Windows can serve as emergency escape routes.
Fire is frightening. All too often, the bodies of young children are found after a fire in places where they tried to hide. Teach your children that they can't hide from fire: They must escape it. Decide on at least two emergency escape routes from your home. Windows provide one of the fastest, easiest alternative ways out of a burning home. Teach children how to safely escape through windows and take time to practice with them.
Every family member should know how to operate the windows used for fire emergencies. Delays in escaping from a fire cost lives and increase injuries. Often paint, dirt or weathering can seal a window shut. Make sure yours open easily from the inside and are not blocked by furniture or other objects.
Remember that security bars, grilles and grates not only keep intruders out, they can also lock you in. The same holds true for window guards. Everyone should always be able to get out through a window without using tools, keys, special knowledge or effort.
Preventing falls out of windows is as important as learning how to use one in an emergency. Unattended children run the greatest risk of falls and injuries, so the best first step is to watch your children as they play. Nothing can substitute for careful supervision.
When youngsters are around, close and lock your windows. If you need ventilation, open only windows they cannot reach. Be sure to keep furniture - or anything children can climb - away from windows. And teach your children not to play near windows.
Never depend on insect screens to prevent falls. Insect screens are designed to provide ventilation. They will not hold a child's weight against them.
Only solid information and proper preparations can help you keep the promise of safety you give to your loved ones. For more ways to protect your home and family please contact:
National Fire Protection Association Department of Public Education One Batterymarch Park Quincy, MA 02269-9101
National Safety Council 1121 Spring Lake Drive Itasca, IL 60143-3201
For additional Window Safety Awareness brochures in quantities of 100 or more, write to: National Safety Council Community Safety Division 1121 Spring Lake Drive Itasca, IL 60143-3201