Window Safety and Fall Prevention Week (April 3-9), is a reminder of the importance of keeping children safe year round. Its purpose is to heighten the awareness of what parents and caregivers should do to help keep their homes and families safe in the event of fires and accidental falls through windows that can result in a child’s injury or even death. Here are a number of things every parent or caregiver should consider!
Keeping The Promise of Safety
Keeping your home and children safe takes more than promises. It can only be done with safety awareness, planning and preventive action.
Fires and falls of all kinds are among the leading causes of injury and death in young children. While some falls occur from windows, it’s important to realize that in a fire, a window can save a child’s life. That is why windows play a critical role in home safety.
Children Can’t Hide From Fire
Fire is frightening. All too often, the bodies of young children are found after a fire in places where they tried to hide. Teach your children that they can’t hide from fire: They must escape it. Decide on at least two emergency escape routes from your home.
Windows Serve As Emergency Escape Routes
Windows provide one of the fastest, easiest alternative ways out of a burning home. Teach children how to safely escape through windows and take time to practice with them.
Every family member should know how to operate the windows used for fire emergencies. Delays in escaping from a fire cost lives and increase injuries. Often paint, dirt or weathering can seal a window shut. Make sure yours open easily from the inside and are not blocked by furniture or other objects.
Remember that security bars, grilles and grates not only keep intruders out, they can also lock you in. The same holds true for window guards. Everyone should always be able to get out through a window without using tools, keys, special knowledge or effort.
Here are six window escape tips to remember:
- Make sure windows are not nailed or painted shut
- Do not install air conditioners in windows that may be needed for escape
- Make sure at least one window in each bedroom meets escape and rescue requirements
- Window guards, security bars, grilles or grates render windows useless in an emergency unless they have a release mechanism; update them if necessary
- Develop an emergency escape plan and practice it during the day and at night
- Keep emergency escape ladders in second- or third-story bedrooms and teach everyone in the home how to use them
Window Safety To Prevent Falls
Preventing falls out of windows is as important as learning how to use one in an emergency. Unattended children run the greatest risk of falls and injuries, so the best first step is to watch your children as they play. Nothing can substitute for careful supervision.
When youngsters are around, close and lock your windows. If you need ventilation, open only windows they cannot reach. Be sure to keep furniture – or anything children can climb – away from windows. And teach your children not to play near windows.
Insect Screens Don’t Save Lives
Never depend on insect screens to prevent falls. Insect screens are designed to provide ventilation. They will not hold a child’s weight against them.
Here are five window safety and fall prevention tips:
- Avoid the placement of furniture near windows to prevent children from climbing
- Do not rely on insect screens to prevent a window fall
- Keep children’s play away from open windows and doors
- 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
- Teach your child how to safely use a window to escape during an emergency
Only solid information and proper preparations can help you keep the promise of safety you give to your loved ones.
Though Window Safety Week is an important annual reminder, window safety education should be ongoing, occurring throughout the year. To help teach children about window safety, here is additional information for parents and caregivers.
- “Keeping the Promise of Safety” Brochure
- Window Safety Tips
- Window Safety Checklist
- Window Safety Activity and Coloring Book
- “Fire Escape and Window Safety: A Balanced Approach”
Tashman Cares About Your Child’s Safety
We care deeply about child safety and can provide both the materials, whether it be window locks – to prevent children from opening an enviting window, or security screens – to keep a child from falling out of a window, or the necessary knowledge about fire safety and how to child-proof a home.
So please stop by Tashman Home Center (7769 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90046) or give us a call at (323) 498-2417 to set up an appointment with our experienced and knowledgable staff. Whether it’s this week or every week, Tashman cares very much about window safety and fall prevention.