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Window Guard Regulations of the City of NY 6-30-91- Chapter 12

Window Guards
§12-01 Definitions
§12-02 Lease Notices
§12-03 Annual Notice
§12-04 Variation in Form of Notices Prohibited
§12-05 Notice that Installation is Optional or that there is a Tie-in between Installation and

Tenant Payment prohibited

§12-06 Tenant Obligation to Provide Information and Access
§12-07 Selective Window Guard Installation Prohibited
§12-08 Procedures for Manufacturers Applying for Approval of Window Guards
§12-09 Procedures for requesting Window Guard Variances
§12-10 Specifications for Window Guards for Double Hung Windows
§12-11 Specifications for Window Guards for other than Double Hung Windows
§12-12 Modifications by Commissioner
§12-13 Penalties

§12-01: Definitions.

When used in these regulations, the following words or terms shall have the following meaning:

  • Child or Children - Any person ten years of age or younger.
  • Department - The New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
  • Installation of Window Guards - The proper installation and maintenance of window guards in the manner approved by the Department.
  • Landlord - The owner, lessee, agent, or other person who manages or controls a multiple dwelling or dwelling unit.
  • Tenant - the lessee or other occupant regularly residing within a dwelling unit, regardless of whether said occupant is a party to a lease agreement.

§12-02: Lease Notice.

  1. All leases offered to tenants in multiple dwellings shall contain, as a rider to the lease, a notice in the form and content of which shall be specified in Appendix A hereto.
  2. Said notice shall be printed in not less than ten (10) point type, and shall bear the title "Window Guard Required" underlined and in boldface.
  3. Said notice shall be separately signed and dated by the tenant who signed the lease indicating clearly whether a child ten years of age or underis, or will be, residing in the leased premises.

§12-03: Annual Notice.

  1. Each year the landlord shall deliver to each dwelling unit, a notice,the form and content of which shall be in English and Spanish as specified in Appendix B, no earlier than January 1st and no later than January 16th of the year for which the notice is delivered. The foregoing notwithstanding, ifsuch notice is delivered to the tenant by enclosure with the rent bill pursuant to S12-03 ( B )( 3 ) below, then the notice may be delivered by the landlord at such time as the rent bill for the month of January is delivered. In addition said notice shall be delivered within thirty (30) days of a change in the occupancy not involving a written lease. This provision shall be effective January 1, 1987.
  2. The landlord shall deliver said notice by any one of the following methods:
    1. by first class mail addressed to the tenant at the dwelling unit;
    2. by hand delivery to the tenant at the dwelling unit;
    3. by enclosure with the rent bill.
  3. If by February 15th of the year for which the notice is sent a landlord does not have a written communication signed by the tenant, and does not otherwise have actual knowledge of the need or desire for window guards,then the landlord or his agent shall at reasonable times inspect the dwelling unit to ascertain whether a child ten years of age or younger resides in the dwelling and if so, whether approved window guards are properly installed and maintained.
  4. If by March 1st a landlord who has fully complied with subdivisions (B ) and ( C ) of this section has been unable to ascertain the need or desire for window guards in any dwelling unit or units, then he shall write to the Department's Window Falls Prevention Program, 125 Worth Street / 9th Floor / CN59A, New York, New York 10013, fully describing what efforts have been made to comply with S131.15 of the New York City Health Code and these regulations, for the purpose of requesting assistance in regard to his further compliance. Such request shall include the name and telephone number of the landlord and his representative.

§12-04: Variation in Form of Notices Prohibited.

The wording and form of notices specified in this regulation shall not be altered or varied in any manner, except as permitted after an application made to the Commissioner under S12-08.

§12-05: Notice that Installation is Optional or that there is a Tie-in between Installation and Tenant Payment Prohibited.

  1. No communication from a landlord or tenant shall indicate that the installation of window guards is optional or in any manner dependent upon payments by the tenant.
  2. Landlords shall not impose any type of pre-condition such as fees or any other psychological deterrent, preliminary to installation of window guards.

§12-06: Tenant Obligation to Provide Information and Access.

  1. No tenant in a dwelling unit shall refuse or unreasonably fail to provide accurate and truthful information regarding the residency of children therein, or refuse, prevent, or obstruct any inspection required by S12-03 (C) above.
  2. A landlord who has been denied access to a dwelling unit for the purpose of installing window guards required by S131.15 ( A ) of the New York City Health Code, shall write to the Department's Window Falls Prevention Program, 125 Worth Street / 9th Floor / CN59A, New York, New York 10013. Said statement shall specify the landlord's efforts to gain access and the circumstances of the denial thereof.
  3. Tenants or occupants must respond to mandated inquiries by landlord as to their window guards needs or desires. It is a violation of the law to fail to do this. Tenants or occupants must also provide access and permit installation of guards and stops, where required.

