The windows to your home provide great ventilation, a view of the neighborhood around you, and a way for the sun’s warmth to enter your home and heat a chilly room. While windows provide many positive benefits, one that’s unprotected could cause dangerous consequences. Learn how you can protect your windows with these tips.

Secure Windows for Children

An unattended child with access to an open window could lead to a dangerous situation. Oftentimes, a child curious about the outside world climbs onto an open windowsill and leans against the mesh screen. Unable to support the weight of a small child, mesh screens will frequently fall out of the window, putting the child at risk for injury.

For a child to gain access to an open window, several factors need to exist—the first being an open window. To counteract this, use double-hung windows that can be opened at the top, leaving the bottom securely closed. You can enjoy the ventilation from the window while ensuring that your child is safe.

Installing window stops or guards is another prevention method you can employ if you don’t have double-hung windows. A window stop restricts your windows from opening more than four inches. Usually window stops are placed above the moving window frame along the sash. Window guards work by blocking access to the mesh screen. Install window guards by screwing the device into the side of the window frame. Some windows meant to be used in emergencies cannot employ stops or guards. Check your escape route against the product to determine if you will need to adjust your family’s emergency plan.

The second factor in a child’s ability to gain access to the window is through furniture. Remove any climbable furniture near windows to eliminate your child’s makeshift ladder.

Secure Windows Against Intruders

Windows away from the view of your neighbors create easy access points for intruders. Luckily, you can guard your house from intruders by applying some of the methods below.

Privacy films. With privacy films, you can maintain your privacy while allowing natural light into your home. Privacy films come in different types—from decorative to frosted—and they can also be used to reduce UV rays from entering your home.

Safety films. If you’re looking for a film that provides a little more protection, then safety films might work for your home. Once applied, safety films create a protective barrier by holding the glass together if someone tries to break the windowpane. Unable to enter your home easily, intruders risk being seen by you or your neighbors. Homeowners can choose from various types of strengths and tints.

Locks. Windows typically are installed with simple locks to provide a small sense of security, but if you would like to take your security up a notch, installing an additional lock is the way to go. Homeowners have numerous options:

  • Locking pins: a steel pin that is placed in a hole between the two sashes on a double-hung window to prevent outsiders from lifting the window
  • Vent locks: two small wedges placed on the frame of the window above the lower sash to prevent the window from fully opening
  • Hinged wedge locks: placed above the lower sash to prevent the window from opening completely when the lock is engaged
  • Keyed turnbuckle: placed above the lower sash of the window to prevent the window from opening fully when the turnbuckle is locked

If you choose to install a window lock, make sure you can open the window quickly during an emergency. If you can’t, then use an alternate window in your escape plan.

A secure window protects your children from dangerous falls and your home against intruders. Some of the methods mentioned above can be combined to ensure that you have the best protection available. However, it’s possible to employ just one of the above solutions and still protect your child and your home. A film, lock, or other preventative measure should address your specific needs and give you the safety you deserve.

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Sources: 3M; CNN Health; Home Depot; National Safety Council; National Window & Door Manufacturers Association; US Consumer Product Safety Commission.

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