Window Safety Week, which is observed the first full week of April, focuses on raising awareness for the prevention of accidental window falls and the proper use of windows for emergency escapes. While we’re naturally inclined to open windows to let fresh air in as spring arrives, businesses should recognize the importance of window safety for employees and clients. Open windows are particularly dangerous for young children who are not properly supervised.
Businesses should also recognize windows as a secondary means of emergency escape in the event of a fire or other hazard. Every business should have an emergency escape plan that identifies all doors and windows that can be used. Windows should be unobstructed to prevent injury from possible tripping and falling risks.
According to the National Safety Council (NSC), a few things businesses can do to ensure window safety include the following:
- Keep furniture away from windows to discourage direct access to windows
- Set and enforce rules about keeping children’s play away from windows
- When performing spring repairs, make sure your windows are not painted or nailed shut in case you need to open them to escape in an emergency
- Do not install window air conditioners in windows that may be needed for escape or rescue in an emergency
- Consider installing code-compliant window fall prevention devices such as window opening control devices to limit how far a window will open or window guards with release mechanisms to help prevent a fall. Check the manufacturer’s product information to make sure such devices or guards comply with ASTM F2090.
- For windows with existing fall prevention devices or guards, take time to update these devices to make sure they comply with industry standards
The NSC Window Safety Task Force has a tool kit your business can use to promote window safety awareness in your company. You can also visit the Vanguard Resources website or call (210) 495-1950 for more information about services we provide, including Safety Management and Preventive & Corrective Equipment Maintenance.