§12-07: Selective Window Guard Installation Prohibited.

Window guards may not be installed selectively. They must be installed inall windows except fire escape access windows and secondary egress windows infirst floor apartments, where the fire escapes are on the upper floors. Choice of unguarded window is optional in latter cases.

§12-08: Procedures for Manufacturers Applying for Approval of Window Guards.

  1. A window guard application, available from Window Falls Prevention, must be completed and submitted with:
    1. a sample or prototype of the smallest and largest of each model being submitted.
    2. a schematic drawing of the window guard indicating adherence to the specifications of the Health Department, and indicating the range and sizes for approval being sought.
    3. installation hardware and stopping devices for each model.
    4. a Professional Engineer's certification of the testing results for the largest and smallest guards, the tests having been administered simulating the installation conditions and weight stress applied as recommended by the manufacture in compliance with the specifications.
    5. a letter from the paint manufacturer attesting to the lead content of the paint.
    6. installation instructions for each type of window guard.
    7. manufacturer's identification number and/or coding symbol.
    8. manufacturer's dating code.
  2. When approved, the Health Department Approval Number, i.e., HDWG06-88-99; must be indelibly imprinted on a flat surface of one vertical stile of each window guard fabricated. This imprint must be so located as to be readily visible from the inside of a room where the guard has been installed.
  3. A packet containing the approved hardware/screws and the stopping devices for installation, must be attached or accompany each window guard sold.

§12-09: Procedures for Requesting Window Guard Variances.

  1. All requests for variances must be submitted in writing for review by the Window Guard Policy and Acceptance Board.
  2. When necessary, the presence of the submitter at a meeting of the Board may be required to amplify and respond to questions.
  3. Requests for variances will be entertained only if submitted by the owner or management of a building or by his authorized representative.
  4. Requests for variances will be entertained when the installation of an approved Health Department window guard proves to be impossible for structural reasons or infeasible.
  5. A letter of application shall be submitted to the Window Guard Policy and Acceptance Board of the N.Y.C. Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, 125 Worth Street, CN-59A, New York, NY. 10013.
    1. Letters of application should include the following:
      1. Name, address, and telephone number of the applicant.
      2. Address of premise or premises for which variance is being requested, and the type and number of windows involved.
      3. Reason for request.
      4. Description of condition or conditions warranting the request including a photo and/or mechanical drawing of the windows in question, depicting the particular structural idiosyncracy or aberration making the request necessary.
      5. The alternative device presented for consideration must meet the same criteria and standards of safety as the prescribed window guards.
      6. If requesting consideration of the a limiting device, the submission must include: namely: one way screws or viable approved equivalent tamper-proof mechanism.
      7. Application statement must commit to scheduled regular inspections and monitoring of the alternative installation by management, to ensure the ongoing integrity of the device.
  6. All variances will be granted on a time limited basis, and will be subject to review, renewal, or retraction at the expiration of the prescribed period or before should abuse of the procedural requirements be identified.

§12-10: Specifications for Window Guard Double Hung Windows.

