Tip #1 - Remember the primary purpose of a window screen is to keep insects outside. Never push on screens, as they will not support the weight of a child or family pet.
Tip #2 - Lock windows when not in use to protect against intruders and make it more difficult for curious young children to open windows.
Tip #3 - Do not paint or nail windows shut. Every window in the home that is designed to be opened should be operational in case of an emergency.
Tip #4 - Refrain from nailing or attaching decorative lights to the interior or exterior of window frames.
Tip #5 - Plant shrubs or grass, and place “soft landscaping” like bark or mulch, directly underneath windows to help lessen the impact should someone accidentally fall out of a window.
Matthew Minerd with Simonton Windows also recommends that adults consult their window installers to make certain that their homes have windows with clear openings that meet egress requirements in the living spaces as required by state and local building codes. “Egress windows provide emergency exits in your home during a fire,” says Minerd. “Make sure your home has the proper amount of egress windows in every room used as a bedroom and on any floor or basement level with habitable living space.”
Families with small children should pay special attention to windows and patio doors. Start with practicing home emergency fire drills. Show them the fastest safety route to the outside and make certain children know under what circumstances to use a window to exit a home. Since small children tend to “hide” from fire, make sure they understand how important it is to safely and quickly exit the home should a fire occur.
“If a door is hot to the touch or not safe to exit through during a fire, then both children and adults should exit through an open window,” says Minerd. “Unless it is absolutely necessary, do not to break the window glass. Doing so could cause injury. During family safety drills, show children how to operate windows and how to use chain escape ladders that should be kept in all bedrooms located above ground level. Also establish a designated meeting place for the family outside the home.”
Click on this story if you have teenagers at home --- Window Safety Tips for Teenagers.