Windows let in air and light. Sparkling clean panes and well-maintained trim improve a home’s overall appearance. Window safety isn’t just for children; it’s for adults, too. As you’re getting your home ready for winter this fall – cleaning out the gutters, pressure washing the driveway, and repairing some damage to the siding – check the windows of your home to see how safe and secure they are.
Windows should Open and Close Smoothly
If you find windows painted or nailed shut, especially ones on the first floor or in the basement, put it on your fall maintenance list to remove the paint or nails. Restore the window to full working order. Windows are useful as a way to exit your home in an emergency such as a fire or an earthquake. Windows should open and close smoothly so they can be used as an exit point.
Put Locks on Windows
Even a fall from a first-story window can be harmful to a young child. Put locks on windows that are accessible to children. Keep windows closed and locked if children are left in the room to play on their own.
Locks are also a good idea as a way to protect your home from burglars. Install window locks on second-story windows that are near climbable trees.
Move the Furniture
Little ones love to climb and explore. Move the furniture in the room away from windows to prevent kids from climbing up and falling out.
No sense making it easy for a burglar trying to get into your home. Move the furniture away from outer walls with windows to help keep children in and thieves out.
Landscape for a Soft Landing
The right kind of landscaping can help break a fall from a window. If a child does take a tumble, it’s better if he or she lands on a cushion of grass or in soft sand. Shrubs, bushes, and mulch absorb the shock of a fall better than flowerbeds and paved areas.
Screens are Screens
By all means, during your fall maintenance regime, check window screens for damage and then repair them. However, keep in mind that screens are screens and not security devices. They might look sturdy, but are flimsy when it comes to a child pressing up against them, and can easily pop out. Instead of depending on a window screen, install window guards – they come in a variety of styles and are an effective way of preventing unexpected spills from an open window.