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NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development
Residential Building Owners

Window Guards

Each year, young children are injured or die in falls from unguarded windows.  These are preventable deaths and injuries.  Owners have a responsibility to ensure that window guards are properly installed.  In September 2011, Mayor Bloomberg signed Local Law 57 of 2011, which authorizes HPD to issue violations for failure to install proper window guards, and to seek penalties for noncompliance. 

The window guard law requires owners to send an annual notice to tenants of multiple dwellings (buildings of 3 or more apartments) regarding window guards.  Click here for a copy of the notice.

It also requires owners to provide and properly install approved window guards on all windows, including first floor bathrooms and windows leading onto a balcony or terrace in an apartment where a child 10 years of age or younger resides and in each common area window, if any, in such buildings. The exceptions to this law are windows that open onto a fire escape and windows on the first floor that are a required secondary exit in a building in which there are fire escapes on the second floor and up.

If tenants or occupants want window guards for any reason, even if there are no resident children 10 years of age or younger, the tenant can request the window guards in writing and the landlord must  install them.  For example, grandparents who have visiting children, parents who share custody and occupants who provide child care may wish to request window guards. 

If required or requested window guards have not been installed or if they appear to be insecure or improperly installed, or if there is more than 4½ inches of open unguarded space in the window opening, a complaint should be made immediately, either by calling 311 or using 311ONLINE.

As noted above, owners are required to send Annual notices to tenants or occupants of multiple dwellings to determine if window guards are required.  The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s website can provide additional information on : 

   Annual notices
   Installation requirements for approved window guards 

You can also call 311 for more information about window guards. 

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