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Preventing Falls from Windows

There are about a dozen deaths and several thousand injuries to children each year as a result of falls from windows in both single-family homes and apartments. The majority of these children are under five years old. Even a fall from a one-story high window can have serious consequences.

The fact that falls occur is an unfortunate statistic as window guards can be easily installed or other precautions can be taken to prevent a child from falling thru an opened window. Unfortunately, too many people assume window screens will help prevent falls; however screens are not designed for fall protection. Window screens (such as those made available by companies like Peninsula Mobile Screens) are primarily used to prevent insects from getting in when windows are open. They can also provide additional protection against small stones and objects that could end up breaking the glass. While they may offer some resistance to inadvertent contact, they are not equipped to withstand large forces.

For example, heavy rains can damage window glass, so it’s critical to protect them from such unprecedented climatic changes. That is why so many people invest in window siding by hiring experts from companies like John McCarter Construction. The window siding is primarily installed to protect the home, as well as the foundation and contents within it. Its purpose is to shield the house from rain, snow, wind, and other inclement weather. When the weather turns colder, properly installed siding can protect the interior of the home from the elements.

Apart from that, you may also invest in window guards. Window guards must meet requirements for spacing and strength and any screens that also need to be removed for escape in case of an emergency must have the proper hardware to prevent easy removal by young children. Window guards should fasten into the side of the window frame and have bars or other barriers no more than 4 inches apart. Most guards are sold in different sizes to accommodate different types of windows and are adjustable for width.

Window stops that prevent the window from opening more than 4 inches can be used as an alternative. Some new window types such as casement and awning windows come with window stops or opening limits already installed. You can find these types of windows offered by Milwaukee Window & Door Installation companies, though make sure to specify with them that your window should not open more than 4 inches.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission’s (CPSC) guidelines for preventing fall from windows include:

  1. Install guards anywhere there is a risk of children falling from a window, particularly at the children’s or parents bedrooms, playrooms and other rooms where young children spend time.

  2. As an option to window guards, window stops that permit windows to open no more than 4 inches can be used.

  3. Never depend on screens to keep children from falling out of windows.

  4. Whenever possible, open windows from the top – not the bottom if the proper fall protection can not be provided.

  5. Keep furniture and large toys away from windows, to discourage children from climbing near or up to the windows.

  6. If in a mid-rise or high rise building, for windows on the 6th floor and below, install window guards that adults and older children can open in case of fire. For windows on the 7th floor and above, permanent window guards can usually be installed.

Find more helpful articles by visiting House Master Home Inspections at www.housemaster.com

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