With spring now upon us, many homeowners are eagerly opening their custom windows to let fresh air in. Windows are also utilized to let light in and brighten the home and to provide breathtaking views of the outdoors. Indeed, high-quality windows can help you appreciate the beauty of the new season as we move on from the darkness and gloom of winter.
You may not be aware of it, but your windows are also vital to safety. In anticipation of Window Safety Week in the first week of April, Renewal by Andersen® of Eastern NY discusses everything you need to know about window safety.
Window Safety: By the Numbers
An integral part of bay window safety in your home involves protecting your children. After all, an open window poses a hazard to an unsupervised child. Numbers, unfortunately, paint a harrowing picture of such dangers.
A 2015 report from Safe Kids Worldwide revealed that about eight children under the age of five suffer fatal injuries every year from falling out a window. More than 3,300 get treated in the hospital for serious injuries. Also, children are twice as likely to sustain a fall-related injury at home than at a childcare facility. These accidents occur more frequently in urban areas.
Another hazard every window installation pro would want you to be aware of involves window coverings, particularly the cords that come with them. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reveals that there have been fatalities as a result of window cord strangulation among infants and young children.
Window Safety: Protecting Your Kids
Fortunately, as caregivers to our young children, we can take steps to ensure total prevention of window-related injuries. In general, windows must be locked whenever children are around. However, this doesn’t mean you have to forego ventilation; you can simply open windows in your home that are located in areas your children cannot reach.
Also, be sure that interior components like beds and pieces of furniture are a few feet away from your open custom windows. Unsupervised children may use them as ladders to get up window ledges or sills, increasing the risk of falling.
Another thing worth pointing out is that insect screens must not be relied upon to ensure window safety. Given their flimsy structure, screens simply aren’t designed to serve as impenetrable shields against young children.
Instead of depending on insect screens, you may reinforce your bay window with opening control devices or window guards that comply with the local building codes. These childproofing devices, when installed properly, limit the sashes to an opening of fewer than four inches. They have an easy-release mechanism which, when triggered, fully opens the window when needed in an emergency situation.
Meanwhile, to prevent the deadly strangulation hazard, consider replacing corded window coverings with cordless ones. Otherwise, be sure to shorten tasseled pull cords so that they won’t be within your kids’ reach. Finally, see to it that cord stops are installed properly and are adjusted accordingly to limit the movement of inner lift cords.
Window Safety and Survival
This upcoming Window Safety Week, it is also important that you realize the role your windows play in keeping you and your family members safe in cases of emergency. As your local window installation pros, we believe in the capability of these fixtures as escape routes.
Large, egress windows that are up to local building standards provide an easy way out for families who are trapped in a basement. These units also help rescue crews to enter the home during a fire or other emergency situation.
When you have plans to pursue window installation, be sure to consider egress. Any operable window style can be used as an egress, as long as the measurements and dimensions are within the right specifications set forth by the local building code. You can turn to our local installation experts to help you in that regard.
Once you have egress windows installed, developing an escape plan is necessary. Test it out with your family at least twice a year. This way, every member can understand it and be able to escape without any assistance. Teach your children how to escape from an emergency situation, letting them know not to hide from it or from rescue personnel.
Other Window Safety Tips to Note
You can ensure window safety in other aspects of your home. For instance, when you have a bay window, be sure that the ground outside the window is cushioned in the event of a fall. Consider planting shrubs and soft edgings such as wood chips or grass beneath windows. Landscaping can affect the degree of the injury sustained from the fall.
Also, don’t forget to consider window and door safety when you perform repairs to the exterior or interior of your home. Observe ladder safety at all times. Ladders must be placed on level surfaces to avoid falling against the glass. Also, repair any broken window components as soon as you find them. Injuries can happen while operating a faulty window.
Turn to Renewal by Andersen of Eastern NY for your window replacement needs. We are your top choice for replacement custom windows and doors in our local area. Call us at (844) 479-1700 to get started or fill out our contact form for a free, in-home consultation. You may also visit our website to learn more about Renewal by Andersen products and services.