Window Safety: How To Keep Yourself and Your Little Ones Safe

Window Safety: How To Keep Yourself and Your Little Ones Safe

March 12, 2024

If you're like most people, you probably don’t give the windows in your home much thought. You open them when it’s nice outside, you close them when it rains and you clean them in the spring. But you probably don’t think about whether they're safe.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, windows are one of the five hidden dangers in your home.

Child safety

Falls from windows are far more common than most people realize. The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that roughly eight children under the age of 5 die every year from falling out of a window, and more than 3,300 are injured.

The Window Safety Task Force offers some simple suggestions to help you protect your children:

  • Install window stops or guards that limit windows from opening more than four inches.
  • Keep beds and other furniture away from your windows.
  • Keep your windows locked when they are closed.
  • Plant soft shrubbery and mulch below windows to provide cushioning should a fall occur.
  • Remind everyone that screens were made to keep bugs out, but they won’t keep children in.
  • Teach kids not to play near windows.
  • Use cordless window hangings to avoid strangulation.
  • If a child falls out a window, do not move them. Dial 911 immediately for help.

Your lifeline in an emergency

Though windows can be dangerous for little ones, they can also save your life as an emergency escape route.

Most residential building codes require bedrooms to have a secondary exit in case of fire or smoke, and it’s almost always a window. Although an emergency is highly unlikely, there are a few things you can do to prepare your windows as an escape route:

  • Don't apply energy-efficient films or coverings to windows designated as escape windows.
  • Don’t install window unit air conditioners in windows that could be used for an escape.
  • Include all of your windows on the map of your home escape plan.
  • Make sure window-stops or other security grates have a release mechanism.
  • Check that your windows aren’t nailed or painted shut.

Maintaining your windows

Baseballs love windows. When a window breaks, remember to wear gloves when handling the broken glass. If you are replacing the glass yourself, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for unpacking and installing the replacement glass. And remember to repair any broken sashes, sash locks or other operating parts. The last thing you want is for a window not to open properly during an emergency.

Knowing the possible dangers your windows pose to your family will help you take precautions to safeguard them. However, it is also important to remember how lifesaving they can be in an emergency. Make sure your family knows about the good and bad that come with windows to keep your children safe and put your mind at ease.