When is the last time you heard a tragic story of a child falling through a window? Sadly, probably far too recently. Building codes have requirements for windows that are more than 72” (6 feet) above outside grade to have a special device called a WOCD or “Window Operating Control device”.
The 72” size means that all windows second floor and higher should be fitted with a WOCD or a 4” limiter to prevent accidental falls by children.
Often, a device that limits the opening of a window to no greater than 4” is an adequate safety measure, however they have one drawback. Some limiters like those traditionally used on casements are hard to disengage. In an emergency, they would likely prevent someone from using a window as a fire escape (to climb into the waiting arms of a fireman on a lift). Even second floor bedrooms require two egress exits and one is likely a window, so a fixed 4” limiter doesn’t meet the code.
Nite latches are called nite latches because they are not safety latches. They are too easy to disengage. In addition, any latch that once bypassed requires being actively reset is likely to not be reset.
A WOCD is a device designed so an adult can easily bypass its operation in limiting the window to 4” opening, but once the window is closed again, it resets itself to a 4” limit on opening!
Casements: The Truth Safeguard WOCD device looks like a traditional 4” limiter, but it can be easily disengaged by an adult. A younger child would not likely be able to tamper with it, in much the same way that vials for drugs can be opened but require a bit of sophistication children are assumed to not have.
Double Sliding Windows: A WOCD for a sliding window looks similar to a nite latch and generally fits in the same slot. There are two important differences. The first is, there is a two-motion operation required to unset it from its locked, limiting position. This is its way of preventing small children from bypassing its operation. Second, after being bypassed by an adult, when the window sash passes by the device as the window is closed, it automatically resets to its limiting position.
Single Sliding Windows: The WOCD for a single sliding window function much the same as for a double sliding device with one difference. Instead of going into the punched in slot on a sash, the device for a single sliding window is surface mounted.
Help avoid a tragedy! Ask GEM for WOCD limiters on all appropriate windows.