When it Comes to Windows, Safety First

Window Safety

Window safety presents a paradox. On one hand, it is vital that windows remain accessible so they can serve as an escape route in case of emergency. On the other hand, falls from windows present a serious safety risk to children under 10 -- especially on upper floors in homes and apartment buildings. Thankfully, several devices offer increased window safety without compromising convenience.

Window Safety Devices for Homes with Children

Ten children die and 4,000 are injured by falls from windows every year, according to the Consumer Safety Council. Almost every one of these incidents could have been prevented with proper preventative safety measures.

Window guards, window stops and window wedges make it nearly impossible for children to fall out of a window. Double sash windows allow you to open windows from the top instead of at the bottom where children often play. 

Find Pros Window Safety Devices for Shatter Prevention

Flying objects of all shapes and sizes have tormented the window since its invention. Today, a number of products are available to block such objects from hitting your windows -- and some will even prevent your windows from shattering if they do. The following safety devices are particularly useful in areas where powerful storms and strong winds are common, and they're useful for enhancing home security as well:

Window safety film is one of the newer window safety devices on the market. It's invisible, and it offers added strength that makes window glass less prone to damage. Window safety film is a great choice for homeowners who want to increase security without adding bars; it makes windows difficult to break into. 

Window safety screens are much stronger than your average insect screen. Used to prevent impact from flying objects -- and to deter would-be burglars -- window safety screens offer the security of bars without the prison-like feel. The grid-like openings in window safety screens are large enough to let in plenty of sunlight, but small enough to block impact from almost any object. Some window safety screens are designed for easy opening and closing (with locks on the interior), while others are fixed in place. The cost to install window screens will vary depending on the number of windows  covered.

Windows Safety Window Safety Devices for Enhancing Home Security

Though they are not as attractive as other options, visible safety devices can act as both a crime deterrent and an entry barrier. Rely on home security professionals to install these barriers to ensure maximum security against intruders.

Window security shutters are primarily seen in commercial settings, but some savvy homeowners are also installing these devices on their homes. Window security shutters are available in both manual and automated models, and they can provide an extra barrier between the inside of your home and just about any intrusion. In some cases, the cost to install window security shutters is offset by reduced insurance premiums.

Window bars are one of the least attractive window safety devices on the market, but the security they provide simply can't be beat. Window bars are available in several different styles -- and in some cases, they can actually add a bit of aesthetic appeal to a property. To further enhance security, homeowners sometimes install bars on the interior side of windows, so anyone trying to get in will have to break the glass (and make a lot of noise) before even attempting to get through the bars. Window bars are also available with an interior release mechanism; this allows the people inside to easily remove the bars in case of a fire but is not accessible to anyone outside trying to enter.

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Jon Nunan is a freelance writer who draws on his experience in construction, ranging from landscaping to log home building, for his articles on home improvement.

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