NSW Kids Safe window legislation introduced

child safety and window legislation

NSW Minister for Fair Trading Anthony Roberts has introduced into parliament new window safety laws to help prevent children falling from windows in residential strata buildings.

Mr Roberts said in 2011-2012, 39 children aged nine or younger were hospitalised in NSW due to window falls. “The suffering these children and their families have gone through due to a terrible accident is devastating,” Mr Roberts said.

“Window safety devices provide the last line of defence to prevent a serious injury or death. The NSW government’s landmark new laws will help to save lives.”

In March, the NSW government agreed to a range of measures, including an amendment to the Strata Schemes Management Act 1996. This followed a report by The Children’s Hospital at Westmead Working Party for the Prevention of Children Falling from Residential Buildings.

Mr Roberts said that the NSW government will amend strata and residential tenancies legislation to require owners corporations to install safety devices on all windows that pose a safety risk to young children, allow owners to install safety devices regardless of the by-laws of the strata scheme and to include window safety devices in the prescribed condition report for rental premises.

“Owners corporations will be required to install safety devices that allow windows above the ground floor to open to a maximum of 12.5cm when the lock is engaged,” Mr Roberts said. “Residents will still be able to open their windows as they do now, however they will have the security of knowing that when the lock is engaged, children in their care will be protected from a tragic accident.”

Australian Medical Association NSW president, Brian Owler commended the NSW Government’s commitment to protecting children from permanent, debilitating injury or death due to falls from windows.

“This is great news for any parent of young children who lives in an apartment with rooms above the ground floor,” Professor Owler said. “Similar laws were introduced in New York in the 1970′s and this resulted in a 96% decrease in hospitalisations due to falls from windows. “NSW is the first state in Australia to bring in laws of this kind and I hope the other states soon follow suit.”

Owners corporations have been given five years to fit window safety devices, dating back to the release of the NSW government’s Children and Window Safety Consultation Paper on 13 March 2013.

“I am mindful of the necessary procedures owners corporations must follow, however they must have window safety devices installed by 13 March 2018,” Mr Roberts said. “With more than 70,000 strata schemes across the state and an average of five new strata schemes registered each day, this realistic timeframe ensures owners corporations can identify windows that are affected, discuss their approach and schedule the fitting of safety devices.”

Chair of the Owners Corporation Network, Stephen Goddard, said the retro-fitting of safety devices is necessary because many housing strata schemes were built at a time when the community was unaware of the dangers.

“The Owners Corporation Network supports any action the government takes to reverse the threat to life and safety from the amenity in a strata scheme.”

Article Source: http://www.accomnews.com.au/

Testing and Tagging – Keep your company in compliance

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There are specific guidelines and requirements for electrical testing and tagging processes. All electrical testing and tagging processes must meet the Australian standards for inspection and testing AS/NZS 3760:2010. Results of both Class I and Class II electrical equipment must be stored and kept on file. Having results downloaded and recorded for audit purposes ensures that your company will be in compliance.

The Timeframe Group offers a full range of services for tagging and testing needs to ensure your compliance with legislation for testing and tagging. The full range of services include a holistic approach to assist in compliance and safety obligations. Also offered is reporting and tracking of equipment that has been tested as well as a schedule of testing dates for future compliance. Any tested equipment that was within proper ranges but shows that it could fail soon can be tracked to protect against an incident.

Thermal imaging can sense temperatures where high resistance joints and circuits could overload and cause excessive heat damages or fires. Thermal imaging is effective and efficient with much less downtime than other traditional forms of testing. It is a powerful tool used to detect hot spots and anomalies that could be dangerous or cause a system failure.

Timeframe Group offers their services in NSW and Queensland, using the best testing equipment available: the Seaward Prime Test 300 Portable Appliance Tester, Prime Test 300 testers and PATCHGUARD software. These tools allow us to test, download and record all appliances on site and provide a detailed report for audit and inventory purposes. The tested items are tagged and dated with a barcode. If an appliance fails testing we will consult with the point of contact to implement the best course of action. You will be provided with a detailed asset register report and a latest test result report which includes a detailed report of any failed items. You will be provided all documentation and a compliance certificate with completed logbook.

