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Windows are Vital to Survival, but Keep Safety in Mind

  • Learn How Falls Can Be Prevented


    There’s no way to hear the story about rock guitarist Eric Clapton’s 4-year-old son, Conor, without being overcome with shock and sadness.

    Conor fell 49 stories to his death in New York City in March 1991 after a maintenance worker opened a 6-by-4-foot window in the apartment where Conor was staying with his mother on vacation. According to the New York Times, Conor, unaware the window was open, ran across the room and fell through the opening. The window did not have a protective apparatus around it.

    This tragedy is well known because it involved a public figure, but falls from windows are more common than people might think. According to the Safe Kids Worldwide 2015 Report to the Nation: Protecting Children in Your Home, about eight children under age 5 die each year from falling out a window, and more than 3,300 are injured seriously enough to go to the hospital.

    NSC, along with window and door industry professionals and other safety advocates, formed the Window Safety Task Force in 1997 to educate caregivers about window safety. The Task Force offers these suggestions to help protect children:

    • Always supervise children and keep their play area away from windows
    • Keep windows closed and locked when children are present
    • If windows are open, make sure children can't reach them
    • For a double-hung window on an upper floor, open the top sash for ventilation and keep the bottom sash closed
    • Screens keep bugs out, but they do not keep children in
    • Keep furniture away from windows as they could tempt a curious child to climb and potentially fall
    • Don't allow children to jump on beds or other furniture
    • If there are young children in the home, install ASTM-approved limited-opening hardware, which only allows a window to open a few inches


    Window Cords can Cause Strangulation


    About one child per month dies from window cord strangulation, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Another will be treated following a near strangulation.

    Parents and caregivers are urged to check their window coverings for exposed or dangling cords, and every year in October, the Window Covering Safety Council and CPSC sponsor National Window Covering Safety Month to remind caregivers of the risks.

    Safety experts recommend only cordless window coverings or those with inaccessible cords be used in homes with young children. If you can't replace your window coverings with today's safer products, free retrofit kits are available through the Window Covering Safety Council.

    Windows rank as one of the Top 5 Hidden Hazards in the Home, according to the CPSC.

    Windows Save Lives

     

    Since its inception, the Window Safety Task Force has distributed thousands of information kits with tips for preventing falls and using windows as emergency escape routes. These efforts seek to decrease residential fire deaths.

    According to most residential building codes, bedrooms and other sleeping areas must have a secondary means of escape in case of fire or smoke, and that exit is often a window. Just having windows designated for escape is not enough; they also must be safe and accessible.

    Learn more about the mission of the Window Safety Task Force and National Window Safety Week.

  • National Window Safety Week is April 3-9

    The Window Safety Task Force of the National Safety Council provides materials and information you can use to share the window-safety message with your family.

    Learn More

Are Your Window Coverings Safe?



A message from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

  • Keep the Promise to Keep Your Children Safe

    ​You whisper a promise to your child, "I'll always keep you safe." But it takes more than promises; it takes planning.

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National Safety Council Mission

The National Safety Council eliminates preventable deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy.

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