Canadians love summer, probably because we experience so much winter. Summer is when we can take advantage of the pleasant weather by opening windows and letting in the cool breeze. However, while windows allow us to enjoy the season’s lovely sunshine and temperatures, they’re also an essential component of our homes’ safety.
In April 2017, CTV News reported that a “five-year-old boy is in critical condition after he and a two-year-old girl fell out of an upstairs window at a home in Calgary.” That article concluded with a reminder that with “the weather growing more comfortable, police are cautioning parents to be wary of leaving windows open around small children.”
Then again in May 2017, Global News reported that “Two children are recovering in hospital after falling out of windows in two separate incidents in northeast Calgary.” Both children fell from second story windows where “In each instance they did push through a screen,” EMS spokesperson Stuart Brideaux said. “It always serves as a reminder that the screens are not at all safety devices. They cannot be relied on to prevent a fall.”
Open windows can help keep a home cool, but as illustrated, they can also pose safety risks for children and animals. Here are a few tips to keep kids and pets safe around open windows:
• Instruct kids on the dangers of open windows;
• Avoid placing furniture or any objects kids or pets can climb near open windows;
• Don’t rely on window screens to prevent kids or pets from falling, window or sliding door screens are designed to keep pests out, not kids in;
• Keep windows closed and locked when kids are around, and if you open a window for ventilation, choose one that is preferably out of children’s reach;
• If you keep windows open often, consider installing building-code compliant devices to limit how far a window opens, thereby preventing falls;
• Limit and/or monitor children’s and pets’ play and activities near open windows or sliding doors; and
• Plant shrubs, soft edging or other appropriate landscaping around the outside of windows can help blunt the impact if a fall does occur.
Windows are also a part of many families’ home emergency plans. In the event of a fire, earthquake or other catastrophe, windows are a frequent escape route, which means they should be easy to open and exit from safely. However, window safety also means devising strategies to keep intruders out. Keeping windows locked and secured is a sensible first step, but any locks, window guards or other safety devices should open from the inside, says WebMD, in order to enable your family to exit in the event of an emergency. With a little care and planning, your family can safely enjoy open windows this season and year-round.
Window alarms and impact-resistant glass films or screens can also help secure your windows without impeding emergency evacuations. These security measures may also reduce your insurance premiums.
The insurance brokers at TSG Insurance are happy to discuss the rates for our selection of insurance products and financial planning, including improving window security in Bassano, Brooks, Calgary, Edmonton, or Medicine Hat. Contact TSG Insurance at 1-800-830-9423 today to receive a free quote on all your insurance needs.