Window Fall Protection Requirements

By Bruno Caligara

Landlords of multifamily buildings are legally required to install and maintain window fall prevention/guards. All landlords must include a “Window Guards Required” notice for new tenants, in bold face and at least (10) point type. The notice must be signed by the tenant indicating clearly whether a child of ten years of age or under is, or will be residing in the leased premises. The Landlord is required to request updated information from the tenants annually.

Window Fall protection guards are required on all windows with the only exceptions for first floor secondary egress windows, and fire escape windows. Variances are sometimes granted but would require an detailed request to the Department of Mental Hygiene.

Double hung windows guards must be constructed of ridged metal, free of sharp or rough edges, made to reject the passage of a solid 5 inch sphere at every space interval, and able to bear a one hundred and fifty pound load at center span when extended to the maxim width.

Guards are typically 15 inches in height, and installation must be done in strict accordance with manufacture recommendations.  Installation and window fall protection information can be found at the Department of Health web site under Windows Falls Prevention Program, chapter 12, sections 12-01 to 12-13.