For all parents, the safety of their child will be the key consideration when it comes to choosing a new home. As owning a house has become out of reach for many Australians, more families are moving into apartments and strata complexes. While there are a wide range of benefits that come to living in strata properties, there are also certain areas which parents should look out for when it comes to their children’s safety.
Here in Australia, we love our swimming pools. They’re a great way to keep kids fit, as well as entertain them during our hot summers. However, pools do pose very serious safety risks. According to the Royal Life Saving Society of Australia’s National Drowning Report, 19 children aged up to four died in 2018/19, with more than two thirds of those occurring in swimming pools.
Under the NSW Swimming Pools Act 1992, all owners corporations are responsible for ensuring that any swimming pools on a strata property have a child safety barrier surrounding it. The barrier must be at least 1.2m high, and have a self-closing door or gate.
Windows and locks
According to Fair Trading, every year almost 50 children fall from windows or balconies in Australia. In an effort to combat this easily-preventable tragedy, as of March 2018, all strata buildings in New South Wales were required to meet strict window safety device standards.
As stated in the Strata Schemes Management Regulation 2016, all windows that are within a child’s reach less than 1.7m above the ground and openable by more than 2m above the ground floor outside must be fitted with devices that lock the window and prevent it from opening more than 12.5cm.
Balcony and deck height
In addition to the window safety requirements above, the Building Code of Australia also lists strict rules regarding the construction of balconies to prevent series falls. Under these rules, all balcony balustrades, decks and boundaries must be at least 1m high and built with durable and sturdy building materials. Furthermore, they must be regularly inspected for wear and tear.
If you have babies or toddlers, you will want to ensure your property has good sound-proofing. For example, you won’t want to move into a property where you are easily disturbed by noisy neighbours or can hear the traffic outside. In these cases, ensure your strata property has adequate insulation on the floors, walls and windows. This may range of double-glazed windows to reduce external noise, external barrier panels to reduce sound, or fake walls and ceilings to reduce noise from other apartments.
Your child’s comfort and safety is of the utmost importance when it comes to choosing a strata property. Get in touch with our team today for more information on our range of strata services or explore our document bank for more information.