  1. Guards shall be constructed of rigid metal, free of sharp projections, edges, or rough surfaces.
  2. Guards shall be constructed as to reject the passage of a solid five(5) inch sphere at every space and interval.
  3. Guards shall bear a one hundred and fifty pound (150 lb.) Load atcenterspan when extended to maximum width. A test with the guard attached inaccordance with the manufacturer's instructions for installation must be performed, and the results, including information as to temporary or permanent distortion, certified by a Professional Engineer, or independent testing laboratory.
    1. On guards utilizing non-telescoping bars, there shall be a permanent spot weld on at least two of the horizontal bars so as to provide a minimum of two (2) inches overlap when the guard is fully extended.
    2. On telescoping bars, when the guard is extended to the maximum allowable width, there shall be a minimum overlap of five (5) inches or 1/3 of the length of the bar, which ever is greater.
    3. A permanent label shall be affixed on at least one horizontal bar, oneach facing surface. Said label shall read: WARNING! EXTENSION OF THIS GUARD BEYOND ___ INCHES IS DANGEROUS AND ILLEGAL. *insert the number of inches appropriate to the particular model in the space.
    4. On telescoping guards, there shall be an additional stile or other approved support(s), at the telescopic opening of the outer tubing of the bars, that shall prevent any spreading of the bars.
  4. Guards shall be a minimum of fifteen (15) inches high measured along the vertical stiles.
  5. The channel stiles shall each have at least two (2) holes for permanent window mounting. If guards are more than fifteen inches (15")in height, additional mounting holes are required to provide a maximum interval of eighteen inches (18") between mounting holes.
  6. Stops.
    1. Rigid metal "L" shaped stops, to be a minimum of one half the width of the window track and each leg of which shall measure at least two inches, shall be installed securely with two (2) screws in the upper tracks of each side of the bottom window to prevent the lower window from being raised more than 4 ½ inches above the lowest section of the tophorizontal bar of the window guard.
    2. Where "L" shaped stops cannot be placed in the window track without interfering with the normal operation of the window, a rigid metal strip may be securely fastened across the track of the bottom window to prevent the lower window from being raised more than 4 ½ inches above the lowest section of the top horizontal bar of the window guard. Strips shall be mounted on each of the windows and shall be secured by two (2)screws on each side of the window track.
    3. In situations where the stops described in (1) and (2) above cannot beused, such as in ballast windows, rigid metal "L" shaped stops maybe securely fastened to the frame of the window to prevent the lower window from being raised more than 4 ½ inches above the lowest section of the top horizontal bar of the window guard. A stop shall be securely mounted one each side of the exterior lower window frame and shall be secured by two (2)screws in each stop.
    4. In special situations where the stops described in (1), (2), and (3)above cannot be used, an application may be made to the Window Guard Policy and Acceptance Board for approval of an alternative stopping device.
    5. Stops are not required where approved window guards are installed that are of sufficient height to prevent an opening of more than 4 ½ inches above the lowest section of the top horizontal bar of the window guard when the lower window is raised to it's maximum open position.
  7. Screws. Screws used to mount window guards and stopping devices shall be one way sheet metal screws or tamper resistant screws. Tamper resistant screws are defined as screws requiring special tools for their installation and/or removal, which tools are not readily available in retail hardware stores. All tamper resistant screws must be counter-sunk flush with the stile or stopping device. Appropriate screws shall be:
    1. minimum size #10 and long enough to penetrate one (1) inch into a wooden window frame, or
    2. of an adequate type, size, and length to be securely fastened to a metal window frame. Manufacturer shall supply all required screws with guards.
  8. The coating of guards shall be unleaded. The statement from the paint manufacturer attesting to this fact must accompany applications for window guard approval.
  9. Coded manufacturer's identification symbol (guard model), Health Department Approval number, and fabrication date symbols (month and year) shall be imprinted indelibly (die stamped), on one of the end stiles, so located as to be readily visible when viewed from within the room where theguard has been installed.
  10. Each guard sold by a manufacturer shall be sold with a self-contained envelope or plastic bag containing:
    1. approved installation instructions,
    2. "L" shaped or other approved stops, and
    3. specified screws for installation of guard and stops. If wood screws are supplied by the manufacturer, a warning label should be included stating that for metal installations, appropriate type, size, and length screws mustbe substituted. The warning shall be imprinted on the packaging container.
  11. Instructions for safe installation should be provided with each guard by manufacturer.
    1. Instructions shall specify maximum window width for which the guard is intended, and shall contain the following prominently printed warning: WARNING: USE OF THIS GUARD BEYOND SPECIFIED MAXIMUM WIDTH IS DANGEROUS AND ILLEGAL.
    2. Instructions shall prominently warn that guards and stops must be installed only in sound (non-rotting) window tracks.
    3. Instructions shall prominently specify: WINDOW GUARDS MAY NOT BE INSTALLED IN WINDOWS PROVIDING ACCESS TO FIRE ESCAPES.
    4. Instructions shall specify that guards be installed so that the bottom horizontal members are mounted a maximum of 4 ½ inches above the windowsill.
    5. Instructions shall specify the use of supplied "L" shaped stops to be installed with screws provided, or alternative approved stopping devices also provided with prescribed screws, to limit the opening above the lowest section of the top horizontal bar to 4 ½ inches when the bottom sash is raised.

§12-11: Specifications for Window Guards for other than Double Hung Windows.

