2- Year-Old Falls From Window

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A 2-year-old girl is recovering in the hospital after falling out the window of her third floor apartment building in Brooklyn.

It happened just before 7:30 p.m. Wednesday on 44th Street in Borough Park.

Why wasn’t there a windowguard on the window where the child fell?

Comments: I see a major lawsuit forthcoming



Recent Falls Give Grim Reminder that Window Guards Are Required

<!– –>NEW YORK CITY – April 21, 2005 – The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) today reminded owners of multiple-dwelling buildings that they are legally required to install window guards in apartments

where children 10 years or younger reside. Additionally, tenants are required to inform their landlord when they have children ages 10 and younger living in their apartment.

“Recent incidents should remind New Yorkers how critically important it is to have window guards installed properly, as required by law,” said DOHMH Commissioner Thomas R. Frieden, MD, MPH. “One preventable fall is one too many. Both building owners and tenants have a responsibility to stop these falls from happening. Building owners must install window guards as required by law, and tenants must notify landlords when they have children 10 and younger living with them. Taking these simple steps can help prevent tragedies.”

Window guards must be installed and maintained by the owner, manager or agent of a multiple dwelling (defined as a building with three or more units) – not by the tenant. Every year, building owners are also required to provide forms that allow tenants to report children living in the apartment, and to request installation of window guards.

Tenants also should use the form to indicate whether window guards need repair, or to request window guards even if no children live in the apartment. By law, window guards must be installed in an apartment if a child ten years of age or younger resides there, and tenants may not refuse installation. The law also allows anyone to request window guards, which the building owner must then install.

If a child/children 10 years or younger lives in your apartment, OR if you provide child care services in your apartment, you must:

  • Inform the landlord of that fact.
  • Let the landlord come in to install window guards.
  • Not take down window guards once they are installed.
  • Not make alterations to window guards.
  • Not remove any part of a window guard.

Tenants who have contact their landlord to install or repair window guards and who have not received a response should call 311 to file a complaint; building owners can also call 311 to report tenants who refuse to have these guards installed as required by law

DOHMH-Approved Window Guards and Proper Installation

If you or your child can fit your head through, over or under a window guard, then it is not installed properly. All DOHMH-approved window guards have a manufacturer’s approval number imprinted on a vertical stile of the guard; and must be appropriate for the type of window in which they are being installed. New Yorkers who have questions regarding window guard installation, types of approved window guards and where to purchase them, or those who would like a copy of the law or educational materials may contact DOHMH’s Window Falls Prevention Program by calling 311.

The Health Department offers the following guidelines to determine if your DOHMH-approved window guards are properly installed:

  • On “double-hung” windows, two L-shaped stops should be screwed into the window’s tracks – one on each side – to keep the bottom window from being opened too high.
  • The space above or below the window guard must be no more than 4.5 inches of space, even when the window is opened all the way.
  • The window guard must be installed tight on both sides with special screws approved by DOHMH.
  • Window guards installed onto rotting or loose window frames could cause the guard to fall out.

Additional recommendations to prevent window falls

  • Carefully check window guards periodically to assure they still are securely installed
  • Keep children off balconies and terraces and keep balcony and terrace doors locked when not occupied by an adult
  • Even if you don’t have children living at home, it’s a good idea to install window guards, especially if children frequently visit
  • Never let your child play:
    • on fire escapes
    • on balconies or terraces
    • on rooftops
    • in hallways with windows that do not have window guards, or
    • near elevator shafts

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