Soft-Lite is proud to observe National Window Safety Week the first full week of April. As a member of the Window Safety Task Force in partnership with the National Safety Council, we recognize the important role that window safety plays in the lives of homeowners and their families. In light of the current viral outbreak, citizens around the world are spending more time indoors. As schools close their doors and employees work from home, more than ever this Spring window and door safety should be at the forefront of our minds.
The Window Safety Task Force also designed National Window Safety Week to occur in early Spring for perennial reasons -- as the weather begins to warm and flowers appear in our lawns and trees, statistically the risk of falls from windows rises steeply. However, open windows can be dangerous any time of year for young children who are not properly supervised.
According to Safe Kids Worldwide’s Report to the Nation: Protecting Children in Your Home, it’s estimated eight children under age five die from falling out a window every year, and more than 3,300 are injured seriously enough to go to the hospital.
“It only takes seconds for a preventable window fall to occur,” said Becky Turpin, director of Home & Community Safety 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.”
To prevent accidents, the Window Safety Task Force offers the following tips:
- 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.
- Avoid placing furniture near windows to prevent young children from climbing and gaining access to an open window.
- 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 withstand human body weight.
- Supervise children to keep child’s play away from windows, balconies or patio doors.
- Install American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) compliant devices designed to limit how far a window will open or window guards to help prevent a fall.
- Teach your child how to safely use a window to escape during an emergency, such as a fire.
Though fire drills are practiced regularly in schools and many workplaces, the majority of deaths and injuries from fire each year result from a fire in the home. The Window Safety Task Force in partnership with the National Safety Council offer the following pieces of advice:
- Create a home fire escape plan that includes two exits from every room in your home, through both a door and a window.
- Practice your fire escape plan during the day and at night.
- Keep windows closed and locked when not in use for ventilation. Practice opening and closing windows that may be designated as emergency exits.
- Coach your family to attempt to open a window first, rather than break the glass, if you must exit through it in an emergency.
- Choose another exit route if your home features windows with impact-resistant glass, like that used in some hurricane-prone areas.
- Check with local code officials when remodeling your home to understand emergency escape and rescue building code requirements. Egress windows are those designated by code as large enough for you to escape through or for rescue workers to enter in emergency situations.
- Consult your local building code official to determine proper placement of window guards or fall prevention devices, if you equip windows in your home with these. Look for devices that comply with the standards set out by ASTM F2090.
The final category of safety risk that home windows pose is in creating a convenient entry point for intruders. Soft-Lite Windows include safety features that provide superior protection against intrusion. To help protect your family and possessions, Soft-Lite products feature top-quality frames, locks, and hardware and use of a unique process for bonding the glass to the frame. Soft-Lite’s windows deliver unparalleled protection because sashes can't be forced open - even with a crowbar.
Soft-Lite is also a proud sponsor of the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) and is known for placing a strong emphasis on designing and manufacturing durable, intruder-resistant products. Soft-Lite voluntarily submits its products to independent, certified laboratories that test them according to forced entry standards established by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). In fact, Soft-Lite windows and doors meet all forced-entry standards established by ASTM Specification F588-97, including the highest level of ASTM structural forced-entry criteria to ensure maximum break-in resistance.
Soft-Lite windows feature other measures that are recommended for security, including vent stop latches and windows that are double-hung, or designed to open from the top. If you are interested in learning more, contact a Soft-Lite dealer near you.
For more about National Window Safety Week, visit www.nsc.org/windowsafetytaskforce, as well as the window safety sections of the AAMA and WDMA websites. Follow the Window Safety Task Force on Twitter and Facebook for more tips and updates on this important safety issue.