It’s officially spring! With the sun shining and the temps warming up, you probably have the urge to open a few windows and let fresh air waft through your home. While you’re at it, it’s a great time to assess the safety of those windows, especially if you have young children in your house. Here are a few to-dos to consider while you’re celebrating spring with open windows.
Install window attachments to prevent falls.
Every year, eight children are killed and 3,300 are injured after falling out of windows. The good news is that these injuries are almost entirely preventable. There are a variety of attachments available for all types of windows that limit how much kids can open them, including these three easy-to-install options.
- Sash Limiters. The best way to prevent window falls is to limit how wide the windows are able to open. That’s why Windsor Windows offers mechanisms called Window Opening Control Devices, or WOCDs. WOCDs — ours are called Sash Limiters — limit how far our windows can open while remaining unobtrusive and not detracting from the look of your window. They are also easy for an adult to disengage if an emergency exit is needed. Sash Limiters, which are available in a variety of finishes to match your windows, can be included with new construction or retrofitted to Windsor windows that have already been installed. Talk to your local Windsor distributor for more information about WOCDs and if they are available for your product.
- Mesh Window Guards. These guards are protective mesh that fit inside a window frame, covering the lower half of the window to prevent kids from opening the window, or even playing too close to it. They can be installed on single-hung, double-hung, and sliding windows.
- Metal Window Guards. Metal window guards are installed vertically or horizontally over the operating sash. Bars are placed every four inches to prevent children from getting through.
It’s important to note that insect screens are not considered an attachment that will prevent window falls — they will not hold the weight of a child.
Consider the layout of the room.
The way furniture is arranged in the room could affect window safety. Reposition any furniture children could climb to get to an open window — not only could it cause a fall out of a window, the furniture itself could tip if not secured to the wall. Also, if you have a large window near a heavy play area, consider applying safety film to the glass. It won't prevent shattering, but if a stray toy (or foot) happened to go through the window, the film will stop large, jagged pieces of glass from harming your children.
Don’t forget about fire safety.
Window safety isn’t just about keeping kids in — it’s also about being able to get out in the event of an emergency. These fire safety tips will help everyone escape safely in the unlikely event of a fire.
Don’t paint or nail windows shut.
Make sure any window safety attachments, such as Sash Limiters, guards and stops, can be easily removed by an adult.
Keep emergency escape ladders in second- and third-story rooms for safe escape from windows if the doors are blocked.
Make sure at least one window in the room is accessible as an emergency escape route — for instance, if there's only one window in the room, installing an air conditioning unit in it would be a fire safety hazard.
Window Safety Week is also a great time to discuss window safety with your children. Even if the younger ones don't fully grasp the concept, it's never too early to plant the idea that it's important to be safe around windows.
*Sash Limiters (WOCDs) are currently available for many of Windsor Windows' venting window products. Jobsite installation or a factory-applied solution are available for new construction projects. These mechanisms are also available for retrofitting products already in the field. It is the customer's responsibility to ensure these devices are properly installed and meet all required codes on field applications. Sash Limiters cannot be used in conjunction with vent latches (where available).