Tips to make sure your windows will allow you to escape a fire safely and swiftly
According to the National Fire Protection Association, correctly knowing the operation of your windows plays an important role in your safety at home.
“Windows can be used as a secondary exit if the primary way out of a room is blocked by fire or smoke,” says Judy Comoletti, division manager – public education for the National Fire Protection Association. “Practicing fire drills at home should occur at least twice a year and understanding the exit procedures from home is critical to successfully surviving a fire.”
Fire Fact #1: An open window can add oxygen to a fire, making it grow faster.
Fire Fact #2: Keep windows closed if the fire is outside the window. An open window may allow embers, smoke or fire to enter the room. If an occupant is isolated in a room from the fire by a closed door, the window may be opened to allow fresh air and the ability for the person to signal to rescuers they need assistance in escaping.
Fire Fact #3: Working smoke alarms throughout the home are one of the most critical aspects of helping people quickly and safely escape the home during a fire. A smoke alarm should be installed inside each bedroom, outside the sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement. Test smoke alarms at least monthly.
To make sure your windows are ready for a quick exit in the event of a fire, consider the following window fire safety tips:
Tip #1: If a door is not safe to escape through, open a window to exit onto a roof or use an escape ladder. Do not break the glass of the window, because it could cause injury.
Tip #2: Doors and windows equipped with security bars should have emergency release devices inside that allow occupants to push the bars open from the inside.
Tip #3: Make sure children and adults practice opening windows that may be needed for exiting during a fire. Assure that children understand escape ladders should only be used in emergency situations.
“Windows may play an important role during a fire,” says Comoletti. “National Window Safety Week focuses our attention on important aspects of window safety and home fire escape planning that all families should know about. Additional information on window safety, fire safety and home fire escape planning can be found Simonton Windows
and at the National Fire Protection Association