Tips for childproofing your property
In the Census of 2016, family households in Sydney represented nearly half of all apartment residents. With an increasingly higher cost of living, young families are opting for residential strata schemes.
Since then, the population of families with children in strata schemes has increased. Awareness of child safety is a notable pressing matter for residents, building owners and the strata management team alike.
Why do families choose strata?
Families choose strata complexes for several reasons, mainly for convenience.
Apartments may be closer to the city or school and work. The buildings are usually low maintenance for residents, and the cost of utilities and standard amenities is reduced.
With all the benefits and inclusions of living in a strata scheme, child safety is always a persevering topic of conversation.
Regardless of the building’s state – new or old, large or small – additional safety concerns should always be considered. By-laws are set in place to minimize danger and damage for residents, especially children.
By-laws and rules differ between the strata schemes available. Some properties may be more childproofed than others.
Still, if residents’ children could be in the way of harm, it’s always a significant issue to address as soon as possible to avoid potential injury or lawsuits.
What spaces in the building should strata management services childproof?
- Pools and ponds
Large or small bodies of water pose a significant risk for children to fall into. Pools and ponds should be fenced or locked. They should also have an expert regularly check the latch if it is in working condition.
Children are crafty, often more than we like. Check and remove branches, bins or any objects they could use to climb over fencing into a pool area.
Pool furniture, such as deck chairs or tables, that can be dragged easily to be used to climb over fencing, should be secured.
Proper signage in and around the pool or pond area should be displayed where everyone can see them.
These should clearly indicate the rules and properties of the water for safety reasons, such as depth, restrictions and the like.
It is also important to note the chlorine count and water temperature as children can be affected more adversely than adults if the water is not balanced.
It is recommended to bring in an expert to test the chlorine and monitor it frequently so thatn your residents have a guarantee of safety.
In the warmer months, safety precautions become increasingly important for those with balconies.
People are more inclined to leave windows and doors open, creating potential devastating situations with childrearing exploring parts of the balcony they shouldn’t.
It should be frequently communicated by poster, email or newsletter that residents should never let their children play on balconies without supervision.
All plants, boxes, tables and objects that could be used for climbing should be removed from the edge of the balcony.
The balcony doors should be locked when not in use to prevent children from accessing the area unattended.
Any maintenance concerns should be reported to strata management as soon as possible and be dealt with promptly. Nobody wants any children’s lives at risk from falling.
Apart from balconies, the other places children have a high risk of injury are windows.
Many unfortunate parents have suffered a devastating loss from leaving a window open with an unattended child.
Since 2013, there have been several measures set in place by the NSW Government to protect young children’s lives from falling out windows.
According to them, “Windows that can be opened must have safety devices fitted to allow window openings to be locked at 12.5cm. This applies to windows that are less than 1.7 metres above the floor on the inside of the house or dwelling, and Windows that have a fall of 2 metres or more from the outside to the surface below. Window safety devices must be able to resist an outward force of 250N (about 25kg).”
Keep climbable furniture away from windows and make sure the widow’s security locks are working and can’t open past 12.5cm.
Do not rely on flyscreens to protect children from falling. They keep the bugs out but can’t keep your children in. Allow a professional to install proper safety screens.
- Driveways and Carparks
Driveways and parks in strata complexes can be very dangerous for children. Even children under supervision can, in seconds, run out in front of a car and be injured.
Ensure outdoor activities are allowed in correspondence with the local by-laws—set up signage to indicate what is not permitted, such as skateboarding, rollerblading, biking etc.
The signage should also suggest that children must always be supervised and a speed limit.
Residents should never speed in a strata complex and should always thoroughly check their mirrors when reversing.
Safety measure is set in place to protect the lives of a strata’s residents.
It is important to enforce these rules and remind residents of the strata’s safety precautions. Nobody wants an accident to happen or face a lawsuit for potentially devastating situations.For expert strata management in Baulkham hills, contact Strata & Co today on 1300 033 947. Your resident’s safety is in our best interest!
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