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Last month, I wrote about the value of industry collaboration and how multiple industry associations can work together to achieve a common goal for their memberships. I am proud to announce an even more recent example of this, thanks to the shared commitment of FGIA and the Window and Door Manufacturers Association to window safety.

A new technical bulletin about window opening control devices (WOCDs) was published, just in time for Window Safety Week, taking place April 7-13! This important technical bulletin, AAMA/WDMA TB-24-01, clarifies the definition of a WOCD compared with other opening limiter devices, explains related code requirements and identifies the two types of WOCDs to promote greater understanding of the role and function of these specialized components.

WOCDs were introduced as a new window fall prevention device starting with the 2008 version of the ASTM International (ASTM) F2090, Standard Specification for Window Fall Prevention Devices with Emergency Escape (Egress) Release Mechanisms. They are intended to help support home safety. When properly designed, tested, specified and installed, WOCDs can help prevent or reduce accidental falls from windows, while allowing the ability to open the window fully as may be needed to exit in the event of a home emergency.

The key features of WOCDs are that they:

  • Are releasable by either two independent single-action devices or one dual-action device
  • Allow the sash to be fully opened after being released to meet egress opening requirements
  • Automatically reset when the sash is closed such that the opening is limited to no more than four inches when the sash is operated again

The two release actions are intended to mitigate the potential for accidental release of the device while maintaining simple enough mechanisms to reasonably be properly operated in an emergency situation without requiring special keys, tools or knowledge. By allowing the sash to fully open when WOCDs are released, building occupants are able to escape and emergency personnel are able to gain access when needed. And the automatic reset function is also critical, re-engaging the safety mechanism to limit the window opening under normal use to the specified span according to code.

Though Window Safety Week is an important annual reminder, window safety education should be ongoing, occurring throughout the year. And, it’s important to take a comprehensive approach; safety devices and code requirements cannot be expected to do the job alone. Learn how you and those at your company can share window safety tips to help protect your customers.

Get your copy of this new technical bulletin, AAMA/WDMA TB-24-01, as a free download now in the FGIA Online Store!