Window safety is a paradoxical thing. On one hand, it is vital that you leave windows accessible and open so that they can serve as escape routes in case of a fire or other dangerous situations. 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 different window safety devices are available, offering increased security for nearly any situation without compromising convenience.
Window Safety Devices for Homes with Children
According to the Consumer Safety Council, every year 10 children die and 4,000 are injured by falls from windows. The sad thing is that almost every one of these incidents could have been prevented if the homeowners would have taken proper safety measures to begin with. Window guards, window stops, and window wedges can all be installed to make it nearly impossible for children to fall out. Other cautionary steps you can take include installing double sash windows so you can open them at the top rather than down where children often play, and putting your foot down when it comes to allowing rough play near or around areas where windows are present.
Window Safety Devices for Shatter Prevention
Flying objects of all shapes and sizes have been enemies of the window since its invention. Today, however, there are several products on the market that can block objects from hitting your windows and prevent glass from shattering when it is hit. By keeping glass in one piece, you have a bit more time between impact and replacement without worry of drafts, increased energy bills, or stray animals entering the house. The following window safety devices are particularly useful in areas where powerful storms and strong winds are common, but they can also be used to enhance home security:
- Window safety film is one of the newer window devices on the market. Its invisible appearance leaves your panes crystal clear while its added strength makes window glass less prone to damage. Window safety film is great for those who want to increase security without adding bars, as it makes normal windows far more difficult to break into. It is not impenetrable, but its addition can make a big difference.
- 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 are comparable to bars, but without the prison-like feel. The grid-like openings in window safety screens are large enough to let in plenty of light, 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, of course), while others are fixed in place. The cost to install window screens will vary depending on how many windows are covered.
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Window Safety Devices for Enhancing Home Security
When a home or business is situated in an area where crime is a fact of life, there are window safety devices that act as lifesavers. Though their appearance may not be as “homey” as other options, when the purpose is simply to keep would-be intruders from entering a residence or business, visible safety devices are actually a deterrent and barrier. Rely on professional home security installers for putting up these barriers to ensure maximum security against intruders.
Window security shutters are often seen in commercial settings, but some savvy homeowners have taken the hint and installed these devices on their homes. Window security shutters are available in both manual and automated models, and can provide an extra barrier between the inside of your home and just about any animal, mineral, or vegetable outside. In some cases, the installation cost of window security shutters is compensated in insurance premium reductions. The added security, fire-protection, and storm protection provided by roll-down window security shutters is not the best choice for every property, but where appropriate, these devices perform extremely well.
Window bars are probably one of the least loved window safety devices on the market, but their continued installation in areas all over the country suggests one thing: window bars are doing their job well. Though the appearance of window bars is not something every homeowner dreams of, the additional security they provide simply can’t be beat. Window bars are available in several different styles, and in some cases, can actually add a bit of aesthetic appeal to a property. To further enhance security, window bars are beginning to be installed on the interior side of window glass, so anyone trying to get in will have to break the glass before even dealing with the bars, the noise of which can alert you of the intrusion attempt. 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.