An estimated 5,000 children under 18 years of age are injured annually from accidental falls from windows. National Window Safety Week was recognized this month, designed to educate parents and caregivers on how to prevent unintentional window falls and how windows can be properly used for emergency escape, however the Los Angeles Fire Department joins the National Safety Council in asking you to focus on window safety year round.
Windows play a vital role in home safety, serving as a secondary escape route in the event of a fire or other emergency, but they can also pose a risk for a fall if safety measures are not followed.
Here are eight simple ways to protect your loved one:
- Keep windows closed and locked when not in use for ventilation.
- Avoid placing furniture that young children can climb on near windows.
- Do not lean on screens or rely on them to prevent a window fall – insect screens are designed to keep bugs out, not to keep children in the home.
- Supervise children to prevent them from playing near windows, balconies or patio doors.
- Install building code-compliant devices such as window guards (with quick-release mechanisms in case of fire).
- Create soft landing surfaces (i.e. bushes or plant beds) to help prevent serious injuries in case of a fall.
- Have and practice a family escape plan and teach children how to safely use a window to escape during an emergency.
- When performing spring repairs, make sure windows are not painted or nailed shut as you must be able to open them to escape in an emergency.
Submitted by Erik Scott, Spokesman
Los Angeles Fire Department