As a professional testing and tagging company we understand your needs for compliance as well as your concerns of disruption of your site or workplace. Our specialists are trained to perform with the least amount of disruption while testing and tagging is being completed. We will work with your contact person(s) to schedule testing and tagging during the most opportune time for your company.

Safe kids in pool

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New Rules and Regulations for pool fences as of 21 November 2013

Rules and regulations regarding pool fences have been changed as of this week.

Pool fencing is still continuing to be a major concern and is suspected to be contributing to the drowning deaths among children under the age of 5 years.

Please be advised that pool laws and legislation varies in different states and territories located in Australia. The following written information here relates to NSW only.

Pool Fencing Laws

Requirements for child-resistant gates and barriers will vary depending on the location of the pool and when the pool was built.

Pools built before 1 August 1990

There is to be no unrestricted access to the pool from the house at any time. Doors and windows are able to form a segment of the barrier but they must be compliant at all times.

Pools Built After 1 August 1990 but Before 1 July 1990

All pools must be fully surrounded by fencing that will separate the house from the pool. There are a few exceptions that do apply to pools on properties that are very small (has to be less than 230 square metres), larger properties of 2 hectares or over and those pools located on waterfront properties.

Pools Built After 1 July 2010

All pools built after this date must be fully surrounded by fencing that separates the house and pool.

Inflatable Pools

Owners with inflatable pools must be sure the fencing complies with all laws.

The Children’s Hospital, located in Westmead, has commissioned a video that covers a wide range of pool safety topics that can be viewed here: www.kidshealth.chw.edu.au/projects.

This video can be found under ‘Drowning Prevention’ on the ‘Swimming Pool Fencing’ page on the hospital website.

Physical Measurements for Pool Fencing

All pools fencing must be in compliance with the following summarization:

  • The gap at the bottom of the pool fencing may not be more than 10cm from the ground level finished area
  • The height of the pool fencing must be at a minimum of 1.2m above the finished ground level
  • There are to be no gaps between any vertical bars I the fencing that are more than 10cm
  • Horizontal climbable bars have to be at least 90cm apart from each other so that children cannot climb up them

Non-climbable Zones

Shrubs, trees, barbeques or any other objects including toys and ladders cannot be within 90cm ‘non climbable zone’. This is put into effect so that a child cannot use any of these objects to climb up and over the fencing.

Doors and Windows that are Child-resistant

A variety of older swimming pools have included windows or doors as part of the standard pool package. These doors and windows are no longer allowed in the building of newer pools.

Doors in Pool Barriers

If there are windows located in the area that forms the pool barrier, they must have a screen that closes the gap to more larger than 12,5cm or a locking device.

If the requirements are not satisfied the owner will then need to install a locking mechanism or security screen. All hardware can be purchased at the local hardware store.

Gate Latching and Closing Devices

It is necessary to be sure the pool gate has the following:

  • The gate is never to be held or propped open by an object and should always be kept shut
  • Gate will swing outward away from the pool
  • Gate will shut automatically from the open position without having to be pushed or forced
  • Gate will automatically lock on its own

If the gate does not self-lock it should be permanently fastened closed until a new lock can be purchased and installed

Gate and Fencing Maintenance

All fencing screws, bolts and fasteners must be in good working order and tight. All loose parts need to be tightened or replaced.

All self-closing gate locks, latches and hinges should be lubricated with silicone or oil on a regular basis.

Pool manufactures should always provide written documentation on the maintenance of the pool. All documentation on pools and gates should be kept in a safe area so that maintenance can be performed at suggested intervals. The proper maintenance can help prevent many of the common problems associated with pool fencing and gates.

Rust Just Does Not Sleep (so let’s put it to bed for good)

 

Rust damage

Taking aim and killing rust is something we battle all of the time. While growing, it can be unseen for any length of time, and this can go on for months and even years. All of a sudden we can see the appearance of bubbles under paint on the concrete walls. Eventually, fist sized pieces are pushing out and just dropping to the ground off the wall.

