11 Feb 2018
Open a window and you open your world. Windows add so much to our lives; they bring in welcome light and fresh air and they help protect us from the elements. As the weather warms and windows are opened more often, follow these important tips to enhance home safety:
* There is no safety substitute for the importance of responsible adult supervision around children. Set and enforce rules about keeping children’s play away from windows or patio doors to help prevent an accidental fall or injury.
* For greatest safety, keep your windows closed and locked when children are around. When opening windows for ventilation, open those that a child cannot reach. For example, on double-hung windows which feature two moveable sashes, open the top portion for ventilation and keep the bottom part closed for greater safety.
* Remember that insect screens are simply designed to provide ventilation and to keep insects out. Do not rely on them to keep a child in; they will not prevent a child’s fall.
* Keep furniture such as beds and dressers — or anything children can climb — away from windows to help improve safety in your home. Furniture placed under a window can create an enticement to climb and the potential to fall. Furniture placed under a window could also slow your escape from a home in the event of an emergency, such as a fire.
* Windows provide a secondary means of escape from a burning home. For greater safety, determine your family’s emergency escape plan and practice it regularly. Designate a door and a window as an escape route from each room in your home. Make sure each opens quickly and easily and keep the escape route free from clutter which could present a tripping or falling hazard. 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 seasonal repairs or cleaning, make sure your windows and doors are not jammed, painted or nailed shut. You must be able to open them quickly to escape in an emergency. If they don’t, it’s time to consider replacement.
* Windows which tilt in for cleaning not only provide greater convenience, but greater safety, too. When choosing windows, look for those which can be cleaned from the interior simply by tilting the unit inward and you eliminate the need to climb an exterior ladder for window cleaning.
* If you have young children in your home and are considering adding window guards, or window fall prevention devices, install guards with a quick-release mechanism, so they can be opened for escape in an emergency. Consult your local fire department or building code official for more information on window guard options and proper placement.
* If you live in an area subject to hurricanes, consider impact-resistant glass for windows and patio doors to help provide year-round protection from winds, rain and flying debris. Impact-resistant glass which cannot be easily penetrated, helps protect your home year-round, eliminating the use of cumbersome shutters or other temporary unsightly options such as plywood over windows.
* If your home features impact-resistant windows or patio doors designed to withstand hurricane-force winds, train your family members to first attempt to open the window to exit through it in an emergency, rather than trying to break the glass. Impact-resistant glass cannot be easily penetrated, so it’s important to acquaint family members with how to open units, or designate other exits if the unit is fixed in place and does not open.
For greater safety, look for blinds and shades with no cords
Window treatments can also contribute to childhood injuries presenting potential choking or strangulation hazards associated with traditional roomside cords. For greater safety, consider window treatments with no room-side cords. One option is Pella’s Designer Series Collection of windows and patio doors, which feature blinds or shades protected between two panes of glass. The cordless operation of the collection, and protection of window treatments between glass, gives parents and pet owners an added peace of mind because it keeps children and pets safer in the home. Plus, since they’re tucked between glass, the blinds and shades are virtually free from dust, making them cleaner and safer.