Provided by Prince William Fire & Rescue
Spring has arrived! As the weather becomes warmer, households will turn off their home heating equipment and enjoy the cool spring breeze that a window screen provides. While screens for some may be comforting, for others they are dangerous, even deadly – especially for small children.
Each year, children die and are injured from window falls. Children under the age of 5 are at the highest risk for such falls due to their curiosity and/or focus being elsewhere while playing near a screened window.Although the majority of children that fall from windows reside in urban areas, falls do occur from a first or second-story window in homes or apartments anywhere.
National Window Safety Week is April 7 – 13. The Prince William County Fire & Rescue System, in conjunction with health and safety organizations/agencies across the U.S., urges the public to get involved, year round, to help reduce unintentional injuries among children. While windows are vital in escaping a home fire or other emergencies, parents and guardians need to understand the importance of protecting against accidental window falls. Listed below are window safety tips to keep your little ones safe:
- Keep children away from open windows.
- Install window guards or window stop devices that prevent windows from opening more than four inches (educate family members, older children and adults, on how to release window guards in the event of a fire or other emergency that requires evacuation).
- Keep climbable objects such as furniture, beds, toy chests, etc., away from windows.
- DO NOT place toys and other inviting objects on windowsills.
- Check to make sure porch and balcony railings are spaced four inches or less apart.
- Always provide adult supervision for children around open windows or in risky environments.
Acting System Chief Tim Keen of the Prince William County Fire and Rescue System said, “It’s important to remember that windows play a vital role in fire safety and should be considered as an alternate exit when planning a home fire escape plan. It’s also important to remember that windows pose a threat to young children when left open and unattended. Be proactive in taking the necessary precautions of safely securing windows to ensure your child’s safety.”