ABU DHABI 19 July 2017: A government research has revealed that unsafe devices such as ‘door chains’ are being used to secure high-rise tower windows to prevent children from falling out of them.
The UAE – home to one of the highest density of towers in its major cities – has had its share of children falling to their deaths from towers. To prevent such tragic accidents the authorities have required developers to install fall-prevention safety devices on high-rise windows.
Abu Dhabi Quality and Conformity Council (QCC) has conducted a host of market surveillance activities between 2014 and 2017, to assess the performance of window safety devices in laboratory conditions as well as upon installation in Abu Dhabi’s residential towers, said Wam.
“The council identified multiple examples of inappropriate or unsafe devices being used to secure windows, such as door chain locks that can be easily disengaged by a child and are prone to rusting when exposed to the humid, salty air in Abu Dhabi,” QCC said.
It highlighted the importance of using QCC-certified window fall prevention devices as part of its ongoing efforts to promote child safety across the emirate.
In 2012, QCC launched the ‘Window Safety Fixtures Certification Scheme’ in order to implement Decree No. 24 of 2012, issued by the Abu Dhabi Department of Municipal Affairs. The decree requires building owners to install approved window fall prevention devices on all windows and openings to the exterior where falls can occur.
The QCC product conformity assessment programme aims to ensure the quality and safety of devices that restrict the opening distance of windows to a maximum of 10 cm.
All QCC-certified window safety devices undergo rigorous testing against international standards for compliance, including child safety standards in the USA and Europe. In addition, further market surveillance testing is carried out on products sold in the UAE to assure end-to-end safety.
Abdullah Hassan Al Muaini, Executive Director of Conformity Scheme Services at QCC, said, “QCC developed the Window Safety Fixtures Certification Scheme as part of its sustained drive to implement effective measures to prevent accidents involving children, who are especially vulnerable to the risk of falls. The council has placed extreme importance in enhancing local testing capabilities to ensure installed window safety devices perform properly and are fail-proof.”
Al Muaini added, “Child safety is a shared responsibility, and the enforcement of fall prevention regulations rests with the building owners, landlords and residents themselves. We urge building owners and residents seeking to ensure the safety of their villas or apartments to contact QCC for advice on how to select the correct window safety device or how to test the devices installed in their homes. Alternatively, they can visit the QCC online database of certified window safety fixtures.”
By Eudore R. Chand