Jackloc Company – Why hotel window safety is so important

Hotel Owner sits down with Eric Collins, MD of The Jackloc Company, who explains how their window safety restrictors are helping reduce the risk of people falling out of windows and why a regulation for hotels to embed such devices is necessary

Hotel Owner recently sat down with Eric Collins, MD of Leicestershire-based ‘The Jackloc Company’ (Jackloc), a world-renowned window restrictor manufacturer.

Collins explains why their window safety restrictors are so vitally important to reduce the risk of people falling out of open windows, and why he is calling on a group of MPs to drive forward legislative change that could see UK hotels brought into line with the health and social care sector’s stringent approach to window safety.

Jackloc was founded in 2003 by the late Derek Horne, who was an expert in fenestration. Whilst out on a job surveying a property in Kings Cross, he was horrified to see a child climbing onto a hotel window ledge. Having seen first-hand the danger and potentially tragic consequences that an unlocked window can cause children in particular, he designed the UK’s first retrofitted cable window restrictor. In 2005, the company fitted window restrictors at London’s Ritz Hotel and Jackloc has grown globally ever since.

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The company was acquired by entrepreneur Collins in 2019, who is passionate about reducing accidents and saving lives. In his previous corporate life, he won national awards for behavioural-led safety in business and commented, “Safety and preventable accidents really matter to me: it helps me sleep at night knowing that we can make a difference with our high-quality safety products.”

In the news recently, a five-year old Afghan boy fatally fell from an open window on the ninth floor of a hotel in Sheffield. Tragically, the child and his family were being housed in the hotel, having fled their home country of Afghanistan for the security of the UK.

Hotel window regulation

In response to the incident, Collins sent letters to MPs in Sheffield, calling for urgent action to regulate window safety in buildings that have shared public spaces, like hotels. He notes that so far, he has had no response from them but will continue pushing to try and enforce new safety regulations, in the hope of reducing the occurrence of any more tragic accidents. When speaking on the current regulations surrounding the safety of hotel windows, Collins said, “This is a very worrying situation: currently, there arenʼt any hotel safety regulations, and thatʼs what weʼre trying to change. As long as there is no legal enforcement, sadly, accidents will continue to happen.”

Health and social care environments need to ensure that window restrictions meet all the stringent elements of two British Standards, BS EN 14351 and BS EN 13126. Collins notes that during his three-years of owning Jackloc, most people he comes into contact with donʼt see the potential risks of fully opening windows until he makes them aware.

Preventing avoidable accidents

The Jackloc restrictors offer hoteliers a simple and immediate safety solution. British Standards require restrictors to have an opening gap of no more than 100mm to still provide fresh air, which Collins suggests is the same size as a babyʼs head. For additional security, Jackloc has their locks tested and fitted to 89mm and the cables can hold weights of up to 34 stone. They designed another product called the ‘Titan’ which is the worldʼs strongest commercially available restrictor, able to withstand 74 stone.

Collins takes care to explain that Jackloc restrictors are all independently tested to exceed all elements of the relevant British Standards, a feat that is unique in the marketplace.

Short-term safety measures

Frustratingly, this latest accident is one of too many that could have been prevented if window restrictors had been installed. Hotel owners need peace of mind that they can keep guests safe and secure because sadly, it only takes a split second for a tragic accident to happen.

Collins offers some short-term measures that hoteliers can take to maximise security. Moving furniture away from windows or even moving families with young children to alternative rooms where windows donʼt open could make a world of difference. However, the only definitive way to ensure window safety is to fit window restrictors or other security devices to stop windows from opening fully.

Collins reiterated how hotel window safety is of paramount importance: “We really want to help raise awareness to hoteliers nationwide and we are fully committed to work with as many as possible to offer practical advice. It would be great to drive change for window safety regulations within the hotel industry; I know these things take time, but you have to start somewhere.”

The Travelodge Hotel Group has installed Jackloc window restrictors in its 20,000 UK hotel rooms. To encourage more hotels to follow suit with restrictors, Jackloc is offering complimentary virtual site surveys to all UK hotels to help them understand how easily and simply they can fit a window safety device and reduce the risk of any more tragedies occurring.

To book a free virtual site survey and to receive a free guide to hotel window safety, email Eric directly at eric.collins@jackloc.com

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