Four Essential Window Safety Tips for the Home

Windows are necessary to let the air and the sunshine in, but if not properly secured, they can be dangerous as well. For example, a thief may enter through the window, or someone might fall from it. Take a look at this guide to get ideas on how to improve the security of your windows.

Beat the Heat

Installing sun protection measures on the window will lessen the possibility of overheating. Curtains, UV window film, and blinds are usually placed on windows for this purpose.

If you choose to use blinds, make sure that the cords are always safely put way, especially if there are children in the house. You may use a clamp to put it up. Doing this will prevent people from tripping or getting entangled in it. Based on data from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), fifty cord strangulation-related casualties have been recorded from 2012 to 2017. The incidents involved babies and little children. As for curtains, use short ones if young children are present because they might try to climb up on floor-length curtains.

Aside from helping to keep a room cool, window film shields you from the sun’s rays. Prolonged exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays has been proven to increase one’s risk for skin cancer. It can also make the window less prone to breakage.

Fall Prevention

According to a report by the U.S. CPSC in 2018, an annual estimate of 3,300 children (aged five and below) sustain window fall-related injuries. Here are some tips to fall-proof the windows:

  • Avoid placing furniture or any climbable objects near windows because children may climb on these to lean out of the window.
  • Don’t let the little ones open a window on their own.
  • Window screens cannot break a fall, so shut the windows when they are not in use.
  • Don’t allow children to play near windows, and remind them not to lean out of the window.
  • Consider planting shrubs, or grass beneath the window to provide a soft landing spot in case of a fall.
  • If you need to open a window, find one that children cannot reach.

windows with curtains

Install Window Locks

Identify windows whose security needs to be fortified, and then select the right kind of lock for your window.

  • Keyed lock. For this one, you will need a key to unlock it.
  • Sash lock. This is frequently used for a double-hung window, a window that has two sashes stacked on top of the other. Its two parts can be opened at the same time by sliding the top sash down and pushing the bottom sash up.
  • Hinged wedge lock. This type of lock will let you open the window halfway if you put it on a higher spot of the frame. You may also adjust it so that you can open the window as wide or as narrow as you want.

Glass and Grills

You may also install grills for added protection. But if you want to use the window as an emergency exit, put a release mechanism on it so that it can be unlocked if needed. Aside from putting bars over the window, consider using alternatives to annealed glass, otherwise known as regular glass. Tempered glass is approximately four times tougher than annealed glass. Your other options include polycarbonate and plexiglass, an expensive substitute made from acrylic.

People are usually concerned about potential break-ins and falling from windows, but it’s important to remember that windows can also be used to escape in case of emergency. Window security measures should not hinder evacuation. If the windows are locked or have bars, make sure that you have the means to open them should there be a need to do so.

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