Window Opening Control Devices (WOCDs) help to prevent window falls while maintaining egress capabilities.
Window Fall Protection:
Section R312.2 of the 2012 International Residential Code (IRC), entitled “Window Fall Protection”, provides that, in dwelling units where the lowest part of the opening of an operable window is located more than 72" above the finished exterior grade below, the lowest part of the window opening shall be a minimum of 36" above the interior finished floor.
If the window opening is within 36" of the interior finished floor, those operable sections shall not permit openings that allow passage of a 4-inch diameter sphere. The code identifies four exceptions to the rule:
Windows with openings that will not allow a 4 inch diameter sphere to pass through the opening when the window is in its largest opened position. (An example would be the Marvin Ultimate Venting Picture Window.)
Openings that are provided with window fall prevention devices that comply with ASTM F 2090.
Windows that are provided with window opening control devices (WOCDs) that comply with Section R312.2.2.*
*The exception for windows provided with WOCDs requires the WOCDs comply with ASTM F 2090. Additionally, the WOCD, after operation to release the device to allow the window to fully open, shall not reduce the minimum net clear opening area of the window unit to less than the area required by Section R310.1.1 (Minimum Opening Area).