Home Window Safety: Preventing Potential Problems

Woman Parting Curtains to Open Home WindowsAre you enjoying the crisp fall air this time of year? For now, New Englanders are in the clear when it comes to the hot and humid days. It can be tempting to open all the windows in your house to let in some fresh air and a cool breeze, but before you do, be sure you’re aware of potential risks. Let’s review the things that make home window safety so important and how you can prevent window-related incidents. 

Home Window Safety: Protecting Kids and Pets 

Did you know windows rank as one of the top 5 hidden hazards in homes? Not only do they pose a threat to curious and climbing pets and kids alike, but some window coverings are also a strangulation hazard. Here are things you can do to protect your beloved children and furry friends 

  • Keep windows closed and locked in their presence. If a window must be kept open for ventilation purposes, choose one that’s higher up and out of their reach. 
  • Install window guards. You can’t count on screens as a protective barrier in windows. Screens are designed to keep bugs out, not keep your pets and children in. If keeping windows closed and locked isn’t realistic, window guards will prevent your little ones from falling out. Similarly, other devices can limit how far a window is able to open, thereby preventing falls. 
  • Keep furniture away from windows. Placing cribs, couches, tables, and other furniture near windows unintentionally gives kids and pets an added boost. 
  • Consider installing double-hung windows. These open from the top for airflow while the bottom, more easily accessible window stays shut.  
  • Keep blinds and cords out of children’s reach. These are strangulation and choking hazards. If you want to avoid the risk altogether while still blocking sunlight, consider curtains and drapes instead. 
  • Use shrubs and other soft landscaping options below windows. In the event of a fall, this could help soften the impact. 

Home Window Safety: Part of Your Fire Escape Plan 

On the other hand, windows do indeed need to be easy to open and exit from safely in an emergency. That’s why, when thinking about home window safety and how you’ll protect kids and pets, it’s also crucial to remember that these windows likely serve as means of egress in your family’s fire escape plan. To be prepared for emergency evacuation, you should avoid: 

  • Blocking windows with clutter or furniture 
  • Using AC units in windows which may need to be opened to escape 
  • Painting and nailing windows shut, even if they’re rarely used ones 

If using any window guards or stopping devices mentioned above, be sure they are up to code and are regulation compliant so they don’t impede your ability to exit in an emergency.  

Home Window Safety: Keeping Intruders Out 

Lastly, don’t forget that windows are a possible point of entry for burglars. To keep them out, keep your windows closed and locked. For added protection, you may choose to invest in window alarms and other security systems, or impact-resistant windows, which are harder to break through. Keeping the perimeter of your home well-lit may also deter intruders. In fact, improving your home security may also reduce insurance premiums. 

Using our tips above, re-evaluate your window safety regularly to ensure your home environment is secure and protects those you love most. Should an incident involving windows occur, your homeowners insurance policy will have you covered. To review yours or make changes to your coverage, contact TJ Woods Insurance today.