They Save Lives. They’re the Law.
Every year, many children fall out of windows in New York City. Some die. Others are badly hurt. Even falling from a first-floor window can kill a child! It can happen fast, to any child, even yours. Window guards can keep children from falling out of windows.
Screens are only for keeping bugs out. They will not protect your children. Only window guards will keep kids safely inside. All window guards must be the strong metal kind approved by the Health Department. And every window guard must be installed right and put in tight with screws. It’s the law! Make sure that your window guards are put in right, and put in tight.
Window guards must be installed right and screwed in tight
Only window guards approved be the Health Department can be installed. They must be made of strong metal. And they must –by–law be put in right and put in tight, or they won’t work.
• If a window guard feels loose when you push and pull the bars, it could come loose or fall out when a child leans against it or climbs on it.
• The window guard must be screwed in tight on both sides with special screws approved by the Health Department. If it is loose on either side, it has not been put in right.
• If the window guard is screwed into a rotting window frame or a loose window frame, it could come loose or fall out.
• On regular (double hung) windows, two L-shaped stops should be screwed into the window tracks–one on each side–to keep the bottom windows form being opened too high. If the two L- shaped stops are not there, the window guard is not safe. It is against the law to take the L- shaped stops out.
• When the L-shaped stops are put in right and screwed in tight, there must be no more than 4 Â½ inches of space above or below the window guard, even when the window is all the way open. There should be no space big enough for a baby’s head to get through. If a five-inch ball can fit through any window opening, then the window guard has not been put in right.
• Your apartment might not have regular (double hung) window. If you have a different kind of window, special window guards and stops approved by the Health Department must be used.
Protect Your Children from Window Falls
Never leave your child alone in a room where there are open windows that do not have window guards
If your window guards aren’t installed yet, keep your bottom windows closed. Open only your top windows for fresh air.
Furniture that children can climb on should not be near windows. Some babies can climb up on furniture and crawl through open windows even before they can walk.
Never let your child play:
• on fire escapes
• on roofs
• in halls with windows that do not have window guards
• near elevator shafts
• near steps and stairs
If you live in a one or two-family house…
… Your child could be hurt or killed falling out a window, even from the ground floor. Children fall from windows in one- and two-family house every year. Owners of one- and two-family houses do not have to install window guards — even if children 10 and under live in the house or apartment. If you own your house, you can have window guard installed or do it yourself.
If you rent, you can ask the owner or landlord to put in window guards. You can offer to pay for the window guards. And you can ask the landlord to let you have them installed or to let you do it yourself.
Your landlord or management must give you forms to fill out about window guards
These forms tell your landlord if your apartment must have window guards. You must fill out these forms and return them to your landlord. It’s the law.
One form says NOTICE TO TENANT OR OCCUPANT on top. Your landlord must give you this form within 30 days of when you start renting, and every year after that, between January 1 and 16 ( or with the January rent bill ). If you have a lease, your landlord must give you a form that says WINDOW GUARDS REQUIRED on top.
If you own or live in a co-operative and you must have or want window guards, your co-op management — not you — must have them installed and must have them installed and must have them fixed if they need repairs.
If you own a condominium and need or want window guards, you must have window guards installed in your apartment and have them fixed if they need repairs. Halls in the condo are the management’s responsibility. (Some condo managers also install window guards in condo apartments, although its your responsibility. Check with your manager. )
If a child 10 and under lives in your apartment, the law says:
• you must tell the landlord that children 10 and under live in your apartment.
• you must let the landlord come in to install window guards.
• you must not take down window guards once they are in.
• you must not make changes to window guards.
• you must not remove any part of a window guard.
Window guards must by law be installed on your windows…
…if you live in a building that has three or more apartments and a child 10 and under lives in your apartment. Even if you live on the first floor, you must have window guards if a child 10 and under lives with you. Every window in the apartment must have a window guard except windows leading to fire escapes. In buildings with fire escapes, window guard must be left off one window in each ground-floor apartment so that the window can be used as an emergency exit. All public hallway windows must have window guards, too.
Even if you do not have a child 10 and under living with you, you still can have window guards if you want them. You might want them because children visit you, or you babysit, or an older person needs protection. Or maybe you just feel safer with window guards. You don’t have to give a reason. If you want them, they have to be installed. It’s that simple. But, remember, if a child 10 and under lives with you, there is no choice– they must be installed. It’s the law!
Your landlord or building super– not you– must install window guards in your apartment’s windows. Your landlord or super must also fix any window guards that need repairs, and install window guards in all hall windows if a child 10 and under lives in the building.
If you want or need window guards or if they are loose or need fixing, call your landlord or management company:
• Call the Health Department’s Window Falls Prevention Program at (212) 676-2162 weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
if you still have problems, or if you:
• want a copy of New York City’s laws on window guards or want more information,
• need help with window guards or stops for sliding windows, casement windows, or any other kind of window, or
• live in a one or two-family house and want information or advice on how to buy or install window guards.
Remember: Window Guards Save Lives. They’re the Law.
For more information on Window Guards, call 311.