Be Smart; Be Safe
Celebrate Window Safety Week with LookOut for Kids and designer, blogger, and TV personality Breegan Jane.If you’ve seen my shows or follow my blog, you’d know I’m a designer who loves light, bright, and function-meets-fabulous aesthetic. You’d ALSO know, I am a single, southern California Mom of two young kids.
So, it’s probably not a surprise that one of the things I think about when I’m redoing a place (which is great timing, as I’m currently remodeling my OWN home) is the windows. How they function, how they bring the outdoors in, how they change the light in the room… and how they can help keep my family safe.
Windows let in light and fresh air, and can provide breathtaking views, but they also are vital to safety. I think it’s important to understand what you can do to observe window safety, especially when young children are in the home.
That’s why I want to give a shout out to the National Safety Council’s Window Safety Week, which is the first full week in April (April 4-10, 2021). It coincides with the arrival of spring, when homeowners (myself included) naturally want to open the windows and bask in the warmer weather—which brings associated hazards. Like I said, I have two VERY active young boys, so I know firsthand that kids can see the world’s wonder before they may see its dangers.
The LookOut for Kids program is a program sponsored by my friends at Renewal by Andersen—the full-service replacement division of Andersen Windows. I learned about it when I was working with them on an upcoming project—it’s a program geared toward teaching families about some of the key points of Window Safety Week in a fun and engaging way.
They’ve shared the following top tips with me, and I’d love to share them with you to help prevent window and door related injuries! If you are looking for more tips and ideas, check out the window safety infographic below or download the LookOut for Kids activity book for some fun activities you can do at home with your family!
9 Essential Tips for Home Window Safety
✔️ 1) Be mindful of furniture placement in a child’s room. Avoid blocking windows with dressers or similar items, as furniture could impede a swift exit in an emergency. Do not place beds or chairs or toy chests under windows in the bedroom of children, as it could entice curious kids to climb and potentially fall through an open window.
✔️ 2) When young children are in the home, keep their play in the center of the room and away from open windows, doors, and balconies.
✔️ 3) Don’t allow children to jump on beds or other furniture to help reduce potential falls.
✔️ 4) For greater safety, keep windows closed and locked when not in use for ventilation.
✔️ 5) When opening a window for ventilation, use those located out of a child’s reach. For example, if you have double-hung windows with two moveable sashes, close the bottom sash and open the upper sash when ventilation is desired. Or, use upper windows, like clerestory windows, to allow ventilation without the risk of accidental falls.
✔️ 6) Remember that insect screens are meant to keep insects out, not to prevent falls from windows.
✔️ 7) Install ASTM F2090 compliant devices designed to limit how far a window will open or window guards (with quick-release mechanisms in case of fire or other emergency) to help prevent a fall. This means, for any windows that are 6 feet or higher from the ground, install window stops or guards that meet ASTM standards – limiting windows to opening less than 4 inches. For a double-hung window on an upper floor, install a window guard or stop that keeps children from pushing the bottom window open.
✔️ 8) Lessen the potential impact of injury from a fall through strategic landscaping – use of wood chips, grass, or shrubs beneath windows.
✔️ 9) Teach your child how to safely use a window to escape during an emergency, such as a fire.
National Safety Council
The National Safety Council (NSC) is also dedicated to window safety and fall prevention.
The NSC remind us that windows are one of the top five hidden hazards in the home. To offset those dangers, they have a number of useful tips on making a window escape plan, preventing falls, and other information.
Visit their website to view their window safety brochure and video, checklist, and kids' activity book...then share them with everyone in your household so they are aware of their role in window safety.
And remember: Be smart AND safe--these lessons can last a lifetime!
If there is any place in the world you should feel secure, it’s your home. And while accidents are a part of life…we can all do our part to make them as infrequent as possible. Window safety is just one opportunity to protect our loved ones. Check out our "Safe as Houses" article to learn 50+ small things you can do to help make your corner of the world a little bit safer of a place to live and play.