Window guards are put in place to save lives. Children are curious and exploratory, and every year, there are injuries and fatalities caused by unguarded windows. Local Law 57 of 2011 states that guards must be present in units where children under 10 reside.
A resident in any multiple dwelling building has the right to request window guards. In addition, hallway windows automatically must have guards. A building is covered by law if it contains three or more apartments. Even if there are no children residing in a unit, there are various reasons why tenants may request guards. They could have frequent young visitors, or elderly visitors. Whatever the reason, you are obligated to fulfill their wishes if they make a formal written request. Inform tenants to keep children out of rooms where window guards are about to be installed.
It is not up to residents to fix or install guards. Tenants can complain to 311 if you do not install window guards when they’ve made a request, or you don’t repair a faulty guard. This could result in a HPD violation if an inspector comes. Penalties will be issued if you are found to be in noncompliance.
A mandatory notice about window guards must be sent to tenants every year in January.
Where to Get Approved Guards
There is a plethora of different types of window guards. Basic requirements include:
- They must be at least 15 in. tall
- Horizontal bars must be less than 5 in apart from one another
- The manufacturer’s approval number must be imprinted
- They must be installed with one-way screws to prevent dismantling
A list of approved companies to get window guards and limiting devices can be found here. Getting the right guard and installing it properly is crucial, as doing it incorrectly may not decrease the safety risk.