Recently I was called to a job site where the person in charge told me how there was a loud crash that sounded like a ton of dishes being dropped down. Upon investigation, a loud crash was actually a full concrete head over a window that had broken off and fallen seven flights and exploded on the driveway below. Without needing to be said, thank goodness nobody was walking below when this concrete decided to give way.

What was the cause of this problem?

The cause was RUST!

What happened to cause this was the reinforcement steel located within the concrete was rusting. The fact is this was an explosion, a very slow one. After months and years of the rust taking hold the concrete could not hold any longer, and the whole head gave way and fell to the ground.

Here you can see the size of the section that fell from the top of the window:

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So let’s get this rust under control and put it to bed.

We have been using a product called Rustraint and have had great success. This product is a rust preparation coating that takes to the surface and creates a very stable surface that can then be primed and coated. We have been using this product for a couple of years now and have not witnessed even small pits of rust showing through anything that has been treated.

Is this a rust converter?

This product could fall into the line of rust converters because it actually creates surface that is glazed and stable to be painted. We have tried other brands of rust converters that showed instances of rust coming through just within a few weeks’ time. We have been given reports on Rustraint over the past 15 years and in all of this time there has been no evidence of rust bleeding through.

Fifteen years’ time is pretty darn impressive!

Feel free to let me know if you would like more information on Rustraint. As always, I am here to answer any questions you may have and look forward to hearing from you.

Contact Us at 

Eco Friendly Paints and Asthma

eco friendly green paint

For those dealing with asthma, the thought of using any paint can cause concern. Having asthma attacks triggered by chemicals and odours is something that asthma suffers worry about. So when a painting job arises is there a specific paint that should be used? If so, where can these paints be purchased? Are there ecofriendly paints available that will not break the budget?

The heat is on many companies to be producing products that are environment friendly. As time goes on, products are being made that are more tolerable and less destructible to people, animals and the environment.

Here is a couple of paint products that we are using at Timeframe Group that  are now being sold as ecofriendly paints and have passed the test of both durability and affordability.

Taubmans Paints

Taubmans paints are now being used in hospitals and schools due to the micro ban and Teflon. Taubmans Endure Ideal is the specific name and has earned the green star rating and is associated with the asthma association.

Taubmans Endure Interior and Taubmans Easy Coat walls have both been approved by the National Asthma Council Australia’s Sensitive Choice Program. All products approved by the Sensitive Choice Program may help those with both allergies and asthma. Taubmans Easy Coat includes Microban, which provides antimicrobial protection against the growth of fungus, mould and mildew on painted surfaces. As asthmatics know, keeping mould, mildew and fungus at bay is imperative in keeping asthma under control.

Dulux Paints

Dulux has been one of the leaders in the introduction of low VOC paints. These low VOC paints have less Volatile Organic Compounds thus creating less odour and emissions. The paints that Dulux has introduced into the trades consist of Dulux Professional Enviro2, DIY and Wash and Wear 101 Advanced and a variety of tinters.

When you spot the Eco Choice symbol you can rest assured that you are selecting quality Dulux paint that is kind to the environment and your surroundings. Dulux is committed to developing better low VOC paints for the best in ecofriendly paints.

 

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Dulux Professional EnvirO2 and Dulux Aquanamel are the first carbon neutral paints certified by the Greenhouse Friendly program. The Greenhouse Friendly program is an initiative of the Australian Government through the Australian Greenhouse Office. The Australian Greenhouse Office is the world’s first government agency fully dedicated to cutting greenhouse gas emissions. Dulux is proud to have this seal of approval.

Dulux Wash & Wear protects against the growth of bacteria, mould and stains. Time and again Dulux has proven that a quality paint is available that will not only hold up to wear and tear but things that can cause problems with allergies and asthma.

Having a newly painted area for you to enjoy does not mean that your asthma has to be aggravated. Low VOC paints are available in a variety of combinations and colours.

To find out more about the best solution for your paint job, contact us for a professional, eco and asthma friendly quote.

