Windows are one of the greatest dangers as well as one of the most important safety features in your home.
Take a moment to promote window safety awareness among all members of your household. Remember, unattended children run the greatest risk of falls and injuries. Nothing can substitute for careful supervision. Below are some tips from the National Safety Council to help your family understand the important role of windows as an escape as well as a safety risk for children.
Mini-blind cords can create strangulation hazards for children. If you have mini-blinds in your home, keep cords as short as possible to keep them
out of the hands of small children. It is important to ensure the ends of the cords are separated as to not create a loop. Please contact the maintenance department if you have questions or need assistance with mini-blinds.
When it comes to preventing falls, there’s no substitute for the adult supervision of children, but there are additional safety measures
that may mitigate risks.
- When children are present, close and lock your windows. If you need ventilation, open only those windows children cannot reach.
- Keep furniture - or anything children can climb (toy chest, clothes dressers, step stools/ladders, etc.) – away from windows. Take the
time to walk through your home to ensure that areas around all windows are clear if items that can be used as a climbing aid.
- Teach children not to play near windows. When young children are in the home, keep their play area in the center of the room and away from open windows, doors and balconies.
- Screens are not designed to prevent falls from a window. Do not rely on insect screens to prevent a window fall.
- For greater safety, keep windows closed and locked when not in use.
Emergency Escape Route
Each sleeping and living area of your home should have at least two clear exits at all times. Always ensure that you have at least one window in each sleeping and living area that meets escape and rescue requirements.
For more information, click here to visit the National Safety Council Window Safety Page or download a printable flyer.
- Doors serve as the primary exit in the event of an emergency. Windows provide a secondary means of escape from a burning home or for other emergencies. Determine your family’s emergency escape plan and practice it. Remember that children may have to rely on a window escape in a fire situation. Help them learn to safely use a window in these circumstances. Check with your community center if you would like to purchase a window escape ladder (these are also available at many local community home improvement retailers).
- Every family member should know how to operate windows used for fire emergencies. Delays in escaping costs lives and increases injuries. Test windows to ensure paint, dirt or weathering haven’t sealed a rarely used window shut and that windows open easily.
- Make sure windows are not blocked by furniture or other objects. Avoid placing furniture such as beds, dressers or toy chests under windows in the bedroom of children; as such furniture could impede a swift exit in an emergency.
- Remember that safety devices such as window guards can prevent you from using that window as an exit in an emergency. Everyone should always be able to get out through a window without using tools, keys, special knowledge or effort.
- Do not install window air conditioners in windows that may be needed for escape or rescue in an emergency. The air conditioning unit could block or impede escape through the window. Check with your Community Manager before installing any window HVAC units.