Pols urge tenants to get guards on windows

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After three incidents in Queens where children fell from apartment windows, elected and city officials are reminding landlords they have a responsibility to install window guards in any apartment where a child under 11 years old lives.

They also urged tenants to call the city if their landlord refuses to install the life-saving devices.

“If the landlord doesn’t follow the rules, call 311,” said State Senator Toby Stavisky.

Stavisky was speaking last week outside a residential building near 38th Avenue and Bowne Street, where in June a three-year-old boy fell from a six-story window onto the third-floor balcony of a neighboring building. Thankfully, he survived.

But on July 11, a three-year-old boy died when he fell from an apartment window at a building on Union Street. And a two-year-old girl was injured when she fell from a window at a home on 26th Avenue in College Point.

“It is especially important in the summer months as people open their windows to get fresh air,” said Councilman Peter Koo. “It’s hard to watch a small child with a lot of energy all the time.”

The state senator, councilman and members of their staff have been handing out multilingual palm cards on the streets of Flushing informing residents about the regulation, which applies to all buildings of three or more units.

Window guards should have a seal from the Department of Health ensuring they are approved by the city.

“Window screens are not window guards,” said Anne-Marie Santiago, who works in enforcement for the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD).

If a landlord does not install window guards after they have been requested, HPD will issue a violation after an inspection. The landlord has 21 days to correct the violation, at which point HPD will issue a fine and install the window guards.

“We will then bill the landlords for the cost,” said Santiago.

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