Recently I came across an article from the National Safety Council on Window Safety, and it is really an important subject. Windows play a very important roll in home safety. Two of the most common home injuries and death in young children are fires and falls. While some falls occur from windows, it’s also important to remember that windows can saves people’s lives during a fire.
As the article stated:
It can only be done with safety awareness, planning and preventive action.
Windows as an escape route
Fires are obviously very scary, and if you don’t have an evacuation plan for your family children may try to hide, which can be tragic. It’s important to teach children they need to escape from a fire and have a proper evacuation plan in place for the family to do so. Windows offer one of quickest, and easiest ways to escape. It’s important to take the time to teach children how to escape through the windows and practice with them on a regular basis.
It’s important that every family member knows how to operate the windows in your home – particularly in the case of a fire. Any extra time it takes to escape during a fire can increase injuries or worse – cost lives. It’s important to check your windows regularly to be sure they can open easily. Sometimes things paint, dirt, or warping (on wood windows, for example) can cause the windows to be difficult to open. Also be sure windows are never blocked by furniture or other objects.
Another factor can be security measures you may in place on your windows such as security bars, grates, or grills. Although, they are intended to keep intruders out, they can also lock you in. The same is true of window guards. Everybody should be able to exit a window quickly in an emergency situation without needing tools, keys, or extra effort.
Preventing falls out of windows is just as important as learning how to use windows in an emergency. Children that are unattended have the greatest risk of falls and injuries, so the best precaution is to always supervise children while they’re playing.
It’s a good idea to always keep your windows locked when children are around and open only windows they cannot reach if you absolutely need to have windows open for ventilation. Keep furniture or anything else children may be able to use for climbing near windows and teach them not to play near windows.
It’s important to know you cannot depend on screens. They are meant to provide ventilation without letting in insects and other creatures like the lizards that often graze our windows. They are not designed to hold a child’s weight.
Be sure you educate your children and yourselves in both using windows as an escape route during a fire as well as window safety to prevent falls and accidents. This is the only way to keep the promise of safety.