National Window Safety Week is designed to heighten the awareness of what can be done to help keep families safe from the risk of accidental falls or injuries in the home. Falls from a window are extremely dangerous, especially for children, and can cause serious injuries or death. While National Window Safety Week is observed annually, safety education occurs throughout the year.
Windows play a vital role in home safety, serving as a secondary escape route in the event of a fire or other emergency, but they can also pose a risk for a fall if safety measures are not followed. Take a look at the guidelines below to learn how window-related injuries in the home can be prevented.
- Windows provide a secondary means of escape from a burning home. Determine your family’s emergency escape plan and practice it. Remember that children may have to rely on a window to escape in a fire. Help them learn to safely use a window under these circumstances.
- When performing spring repairs, ensure that your windows are not painted or nailed shut. You must be able to open them to escape in an emergency.
- Keep your windows closed and locked when children are around. When opening windows for ventilation, open windows that a child cannot reach.
- Set and enforce rules about keeping children’s play away from windows or patio doors. Falling through the glass can be fatal or cause serious injury.
- Keep furniture — or anything children can climb — away from windows. Children may use such objects as a climbing aid.
- Do not install window unit air conditioners in windows that may be needed for escape or rescue in an emergency. The air conditioning unit could block or impede escape through the window.
- Don’t rely on insect screens to prevent a fall, as they are designed to provide ventilation and not to prevent a child’s fall from a window.
- Make sure nothing is blocking or preventing a window from being opened in the case of an emergency.
- Install building code-compliant devices, such as window guards (with quick-release mechanisms in case of fire).