Tips on Window Safety. According to the U.S. Consumer Safety Product Commission, windows rank as one of the top five hidden hazards in the home.
I’m not happy hearing stuff like this. I want you to be proud of your home, I want you to enjoy coming home to it, and I want you to feel safe and comfortable whenever you’re there. So here are a few tips for window safety and keeping you and your family (including pets) healthy this year by minimizing the risks associated with home windows.
1 | Close the Window on Home Invasion
I’ll start by saying: Thank goodness for windows. They’re more than a way to let in light and air. They can also provide a life-saving escape route in the event of an emergency, like a fire.
Unfortunately, they can also provide a way for intruders to get in—lots of us like leaving windows open in warm weather. Go ahead, but remember that ground floor and basement-level windows provide easy access to strangers and critters. Keep an eye on these openings. You don’t want to find uninvited guests having a field day with your belongings.
Window Integrated Security Sensors
Pella and Marvin have window security technology to help assure your home is safe and sound.
Pella Insynctive technology allows you to monitor your windows and doors virtually anywhere. This option is available on select windows and doors.
Most people get in the habit of locking their doors when they leave their homes, but windows are more likely to be left unlocked. Casement, or crank-out windows, are excellent because even when you forget to lock them—if they’re shut all the way, they’re still challenging to open from the outside. If you shut and forget to lock a glider or double-hung window, a would-be burglar will be able to push them open.
Marvin Lift Lock hardware Auto-locking systems are an excellent solution for the forgetful window operator. Marvin’s auto-locking system automatically locks a window when it’s closed. In addition to locking automatically, Lift Lock is installed at the bottom of the lower sash on a double-hung window instead of the check rail like on a standard double-hung window. Placing the lock at the bottom makes a window much easier to open when it’s located in a hard-to-reach area like behind a bathtub or over a kitchen counter.
Install Smarter Windows and Doors
Marvin Lock Status Sensors are integrated into the window itself, so you don’t see any unsightly wires, and they are hardwired, so you don’t have to worry about replacing batteries.
Laminated Glass is Tough
A window fitted with laminated glass is not so is not easy to penetrate. Laminated glass is made by sandwiching a thin, virtually invisible vinyl film between two layers of glass. That thin layer won’t prevent the glass from cracking, but it will stay in place within the window sash or frame if it gets broken. Also, a benefit of laminated glass is its better sound reduction qualities, which is an excellent feature if you live on a noisy street.
Keep Your Stuff
There are several ways to keep your valuables out of sight. Installing curtains or blinds can be a simple and effective solution. Various window glazing options allow light inside but obscure the view.
2 | Don’t Fall for Anything—Ever
Open windows on higher levels in your house pose a different problem – safety. Unsurprisingly, children are more prone to this kind of accident. First, they’re curious. Second, they don’t have a well-developed sense of danger. Third, they’re children, so they’re crazy. (I’ve raised three. I can say that.)
Each year, about eight children under the age of five die from falling out a window. Another 3,300 are seriously injured. Let’s stop the madness! A few simple precautions can easily save a life. (By the way, these tips hold true for the family dog or cat as well.)
- Tip #1: If you must open a window, pick one that children can’t reach. For instance, open only the upper sash if your home has double-hung windows. Window Opening Control Devices (WOCDs) are designed to prevent a small child from opening a window wide enough to climb out.
- Tip #2: Never place chairs, beds, sofas, or anything a child can climb up near a window. You are better off positioning all furniture on a non-windowed wall.
- Tip #3: Don’t count on window screens to prevent a fall. They aren’t engineered as safety devices and won’t necessarily stop a child from flying out. Request a Kidsafe ruler to check your window opening.
- Tip #4: Putting shrubs or other soft landscaping material such as wood chips under windows can greatly reduce injury in the event of a fall.
3 | Don’t Get Hung Up on Blinds
Effective December 2018, new rules require new window covering products (like shades or blinds) to arrive cordlessly or with inaccessible/short cords.
Unbelievably, about one child per month in the U.S. dies after strangling on window blind cords. Almost two children per day end up in emergency rooms for the same reason. This is a terrible thing, so please—if your home has small children in it, only purchase cordless window covering products.
If your home already possesses window blinds with cords on them, take precautions to deal with the potential risk of strangulation. Consider replacing your blinds with cordless or motorized versions. Alternatively, you can retrofit blinds with a wand for adjusting them in lieu of cords or chains. Free retrofit kits—and more information—are available from the Window Covering Safety Council at windowcoverings.org.
4 | If It’s Broken, Don’t Fix it. Clean It Up. (Carefully.)
When dealing with a broken window, it’s easy to forget just how dangerous glass can be. But give it extreme respect: The edges on broken glass can be razor-sharp.
If a window breaks in your home, first get all children and pets out of harm’s way. It’s a good idea to put on gardening or construction gloves if you’ll be picking up glass pieces. Consider calling a window expert if there are large chunks of glass still attached to the frame; you may not want to handle those on your own. Collect the smaller glass pieces with a vacuum or broom and dustpan; then wipe down the area with a wet cloth to pick up any tiny particles. It’s also important how you dispose of broken glass in the garbage so as not to pose a risk to trash collectors or your family: Wrap larger pieces in heavy cloth or the like and tape up the whole bundle before putting it in the trash.
How Can We Help?
At McCann Window & Exteriors, we know that, of all the beautiful spaces in the world, the best is the one you call home. Please reach out if we can help with concerns regarding your house’s windows, doors, or siding. We’re standing by to help you create the home you feel safe in and absolutely love. Learn more about McCann Window & Exteriors by visiting https://mccannwindow.com or calling (847) 562-1212.