Will You Be Selling WOCDs on Your Windows?

John G. Swanson
September 23, 2009
THE TALK... | Materials & Components

You may have a new feature on your window lines soon. I’m at the AAMA meeting this week and one of the committees here is working on a standard for window opening control devices. Although not too many WOCDs, as they are now called, are out on the market yet, such devices would address the long-simmering problem of how to prevent a child from falling through an open window while still enabling that window to serve as a means of emergency egress.

More details on this subject are provided in a recent article in Window & Door written by Mike Fischer, a code consultant with The Kellen Co. In a nutshell, however, a WOCD, as defined in a new ASTM standard would allow a window to be opened a limited amount for ventilation, but prevent it from being opened further by a small child. At the same time, however, an adult with no special knowledge could open the window easily if need be.

It occurred to me as I sat in the meeting that while code officials and others have been working fairly vigorously on this concept for the past few years, I have not heard much reaction to the idea from window manufacturers and dealers. I’m not even sure how much of the industry is aware of this new development. So I’m asking in our question of the week. And, of course, I’d like to get your feedback. Is this hardware something you’d like to offer on your window? Do you think home and building owners will think it is a good idea? Will this be a complicated concept to sell? Email me and let me know what you think.

Will you be selling WOCDs on your windows?
Yes, and I think they will be widely used some day.
Yes, but I think they will only see niche use.
I haven't heard much about them, so I would need to learn more.
No, I don't think they will solve the problem.

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