Window Safety And Children
How safe is your existing home’s windows when it comes to your children and pets? If you are considering replacement windows or are in the market for windows for your new home – are you considering the safety of the windows that you are planning on installing with regards to your children?
If you haven’t given this much thought, consider this: the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that 4 000+ children receive treatment in emergency rooms in hospitals annually for injuries sustained from falling from windows. Of these injuries, most afflicted children are younger than 5 years old.
In 2000 the CPSC announced window safety standards to help curb the problem. Other ideas are to fit your home’s windows with window stops, ‘safety glass’, to have safety film put onto your existing windows or to pay attention to some other small but potentially dangerous things in your home.
Tempered or toughened glass is safety glass that was created chemically or thermally by compressing the outer surface of the glass while putting the inner surface into tension. When this glass breaks, it therefore crumbles into small bits rather than splintering into sharp debris.
Laminated glass is also safety glass, but is held together by an interlayer that is usually made of polyvinyl butyral (PVB) which keeps two or more layers of glass bonded. When it is impacted, it only creates a spider web type of fracturing pattern if the glass is not completely pierced. When broken, it just collapses into granular chunks.
Safety window film (also called shatter safe film) can be applied to glass after installation. It is made of polyester and breakage will have the same result as in the case of laminated glass.
Window guards have different features and should be chosen according to your window style and needs. They are screwed tightly into the sides of window frames because spring-loaded guards can be undone by a child. Best practice is to also install bars around 10 cm apart with the guard to safeguard your child completely.
Window stops prevent windows from opening wider than 10 cm. They can easily be installed to your existing window frames. Multi-point locks are difficult for children to open (and will also deter intruders somewhat).
Other tips for keeping your windows safe for your children are:
- Keep anything that children can climb onto (including cribs) away from windows.
- Only open windows that children can’t reach if you don’t have ventilation locks.
- Remember that 2nd floor windows are higher and thus more dangerous. It would be wise to opt for double hung windows where you can open the top one and leave the bottom one closed.
- Be sure to show your older children how to undo window stops and locks in case of a fire.
BRL Windows & Doors value the safety of the citizens of Las Vegas. Please call on us if you need help with any of the above.