  1. Applications for approval of window guards for use in other than double hung windows shall specify the window type(s) for which the guard submitted is intended. Mounting materials and instructions for installation for each specific type of window must be included with the application and must be provided to the consumer with the guards.
  2. Guards shall be constructed so as to reject the passage of a solidfive (5) inch sphere are every space and interval.
  3. Guards intended for encasements, sliders, and other types or combinations windows in which the height of the openings are not subject to limitation, must be of such size as to fill the entire aperture, and must reject passage of a solid five (5) inch sphere at every space and interval.
    1. When approved limiting devices are utilized in lieu of window guards, the size of any unguarded opening may not exceed 4 ½ inches so as to reject passage of a solid five (5) inch sphere at every space and interval.
    2. On guards utilizing non-telescoping bars, there shall be a permanent spot weld on at least two (2) of the horizontal bars so as to provide a minimum of two (2) inches overlap when fully extended.
    3. On telescoping bars, when the guard is extended to the maximum allowable width, there shall be a minimum overlap of five (5) inches or 1/3 of the length of the bar, whichever is greater.
    4. A permanent label shall be affixed on at least one horizontal bar one each facing surface. Said label shall read: WARNING! EXTENSION OF THIS GUARD BEYOND ___ INCHES IS DANGEROUS AND ILLEGAL. *insert the number of inches appropriate to the particular model in this space.
    5. On telescoping guards, there shall be an additional stile or other approved support(s), at the telescoping opening of the outer tubing of the bars, that shall prevent the spreading of the bars.
  4. Guards shall bear a one hundred and fifty pound (150lb.) load at it'scenterspan when extended to it's maximum width. A test with guards attached in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions for installation must beperformed and results certified by a Professional Engineer or independenttesting laboratory. The information shall include any finding of a permanentor temporary distortion.
  5. Each channel stile shall have at least two (2) mounting holes. If guard is more than 15 inches high, additional mounting holes are required toprovide a maximum of 18 inches between mounting holes.
  6. Coating of guards shall be unleaded. Statement from the paint manufacturer attesting to this fact shall accompany the application for window guard approval.
  7. Coded manufacturer's identification symbol (guard model), Health Department Approval number, and fabrication date symbols (month and year),shall be imprinted on one of the end stiles so located as to be readily visible when viewed from within the room where the guard has been installed.
  8. Sliding windows and vertical pivoting windows may use stopping devices in lieu of window guards as follows:
    1. Sliding windows. A solid metal block, measuring at least one half the depth of the window track and one half the width, shall be securely fastened by two (2) screws in the bottom window track, and a solid metal block or an "L" shaped metal stop shall be securely fastened by two (2) screws in the upper window track, to prevent the window from opening more than 4 ½ inches.
    2. Vertical pivoting windows. Metal stopping devices shall be securely fastened to the upper and lower window frames by two (2) screws so as toprevent the window from pivoting open more than 4 ½ inches. The height of the stopping devices shall extend no less than one inch, no less than twoinches beyond the window frame as needed to stop the window.
  9. For types of non-double hung windows, other than those described in subdivision ( H) and in special situations where the stops described in subdivisions ( H ) (1) and ( H ) (2) cannot be used, application may be made to the Window Guard Policy and Acceptance Board for approval of an alternatestopping device.
  10. Screws used to mount window guards and stopping devices shall be oneway metal, screws or tamper resistant screws. Tamper resistant screws are defined as screws requiring special tools for installation and/or removal,which tools are not readily available in retail hardware stores. All tamper resistant screws shall be counter-sunk flush with the stile or stopping device.
    1. appropriate screws shall be a minimum size #10 and shall be long enough to penetrate one inch into a wooden frame, or
    2. shall be of adequate type, size, and length to be securely fastened to a metal window frame. Manufacturers shall supply all required screws.
  11. Each guard sold shall be sold with a self-contained envelope orplastic bag containing:
    1. approved installation instructions,
    2. approved stooping devices, and
    3. specified screws needed for installation of the window guard and/or stopping devices. If wood screws are supplied by a manufacturer, a warninglabel or message imprinted on the packaging shall warn that for metal installations, appropriate type, size, and length screws must be substituted. This warning shall be imprinted on the packaging container.
  12. Instructions for safe installation of window guards shall be provided by the manufacturer for each specific type of window for which they are intended.
    1. Instructions shall specify that window guards may not be installed on windows providing access to fire escapes.
    2. Instructions shall specify maximum window width and height for which guard is intended, and shall contain the following prominently printed wording: WARNING! USE OF THIS GUARD BEYOND SPECIFIED MAXIMUM WIDTH IS DANGEROUS AND ILLEGAL!
    3. Instructions shall prominently warn that guards must be installed only in sound (non-rotting) mountings or tracks.

§12-12: Modification by Commissioner.

When the strict application of any provision of this regulation presents practical difficulties or unusual hardships, the Commissioner, in a specific instance, may modify the application of such provision consistent with the general purpose of this regulation and upon such condition as, in his opinion, are necessary to protect life and health.

§12-13: Penalties.

Penalties for violation of these regulations shall be as provide in S17-123 of the Administrative Code of the City of New York.

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Last Updated: June 21, 2012