 

Retaining Walls – benefits and beauty

Timeframe Group retaining wall

Retaining walls are designed to keep away soil on unnatural slopes. Their practical value is obvious, but this is not the only great benefit they have. Installing retaining walls can also have an aesthetic value, and many home owners choose them based on their design.

The practical benefits of retaining walls are:

-        They retain soil

-        They offer ground support

-        They prevent erosion

-        They help the drainage of excess water

The aesthetic benefits of retaining walls are:

-        They create an uniform look for sloping grounds

-        They constitute an important visual feature

-        They serve for installing raised beds along them for decorative purposes

There are also other benefits retaining walls have. For instance, they add value to any property. Home improvements, in general, are a great way to increase property value, and building retaining walls is an affordable way to do so.

Let’s not forget about the fact that retaining walls require very low maintenance. This means that, after the initial investment, you will not have to care about spending additional money just to look after them.

Last, but not least, retaining walls are very durable. Made of materials such as concrete, they are built to last.

Contact Timeframe Group to find out how a retaining wall can work for your property.

Summer is here, is your fence clear?

summer pool fence

Over the last five years over 150 Australian children under the age of five drowned. 50% of these tragic deaths occur in home swimming pools where your immediate action can make a difference. Home pool fencing and effective supervision can reduce these tragic drowning deaths to zero.

This interactive Royal Life Saving Pool Safety App has an interactive checklist to assist you in getting ready.

The check list below is a good start being pool safe this summer:

Swimming Pool Fence

  • Must open outward from pool
  • Latch must be more than 1.5m from the ground
  • Must be self closing and self latching
  • Must latch shut on the first swing

 Swimming Pool Gate

  • Secure and in good working order
  • No more than 100mm from the ground
  • Should be at least 1.2m high
  • No vertical gaps more than 100mm apart

Adult Supervision

Adult supervision in combination with pool fencing is the most effective method of preventing your child from drowning

  • When using the pool are you always within arms’ reach of any child under 5 years of age?
  • Are you aware of the dangers of leaving older children to supervise younger children when they are using the pool?
  • During parties is an adult designated ‘child supervisor’ duties around the pool?

Pumps grates and suction

Ensure that no fitting is broken or missing

  • Are all of the pool’s suction fittings and plumbing grates/covers securely in place and in good condition?
  • Do all pool users (including supervising adults) know where and how to switch off the pool/spa pump system in case of an emergency?
  • When using the pool do all people with long hair have it tied back securely in a bun or plait or are they wearing a swimming cap?

Emergency preparation

  • Do you or your family members have up to date Resuscitation and First Aid skills?
  • Is there a current Resuscitation Sign displayed prominently in the pool area?
  • Do you have a first aid kit easily accessible in your house?

For a professional assessment and repair of your swimming pool fence, contact Timeframe Group.

Clear your gutters to get bush fire ready

Bush Fire ready - clear your gutters

With forest fire season here, the state of your gutters is vital to keeping your family, home and commercial premises safe. This is an essential part of your bush fire readiness. The buildup of leaves and debris are a fire hazard. Embers could be carried on the wind from bush fires causing dry leaves in the gutters to ignite, then blow more embers to neighboring homes creating a very dangerous and rapidly spreading fire hazard.

Clogged gutters are the perfect breeding ground for spiders, mice, blood sucking mosquitos and many other pests. When leaves and debris become clogged in your gutters, the water cannot flow correctly to the downspouts. This allows water to pool and become warmed in the sun and heat from the roof, making the perfect breeder for mosquitos, mice and spiders which then attract many other unwanted pests to your gutters.

Aside from that there are dangerous risks of damages to your home from clogged gutters. A clogged gutter is heavy, this stresses the fascia, fasteners and hooks that secure your gutters to the home. If left unattended this could possibly fall on someone.

Gutters are intended to force water to run around, down and away from your roof and foundation. When a gutter does not function properly it can cause many expensive damages. If a gutter is left to clog the water will overflow and find the path of least resistance, usually into your walls or ceilings.

If you have not had your gutters professionally cleaned and inspected this year then now is the time. Gutters should be cleaned at least once a year, preferably twice a year.  Contact Timeframe Group for a quote to keep your family and home safe this fire season.

