We bought the land near the water on a peninsula, because the local district has water on three sides. We thought how lovely it would be to have the cooling effect of the sea during our long, hot summers.
We can be kinder to the earth we thought, by opening windows to catch those sea breezes and not have to rely on air-conditioning units. We want to have an energy efficient, environmentally friendly house. But there are more rules to building then there are fish in the sea.
The builders tell me the windows on the upper storey will have ‘restrictors’ which means they will not be allowed to open more than 100mm. (a gap too small for a child’s head to fit through). Believe it or not, in Australia, 50 children a year fall out of upper storey windows.
Why? What happened years ago when all windows opened outwards?
Did children fall less or more at those times? If so, I wonder why?
It seems that the authorities cannot trust us to do the right thing and take care of our children. They want to eliminate every potential accident, and that in itself, is a truly wonderful objective. Our children are safer.
The cost for this, however, is then passed on to the environment and the ambient temperature in our homes. Will children grow up with no common sense or spatial awareness because the regulations have kept them so safe that they are less aware of where their bodies lie in space. Then again, accidents do happen. Children are precious.
In two years time, every new house will need to have fly-screens fitted to every window above a certain height; screens that can withstand a 25 kg weight, before it gives way. Enough to hold a young child who might be bouncing on their bed and accidentally fall against the screen. Then we do not need window restrictors like this one.
It is sad that we need so many regulations and rules to look after our children.
What rules or regulations govern your windows of your home, in your area?