Protect Your Home and Family
October is Crime Prevention Month, and it is also the month in which National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week falls. The common denominator in these awareness campaigns is window security and safety. To help protect your home against intruders and address the dangers of lead paint, the experts at Simonton Windows offer the following tips.
Security Tip: Install Impact-Resistant Windows
If you live in a neighborhood that is prone to crime, install impact-resistant windows with laminated glass – at least for the first floor of your home. In these units, two panes of glass are adhered to a durable plastic interlayer, much like a car windshield. If an intruder hits the window with a crowbar or other object, the glass will shatter, but broken pieces remain adhered to the interlayer, preventing glass fallout inside the home. The plastic interlayer is also puncture-resistant, and will frustrate potential intruders.
Lead Safety Tip: Determine Your Home's Age
Determine what year your house was built. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the routine opening and closing of windows painted with lead-based paint (primarily in homes built prior to 1978) can cause microscopic paint dust to be released into the air.
Lead Safety Tip: Danger to Young Children
Evaluate your specific family needs. Research indicates that the everyday activity of opening and closing lead-base painted windows creates friction that then allows microscopic lead dust to enter the air. This is of special concern in households built prior to 1978, with young children who crawl on the floor. Toddlers put their hands in their mouths, and after playing on the floor near a window, they can easily transfer the lead dust into their mouths. The ingested lead can travel through the bloodstream to a child’s developing brain, potentially causing neurobehavioral damage.
Lead Safety Tip: Replace Older Windows
Replace older windows --- especially single-pane windows --- using the EPA-approved lead safe renovation guidelines. Have your certified lead-safe contractor stabilize any significantly deteriorated paint and thoroughly remove lead-contaminated dust. Finally, perform dust wipe tests to confirm the absence of lead dust hazards after the clean up.