Window Safety Week is recognized every year during the first full week in April,
It is difficult to hear news of any child getting injured or killed falling out of a window or balcony. The heartache that must be felt by that child’s parents and friends is unimaginable. If you have ever been worried about the safety of your own children around windows, balconies and decks you are not alone…
Most of these tragic falls are PREVENTABLE.
As spring arrives and there is a natural desire to open windows and let in fresh air, please be reminded of these important safety tips to help protect your child:
Remember that when it comes to safety, there’s no substitute for adult supervision, so it’s essential to teach children to play away from windows, doors, and balconies/ decks.”
The balance between window safety and emergency escape routes should also be common knowledge in your household. Explain the dangers associated with playing around windows and, more importantly, the life saving role of windows in case of a fire.
Windows can provide a secondary means of escape during a fire, so every family should develop and practice an emergency escape plan in the event fire or smoke blocks the primary exit. Children may have to rely on a window to escape in a fire, so help them learn to safely use a window under these circumstances. Assure them there will be help coming.
When installing window guards or window fall- prevention devices, be aware that the window guards or window fall prevention devices must have a release mechanism so they can be opened for escape in a fire emergency.
Include “windows” in home emergency escape plans. Be sure to identify all doors and windows that can safely be used. Make sure they open easily. Test windows to make sure they open and are not sealed shut by paint, dirt, worn hardware or weathering. If windows can’t be opened quickly and easily, replace them.
Keep escape routes free from clutter – toys, furniture, electrical cords and other potential tripping and falling hazards. Teach all household members to use windows and doors properly for escape and rescue purposes in an emergency.
Do not rely on insect screens to prevent a window fall; they’re for keeping insects out and NOT children in;
Keep children’s play away from open windows and doors;
Avoid the placement of furniture near windows to prevent children from climbing up.
Install building code-compliant devices designed to limit how far a window will open or window guards with release mechanisms to help prevent a fall.
Conduct daytime and nighttime drills (most fires occur at night) and assign someone to assist sound sleepers, young children or those with limited mobility.
Keep emergency escape ladders in second- or third-story bedrooms and teach everyone in the home how to use them.
About one child a month dies from window cord strangulation, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Another will be treated following a near strangulation.
Parents and caregivers are urged to check their window coverings for exposed or dangling cords, and every year in October, the Window Covering Safety Council and CPSC sponsor National Window Covering Safety Month to remind caregivers of the risks.
Safety experts recommend only cordless window coverings or those with inaccessible cords be used in homes with young children. If you can’t replace your window coverings with today’s safer products, free retrofit kits are available through the Window Covering Safety Council.
Windows rank as one of the Top 5 Hidden Hazards in the Home, according to the CPSC.
If you are concerned about your window safety, contact Duxbury & Associates for a safety check.