Window Safety Week, the first full week in April, coincides with the arrival of spring, when people naturally want to open the windows and let in fresh air. The goal of this observance is for families to understand the role of windows in escaping a fire or other emergency and to learn how to safeguard against window falls.
- Never rely on the window’s screen as a safety device. Screens are simply meant to let fresh air in and keep insects out — they’re not designed to prevent a fall. Small children can easily pop a screen from its frame if they fall or push against it.
- Supervise children around open windows.
- Install window fall protection like window guards or window wedges to prevent little ones from trying to get windows open.
- Keep windows closed and locked when nobody is in the room.
- Open the top window rather than the bottom window sash.
- Keep cribs, beds, changing tables and other furniture away from windows, to prevent babies and small children from climbing on furniture, then toppling out.
- Plant soft shrubbery and mulch below windows to provide cushioning should a fall occur.
- If a child falls out of a window, do not move him or her. Call 911 for medical help.
Keep Intruders Out:
Window safety also means devising strategies to keep intruders out. Keeping windows locked and secured is a sensible first step, but any locks, window guards or other safety devices should open from the inside in order to enable your family to exit in the event of an emergency. Window alarms and impact-resistant glass films or screens can also help secure your windows without impeding emergency evacuations. Keeping window areas brightly lit and trimming tree branches or other vegetation that might provide intruders with cover.
To keep thieves from getting into your home, start with outfitting your windows with the proper security devices, such as:
- Window sensor alarms
- Glass-break sensors
- Whole-house security systems
- Blocking devices that discourage access from the outside, such as wooden dowels and steel locking pins
- Safety clips
Don’t assume that the upper floors of your home are immune to break-ins. Burglars are enticed by ladders, patio furniture, trash cans, grills, trees and kids’ playhouses that are located close to homes, as they use them to gain entry to second story windows. Take a look around your yard and think like a burglar would, ensuring those items aren’t located too close to your house.
With a little care and planning, your family can safely enjoy open windows this season and year-round.