School Safety and Security - Window Safety Week

April 3-9: National Window Safety Week

PARKERSBURG, W. VA. – Whether opened or closed, it’s important that window safety be a top priority for every family in America. During National Window Safety Week, April 3-9, 2011, the experts at Simonton Windows® recommend consumers always observe safe window practices in their homes.

Families with small children should pay special attention to windows and patio doors. Start with practicing home emergency fire drills. Show them the fastest safety route to the outside and make certain children know under what circumstances to use a window to exit a home. Since small children tend to “hide” from fire, make sure they understand how important it is to safely and quickly exit the home should a fire occur.

“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 that should be kept in all bedrooms located above ground level. Also establish a designated meeting place for the family outside the home.”

Along with practicing for emergency situations, daily window safety can be achieved by doing the following:

 -        When windows are opened for ventilation, 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.

-         Remember the primary purpose of a window screen is to keep insects outside. 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.

-         Refrain from nailing or attaching 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 accidently fall out of a window.

-         Make absolutely sure your home has windows with clear openings that meet egress requirements in the living spaces as required by your state and local building codes. Egress windows provide emergency exits in your home. Make sure your home has the proper amount of egress windows in every room used as a bedroom and on any floor or basement level with habitable living space.

Safely Handling Broken Glass

            Whether a stray soft ball or a ladder that slips and goes through a window, it’s important to know in advance how to handle broken window glass safely. Pember offers these important and useful safety tips for handling broken window glass:

            Tip #1– Do not pick up broken pieces of glass with your bare hands. Put on heavy leather or safety gloves before handling glass pieces and try to sweep or vacuum up as much of the broken glass as possible without touching it.

            Tip #2 – Never walk in bare feet around broken glass. Put on closed-toe shoes before starting any cleanup efforts involving glass.

            Tip #3 – Make certain children and pets are kept outside the area where the broken glass is located before beginning a cleanup project.

            Tip #4 – If a window breaks, make sure to check for broken glass inside the home, within the frame of the window and outside the window area on the ground.

            Tip #5 – To clean up small particles of glass, use several thicknesses of wet paper towels and then discard safely. Cloth napkins, cloth towels, sponges or ordinary mops should not be used for clean up because they can harbor tiny glass particles.

            Tip #6- To dispose of glass, carefully put it in a durable container (such as a sturdy box or plastic container) and label “broken glass.” Do not dispose of glass shards in plastic bags.

            Tip #7 – If a window is broken, do not try to “knock out” remaining glass in the frame. Safely remove the loose and fallen pieces of glass and then contact a professional to repair or replace the window.

            Tip #8 – Immediately post a warning sign and/or secure the area where there is broken glass until it can be cleaned up successfully.

            Tip #9 - If your entire window glass is broken out, cover the window to help prevent additional accidents or inclement weather from coming into the home. Usually you can tape cardboard over the opening or heavy plastic as a temporary fix.

            Tip #10 - If the glass in your window gets broken, do not replace it yourself. Some windows have insulating glass units that contain harmless Argon gas that helps increase in the window’s energy efficiency. A replacement unit should be ordered and installed by a professional that perfectly matches the original window.

Celebrating its 65thyear of quality manufacturing operations in 2011, Simonton Windows produces ENERGY STAR® qualified replacement and new construction windows and doors, including a line of impact-resistant products. Simonton ranked “Highest in Builder and Remodeler Satisfaction among Residential Window and Patio Door Manufacturers” in the J.D. Power and Associates 2010, 2009, 2008 Builder and Remodeler Residential Window and Patio Door Satisfaction StudySM.  The company also ranked “Highest in Customer Satisfaction among Residential Window and Patio Door Manufacturers” in the J.D. Power and Associates 2010 Windows and Patio Doors Satisfaction StudySM.

Simonton was also ranked #1 in quality in the 2009, 2007, 2002 and 1998 Brand Use Studies sponsored by Builder magazine and has won three Best In Class Awards currently administered by LBM Journal Research Institute.

Founded in 1946, Simonton’s hallmark has been to deliver the industry’s shortest, most dependable lead-times. Part of the home and security business of Fortune Brands, Inc. (NYSE: FO), Simonton delivers award-recognized products nationwide to key markets throughout the 48 continental United States. Simonton is a founding sponsor of The Weather Museum and a supporter of Homes for Our Troops. For information, call (800) SIMONTON (1-800-746-6686) or visit


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ENERGY STAR is a government program that helps consumers protect the environment through superior energy efficiency and is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

For more window safety tips, call 1-800-SIMONTON to request a free copy of the easy-to-read, eight-page booklet, “A few things to think about when thinking about your home.”   

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Ziprik Consulting, 511 Fox Hollow Lane, Mills RIver, NC 28759 United States


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