 

Specialised Roof Paint can reduce your cooling costs

Dulux Cool Paint - reduces heat and makes your home cooler

Dulux Cool Roof Commercial White can have great benefits to your home and family in summer. A specialised paint, Dulux Cool Roof has the following benefits:

1. Reflects Radiation, Lessens Heat

Weathered Galv/Zincalume and Dark Coloured roofs often absorb large amounts of solar radiation which can in-turn transmit heat into occupancy zones. Cool Roofs reflect light energy in the first instance – before heat is absorbed, meaning insulation and cooling efficiencies are maximized.

2. Can Help Reduce Cooling Costs

Less Heat penetration can lower cooling energy demand. Comparative Studies identify significant cooling energy savings are possible using Cool Roof Technology.

3. Can Improve Occupancy Comfort

In non-air conditioned facilities such as workshops and warehousing, cool roofs can translate to cooler working and warehousing facilities.

 4. Can Lower Carbon Footprint in warm climates

By lowering cooling energy demand, Cool Roofs have been identified as part of an effective mitigation strategy, to reduce global carbon emmissions.

Timeframe Group are certified Dulux painters and we know we can help our customers this summer to cool their homes and reduce their energy bills by using this specialised paint product.

10 Tips for Hiring a Professional Painter

Yellow Paint TFG

If you want to get a professional job from your painters follow these 10 tips:

1. Verify that the contractor is licensed and insured.

Most states require contractors to have a license and in many states the license number must be displayed on all advertising. Reputable painting contractors also carry liability insurance and workers compensation insurance and are happy to provide you with copies of their license and current insurance certificates.

2. Get a detailed estimate

Schedule a time for the painting contractor to inspect the site and give you a proposal for the project. If you are obtaining multiple bids, do make sure that all the contractors are quoting on the same specifications on the areas to be painted, surface preparation, the number of coats, and specific products to be used. The lowest bid is often not the best value.

3. Ask for references

All reputable contractors have a list of references. Ask for a list of references and do contact a couple of them. Ask specific questions about the quality of the work and how the product has held up since the work was completed. Also ask about the professionalism of the painters in your home and the timeliness of completion.

4. Find out who will be working on your project

In most professional painting companies, the owner or estimator who bids your project will not be onsite while your project is completed. It is fair to ask about the crew who will be working at your home or business. Professional companies will have a trained foreman or crew leader onsite, and either have a project manager or the estimator with general oversight on the project. Reputable contractors have liability and workers compensation insurance for their employees and the best also obtain background checks before hiring employees

5. Get a written contract

Having a written contract is a good policy to protect both parties. The contract should detail the scope of work for the project, including what surfaces are to be painted, what surface preparation is included, and may detail what is not included as well. The total price of the project and payment schedules should be spelled out too.

6. Look for warranties

Many (but not all) professional painting contractors offer a warranty on their work. At a minimum, you will want to have a warranty on the products used in your project.

7. Safety first!

Professional painting contractors have safety policies and training in place to ensure that their employees are protected when dealing with equipment and hazardous waste and solvents. Professional painting contractors also will provide EPA information to clients and take adequate safety measures when dealing with pre-1978 structures that may involve exposure to lead based paint during preparation

8. Remember that communication is a two way street

Are the contractor and his office easy to contact? Do they respond in a timely manner? On your side, make sure to respond to the contractor promptly with what he may need from you to ensure the timely completion of the project – for example return contracts and color selections promptly, comply with requests for pre-project preparation and, of course pay on time

9. Look for professional affiliations

Is the contractor a member of the Better Business Bureau, Professional Trade Association or local Chamber of Commerce? You can verify these affiliations, but do look for the evidence of association logos on the contractor’s vehicles, website or paperwork. The Painting & Decorating Contractors of America is the national professional association for painting contractors. Memberships in these organizations indicate that the contractor has a commitment to professionalism, education and community.

10. Trust your instincts

Do you feel comfortable with the contractor? Do you like their approach and how they show up? Are they clean, presentable and respectful? Many painting projects take time – is this the type of company that you want in your home for an extended period of days or weeks?