but by looking at the window handle height Im guessing these windows are 1100 to 1200mm tall with some being directly off the floor. An 1100mm guard would pretty much cover the whole window and not allow 450mm x 750mm egress clearance.

To fully comply with regs obviously these windows and the building openings would have to be completely overhauled but as this was not a newbuild I'm assuming it falls under lesser regulations similar to the make things no worse when replacing old windows.

When regs conflict like this I don't think there is any clear answer. I would be wanting to get a building inspector involved for a site visit and his opinion.
Yes a photo of the whole window, or more importantly a height, would satisfy our curiosity, not that it will help the OP.
Hi guys,

Thanks for your continued thoughts on the windows, its really appreciated.

One of the windows upstairs is straight off the floor and is 1100mm in height. All of the others in every room at 200mm of the floor and rise to 1400mm in height.

Would I need to pay for a building inspector to visit?

First port of call is with your builder.

I would suggest printing out the regs bit I posted on this page "OPENABLE LOW LEVEL GLAZING" or emailing it to them.

Try to stay on good terms with them and say its just the safety of your children your worried about and try to get them to send their building inspector again or architect maybe.

Before you even do that check if the glass in those windows is toughened or laminated. There will be a small acid etched mark on one corner of each bit of glass. I dought you will be able to get a good enough photo of one to post here but write down any names and codes and google to see which type it is.

Toughened glass breaks into tiny pieces when broken, It will prevent major cuts but wont stop anyone falling through. Laminated stays intact like a car windscreen and will stop people falling out.
Adam, I think you might go through all the paperwork channels trying to get someone else to rectify the problem on their dime and come to wish you'd simply taken the alternative approach of erecting your own barrier that you're happy with both from an aesthetic viewpoint and your child's safety... It's not expensive or protracted a process to put up some stair rail and bannister
Hi guys,

Thanks again for all your contributions, much appreciated.

Just to update you, I have spoken with the builders and they have agreed to put an extra catch restrictor on the top of the windows, which should be resolve any safety issues.


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