Window Safety

Because SafeHarbor® is committed to producing a quality product that homeowners will enjoy, we encourage you to review the following safety tips and information.

WINDOW SAFETY CHECKLIST*

Fires and falls of all kinds are among the leading causes of injury and death in young children. While some falls occur from windows, it is important to realize that in the event of a fire, a window can also save a child’s life. This is why windows play a critical role in home safety. Print out this checklist from the National Safety Council and use these tips to help keep your family safe around the windows and patio doors in your home.

Has your family developed an emergency fire escape plan?

Determine your family's emergency escape plan and practice it regularly. In the plan, include two avenues of escape from every room. Remember children may have to rely on a window to escape a fire. Help them learn to safely use a window under these circumstances. Make sure you have identified a safe meeting place outside.

Do you keep windows shut when children are around?

You should keep your windows closed and locked when children are around. When opening windows for ventilation, open windows that children cannot reach. Also, set and enforce rules about keeping children's play away from windows and/or patio doors. Falling through the glass can be fatal or cause a serious injury.

Do you leave, or have you left, windows open because you thought the insect screen provided a safeguard from a fall?

Don't rely on insect screens to prevent a fall. Insect screens are designed to provide ventilation while keeping insects out; they are not designed to, nor will they prevent a child's fall from a window.

Is there furniture placed under or near windows in your home?

Keep furniture - or anything children can climb - away from windows. Children may use such objects as a climbing aid.

Do any windows in your home have guards, security bars, grilles or grates?

These windows are useless in an emergency if the devices on them do not have a functioning release mechanism. Time is critical when escaping a fire. Consult your local fire department or building code official to determine proper window guard placement.

Inspect your home's windows carefully. Are any windows in your home painted or nailed shut?

Never paint or nail windows shut. You must be able to open them to escape in an emergency.

Do you have any window unit air conditioners in bedroom windows or other windows in your home that may be needed for escape or rescue in an emergency?

Do not install window unit air conditioners in windows that may be needed for escape or rescue in an emergency. The air conditioning unit could block or impede escape through the window. Always be sure that you have at least one window in each sleeping and living area that meets escape and rescue requirements.

*Reprinted from the National Safety Council. For additional information, visit www.nsc.org.

Window Safety Activty Book Children may enjoy the Window Safety Activity Book, which includes activities such as coloring and games to teach children about window safety. Click here to download your copy!

HIGH RISE FIRE SAFETY**

The United States Fire Administration (USFA) would like you to know there are simple fire safety steps you can take to prevent the loss of life and property in high-rise fires.

Danger Above: A Factsheet on High-Rise Safety

Recent fatal fires in high-rise structures have prompted Americans to rethink fire safety. A key to fire safety for those who live and work in these special structures is to practice specific high-rise fire safety and prevention behaviors.

Be Prepared for a High-Rise Fire Emergency

  • Never lock fire exits or doorways, halls or stairways. Fire doors provide a way out during the fire and slow the spread of fire and smoke. Never prop stairway or other fire doors open.
  • Learn your building evacuation plan. Make sure everyone knows what to do if the fire alarm sounds. Plan and practice your escape plan together.
  • Be sure your building manager posts evacuation plans in high traffic areas, such as lobbies.
  • Learn the sound of your building's fire alarm and post emergency numbers near all telephones.
  • Know who is responsible for maintaining the fire safety systems. Make sure nothing blocks these devices and promptly report any sign of damage or malfunction to the building management.

Do Not Panic in the Event of a High-Rise Fire Emergency

  • Do not assume anyone else has already called the fire department.
  • Immediately call your local emergency number. Early notification of the fire department is important. The dispatcher will ask questions regarding the emergency. Stay calm and give the dispatcher the information they request.

If the Door is Warm to the Touch

Before you try to leave your apartment or office, feel the door with the back of your hand. If the door feels warm to the touch, do not attempt to open it. Stay in your apartment or office.

  • Stuff the cracks around the door with towels, rags, bedding or tape and cover vents to keep smoke out.
  • If there is a phone in the room where you are trapped, call the fire department again to tell them exactly where you are located. Do this even if you can see fire apparatus on the street below.
  • Wait at a window and signal for help with a flashlight or by waving a sheet.
  • If possible, open the window at the top and bottom, but do not break it, you may need to close the window if smoke rushes in.
  • Be patient. Rescuing all the occupants of a high-rise building can take several hours.

If the Door is Not Warm to the Touch

  • If you do attempt to open the door, brace your body against the door while staying low to the floor and slowly open it a crack. What you are doing is checking for the presence of smoke or fire in the hallway.
  • If there is no smoke in the hallway or stairwells, follow your building's evacuation plan.
  • If you don't hear the building's fire alarm, pull the nearest fire alarm "pull station" while exiting the floor.
  • If you encounter smoke or flames on your way out, immediately return to your apartment or office.

After a High-Rise Fire Emergency

  • Once you are out of the building, STAY OUT! Do not go back inside for any reason.
  • Tell the fire department if you know of anyone trapped in the building.
  • Only enter when the fire department tells you it is safe to do so.

Maintain and Install Working Smoke Alarms

No matter where you live, always install smoke alarms on every level of your home. Test them monthly and change the batteries at least once a year. Remember, fire safety is your personal responsibility...Fire Stops With You!

**Reprinted from the United States Fire Administration. For additional information visit www.usfa.dhs.gov.

For additional information, visit the following websites:

***Check back often to find additional tips and safety information***