One of Australia's largest privately-owned compliance testing and engineering businesses, Azuma Design has developed a new 'Child Safety Certification Kit' for the fenestration industry.
Given the growing number of Australian families living in high-rise apartment accommodation, there is a corresponding increased risk of children falling from windows and balconies. In NSW alone, about 50 children fall from high-rise residential buildings every year.
The NSW Government had recently amended its Strata Schemes Management Act 1996 to require residential owners’ corporations to install safety devices (such as locks) on windows that present a risk to young children. This law will apply to all openable windows above ground level that are accessible to children, and owner corporations will have until March 2018 to comply.
Earlier this year, the Building Code of Australia was also amended to require all windows in any new building to be fitted with locks preventing them opening wider than 12.5cm. The BCA also requires any balcony more than a metre off the ground to be surrounded by a balustrade, which must not have a gap between its railing openings large enough to pass a 12.5cm sphere through.
Azuma Design’s new 'Child Safety Certification Kit' (CSCK) will allow the fenestration industry to assess the safety of their customers' apartments, and specifically the windows, doors and balconies, to help avert potential fall accidents.
Australia's premier design, standards compliance and testing specialist, Azuma Design has long been a specialist in the integrity of windows and doors. Azuma's Director of Design, Mike Alchin explains their business began with the design and testing of windows and associated hardware, leading to increased awareness of the potential harm that can come to a young child if he or she falls from any sort of decent height.
Azuma developed the kit for the fenestration industry after observing the number of deaths and injuries sustained by children falling from windows and balconies, and getting frustrated with the sometimes slow reaction of regulators to help prevent these incidents.
Developed specifically for window and screen company installers, the CSCK enables installers to assess windows and hardware for compliance with the Building Code of Australia on site, and then issue the property owner with an official Certification of Compliance.
Azuma has observed increased awareness in the community of the dangers presented to children by raised windows and balconies, with parents and property owners now asking screen companies and window hardware companies to provide then some surety that their properties comply with the regulations.
According to Mike Alchin, Azuma’s new Child Safety Certification Kit gives these installers all the tools they need to confidently certify compliance to the regulations, or identify what still needs to be done.
Azuma Design’s new Child Safety Certification Kit includes a force gauge, a stop watch, a 12.5cm sphere, 12.5cm pressure plate, a 12.5cm bullet shaped probe, a self-certification standard format sheet, a copy of the AWA ICP and one hour's training at Azuma's Sydney or Perth test laboratories, or via phone conference.