With summer’s end and as fall temperatures arrive, fire safety comes back into focus, as Oct. 8-14 is Fire Prevention Week in the U.S. When it comes to a fire emergency, the Window Safety Task Force reminds everyone that doors and windows are the primary and secondary escape routes.
How prepared are you to escape safely in a fire?
“Home fires can be caused by a number of things and can spread quickly,” said Angela Dickson, Co-chair of the Window Safety Task Force and Marketing and Communications Director for the Fenestration and Glazing Industry Alliance (FGIA). “The Window Safety Task Force encourages everyone to develop and test a fire escape plan at least twice a year, taking into account that windows may need to be used as a secondary means of escape. Don’t forget to include accommodations for loved ones with special needs and necessary actions for cherished pets in your plan, as well.”
Seven fire safety tips from the Window Safety Task Force
- Create a fire escape plan that includes two exits from every room in your home, through a door and a window.
- Practice your fire escape plan during the day and at night, as many home fires occur at night.
- Practice opening and closing windows that may be designated as emergency exits.
- Attempt to open a window first, rather than break the glass, if you must exit through it in an emergency.
- Open the window to escape or choose another exit route if your home features windows with impact-resistant glass, commonly used in hurricane-prone areas.
- Check local building codes when remodeling your home to understand emergency escape and rescue (egress) building code requirements. Egress windows are those designated by code as large enough for you to escape through or for rescue workers to enter in emergency situations.
- Consult your local building codes to determine proper placement of window guards or fall prevention devices. If you equip windows in your home with these, install devices that comply with ASTM F2090.
Visit the window safety sections of the FGIA and the Window & Door Manufacturers Association websites to learn more. Follow the Window Safety Task Force on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram for more tips and updates on this important safety issue.