6 important window safety tips

June 24, 2015

It may not be a federal holiday, but National Window Safety week is a great time to review good protocol for keeping everyone in your home safe. Think of your windows like another home appliance: they do good work for you, but they need to be treated with appropriate precautions. Here are a few of the concerns and safety tips you can address with your family:

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  1. All windows have a locking mechanism. These locks are designed to keep the window closed, be it a hung window, a casement, or even a slider. In fact, the window is designed to perform best when locked. If your windows are unlocked for any variety of reasons, be aware that your house is open to intruders coming in. Also keep an eye on any children around unlocked windows so they do not fall out of one.
  2. While it is tempting to place furniture close to windows for aesthetic reasons, furniture close to windows presents a huge danger. What child doesn't want to jump and bounce on a bed, after all? Children playing on any furniture near windows risk falling out of them, so keep everyone safe by putting furniture far from your windows.
  3. Screens aren't meant to keep anyone inside; they are to keep insects out. Never expect screens to keep children contained. Falling out of a window is dangerous and can result in death or life-changing injuries. If window guards are needed, make sure they are installed properly.
  4. A part of window safety is also the knowledge that windows may be needed for escape. Make sure all in your home are trained in opening the windows in case of a fire or other emergency. Any escape plan should involve using your windows as potential points of exit.
  5. If a double hung window is placed on upper floors of a structure, be sure to only lower the upper sash for ventilation. This can keep children away from dangerous openings.
  6. To keep children from trying to climb through a window, install window opening control devices. These are available from most window manufacturers or hardware stores, and they limit the amount a window opens so children cannot fit through the opening you set.

Other window safety tips are available for the National Safety Council web site, as well as many window manufacturers. Window safety is not an issue that's discussed much, but practicing these tips can help protect all the members of your family.

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