Each year, the Window Safety Task Force of the National Safety Council takes the first full week in April to educate on the importance of practicing window safety year-round. National Window Safety Week is designed to increase awareness on helping to prevent window falls and the proper use of windows for emergency escape purposes.
Falls from a window can result in serious injury or death and pose an especially dangerous threat for children. About eight children under age five die each year from falling out a window, and more than 3,300 are injured seriously enough to go to the hospital, according to Safe Kids Worldwide’s 2015 Report to the Nation: Protecting Children in Your Home.
“It only takes seconds for a preventable window fall to occur,” said Amy Artuso, program manager for the National Safety Council. “To avoid these needless tragedies, it is very important for parents and caregivers to take steps to prevent home falls.”
Suppliers of window products for multifamily and single family applications can take an active role in educating customers about important safety measures to prevent falls through windows. To protect children, the Window Safety Task Force offers the following tips that manufacturers can share with customers:
- When young children are around, keep windows closed and locked.
- When opening a window for ventilation, use those located out of a child’s reach. For example, the upper sash of a double hung window.
- Avoid placing furniture near windows to prevent young children from climbing.
- Don’t allow children to jump on beds or other furniture to help reduce potential falls.• Don’t rely on insect screens to prevent a window fall. Insect screens are designed to keep bugs out, not to keep children in the home.
- Supervise children to keep child’s play away from windows, balconies or patio doors. Keep play in the center of a room, if possible.
- Install code-compliant devices designed to limit how far a window will open or window guards (with quick-release mechanisms in case of fire) to help prevent a fall.
- Teach children how to safely use a window to escape during an emergency, such as a fire.
Angela Dickson is marketing manager for the American Architectural Manufacturers Association and is current chair of the Window Safety Task Force.
The opinions expressed here are those of the individual author and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Glass Association, Glass Magazine editors, or other glassblog contributors.