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When do I need to have window guards?

When do I need to have window guards?

Project type

  • Windows & doors
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Building regulations in relation to window guards (guarding) are in place to help protect people from falling.

Details of this guarding will form part of your building regulations application.

Requirements for guarding to the internal face of the window

Any window openings in external walls with a sill (also spelled as cill) height between 300mm and 800mm above finished floor level require suitable guarding unless the window is non-openable and fitted with laminated glass that resists breaking. 

The guarding will need to prevent any children being held fast and should ensure that any gaps in the guarding are less than 100mm and that there are no climbable rails.

If you’re installing full height french doors or windows above ground floor level, these will need to be fitted with robust non-climbable guarding to stop people falling out. This must be at least 1100mm high measured from finished floor level and ensure 

If you have a short wall between your floor and the bottom of the window, of up to 300mm high, then an 800mm guard height should be provided above this level that any gaps in the guarding are less than 100mm. Any balcony may also need planning permission.

Can’t I just use window restrictors?

Window restrictors aren't considered to be an alternative to a permanent guard.

Further information

Approved Document K England: Protection from falling, collision and impact

Approved Document K Wales: Protection from falling, collision and impact

BCA Guidance note on guarding to openable windows