With the cool fall weather in full swing across much of the United States, homes and businesses are more likely to have their windows open. Failure to take adequate safety precautions leads to an increase in window related accidents during these temperate fall months. We at Weather Shield would like to take a moment to remind all homeowners of a few essential window safety tips designed to decrease the likelihood of a window accident.
Window Safety Tips:
- Window accidents are most likely to occur in homes with small children. You can help prevent falls from windows in your home with proper adult supervision first and foremost. Always keep a close eye on your children when you have the windows in your house open and never let children play near windows, doors or balconies. To maximize safety around windows, simply keep your windows closed and locked when children are present. If you would like to open windows to ventilation, only open windows that your children cannot reach. Double hung windows, for example, make this very easy. Double hung windows can open from the top down, making it less likely that a child can reach the window opening.
- Keep furniture that children can easily climb on away from windows to decrease the chances of a fall. In addition to providing children with easy access to the window opening, furniture in front of your windows can make it more difficult to escape your home through a window in the event of a fire.
- In the event of a fire, escape through a window is sometimes necessary. Doors should always be the primary exit, but if the door is not accessible, escape through a window is necessary. Your family should develop a fire safety plan and designate windows in your home as preferred escape access points. The windows selected for emergency situations should be located away from hazards below to prevent injury during the fall. These windows should be tested regularly to make sure they open easily.
- If you live in an area prone to hurricanes, install impact resistant windows and impact resistant patio doors to provide additional protection against flying debris during severe weather. Keep in mind however, that impact resistant glass cannot easily be broken during an emergency, so it is important that this window operate freely in the event of a fire.
- When buying replacement windows, consider windows that tilt in for cleaning. Windows with this feature are not only easier to clean, but eliminate the danger of climbing a ladder to perform routine cleaning.
- Regularly perform repairs and safety checks to ensure that your windows are working properly. If you have recently painted or performed repair work near a window, check to ensure that your window is not painted or nailed shut. Over time, windows may become more difficult to open as components age and wear down. If this has occurred, it is time to replace your windows.
If you follow these window safety tips, your home will be a safer place for you and your family. If you would like to learn more, please visit the National Safety Council website at www.nsc.org.