Window Safety

Windows are Vital to Survival, but Keep Safety in Mind


The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reminds everyone that it only takes 5 minutes to prevent a child from falling out a window.

Windows rank as one of the top five hidden hazards in the home.

Falls from windows are more common than people might think. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, 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.

The Window Safety Task Force offers these suggestions to help protect children:

  • Teach children to play area away from windows
  • Teach caregivers and children that screens keep bugs out, but they do not keep children in
  • For any windows that are 6 feet or higher from the ground, install window stops or guards that meet ASTM standards – limiting windows to opening less than 4 inches
  • Keep windows closed and locked when not in use
  • Keep furniture or anything a child can climb away from windows
  • Always supervise children and ask about window safety when your child visits other homes
  • For a double-hung window on an upper floor, install a window guard or stop that keeps children from pushing the bottom window open
  • Lessen the potential impact of injury from a fall through strategic landscaping – use of wood chips, grass or shrubs beneath windows

Corded Window Coverings Can Cause Strangulation

Loose or looped window covering cords pose a strangulation risk to children. According to the CPSC, about eight children die each year after becoming entangled in a window covering cord.

Use only cordless window coverings or those with inaccessible cords in homes with young children. The Best for Kids Program, launched by the Window Covering Manufacturers Association, identifies window covering products that are best suited for use in homes with young children.

Free retrofit kits are available through the Window Covering Safety Council when replacement of older corded window coverings is not an option.

A Window Could be Your Lifeline in an Emergency

Windows can save lives when used as emergency escape routes.

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.

The Window Safety Task Force offers the following tips to help protect your family:

  • Make sure at least one window in each bedroom meets escape requirements, and incorporate windows into your home fire escape plan
  • Make sure windows are not nailed or painted shut
  • Make certain that window stops, guards, security bars, grilles and grates have a release mechanism
  • Do not install window unit air conditioners in windows that may be needed for escape