Window safety

My family can tell you I am a safety nerd. I guess it is training that came from my wonderful parents. They always watched the news, and had a way of staying aware of their world around them.

In turn they passed that awareness on to me. I remember my dad would read all of us what was in the newspaper. There was always a warning or a moral to that story.

I am thankful that my parents taught me to look ahead and to try to think ahead to avoid disaster.

When I saw this information, I wanted to pass it on to help you avoid danger as well.

This week is National Window Safety Week.

Apparently whether opened or closed there are things you need to know.

Experts say families with small children should pay special attention to windows. They say watch out for windows and patio doors. Start with practicing home emergency fire drills. Show them the fastest safety route to the outside and make sure children know only to use a window to get out of a house in case of emergency.

Small children tend to "hide" from fire, make sure they understand how important it is to safely and quickly get out if a fire should break out.

"If a door is hot to the touch or not safe to exit through during a fire, then both children and adults should exit through an open window," says Gary Pember, vice president of marketing for Simonton Windows. "Unless it is absolutely necessary, do not to break the window glass. Doing so could cause injury. During family safety drills, show children how to operate windows and how to use chain escape ladders. Those ladders should be kept in all bedrooms located above ground level. Also establish a designated meeting place for the family outside the home."

Also, when windows are opened, only open what young children cannot reach, such as the top portion of a Double Hung window.

- Keep furniture (including cribs), or anything children can climb, away from windows.

- Never push on screens, as they will not support the weight of a child or family pet.

- Lock windows when not in use to protect against intruders and make it more difficult for curious young children to open windows.

- Do not paint or nail windows shut. Every window in the home that is designed to be opened should be operational in case of an emergency.

Don't nail or attach decorative lights to the interior or exterior of window frames.

- Plant shrubs or grass, and place "soft landscaping" like bark or mulch, directly underneath windows to help lessen the impact should someone accidentally fall out of a window.

Supporter of Homes for Our Troops. For information, call (800) SIMONTON (1-800-746-6686) or visit