x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 19 January 2018

Window guards must be installed to prevent tower falls

Building owners have six months to install devices that limit how far windows will open.

ABU DHABI // Building owners have six months to install protective devices on residential windows to stop children and the disabled falling.

The order from the Department of Municipal Affairs comes after many children have died in the past seven months in Dubai and Sharjah. And in Abu Dhabi in January, a girl, 3, died after falling from a fifth-floor balcony on Airport Road.

All owners of residential buildings must provide "proper means of protection" for balconies, windows or openings that lead outside "to protect children and persons with disabilities from falling", the new rule says. Windows must not be able to open any wider than 10 centimetres.

New residential leases must include provisions that the owner will provide the protection. The rule will be enforced by Civil Defence and by the emirate's municipalities.