With so many reported incidents of children accidentally falling from windows and intruders perpetrating homes via windows, it’s no wonder that the question ‘are sash windows safe’ is commonly asked. The answer is yes, as long as window restrictors are installed to limit how far the window can be opened, sash windows are safe. This very simple, easy and cheap to install mechanism is to thank for many accidents and burglaries being prevented each year in our homes.
Children can be like Houdini at times, can’t they? Playing nicely with a toy on the sofa one second and the next they’re climbing the furniture! A child’s rapid growth and development often means they learn and act things much quicker than we anticipate – like climbing on the window ledge and reaching an open window for example! Vertical sliding windows are particularly easy for curious children to open, or open further than they are already. However, child safety window restrictors (sometimes called sash window stops) are easy to install to make the windows childproof. They sit at side of the upper part of your sash window, restricting how far it can open and they look like little bolts. They are operated using a key which makes them extra safe, and the idea is that they are fitted at a height that is unreachable for young children and toddlers.
If your child raises the sash more than ten centimetres (the height at which we recommend they are fitted), then the bolts will prevent the sash from being raised any higher. A ten-centimetre gap is too small to pose immediate danger to your child and when your child is not around, you are able to unlock the bolts if you want to open the window fully – just remember where you hid the restrictor key!
There are many different types of restrictors on the market depending on the type of window you are fitting them on. It’s important that you purchase your restrictors from a reputable ironmongery supplier and avoid ones from sites like Amazon that can be flimsy and unreliable. The majority of sash restrictors we purchase are from Mighton or Reddiesels. Some sash restrictors from these suppliers are easier to fit than others, we are generally big fans of the MigStop from Mighton.
What about sash window locks?
Sash window locks are also an option, but they only require you to turn and slide to unlock them, and while the windows are heavy and this may be hard, it is not impossible for a child to fathom it. Whereas a restrictor is completely childproof because you need a key to open it.
They are so simple to fit and inexpensive to purchase and provide peace of mind particularly where young children are present or in high rise application generally. If you don’t already have sash stops fitted, we would recommend doing this asap to make your sash windows childproof and harder for intruders to enter your property.