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Window Safety Awareness Prevents Tragedies

We can take simple steps to ensure children's safety

Child looks out window

Windows benefit a home by letting in sunlight and fresh air, but they also present an opportunity for accidental falls, especially by small children. Tragically, each year, 3,300 children in the United States suffer falls from windows that result in injuries requiring emergency medical treatment, according to the Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Because falls from windows often take place from a great height onto a hard surface, such injuries can be severe and even result in death.

To support the safety and security of our industry’s customers, simple steps can be taken to avoid tragedy, and the most crucial first step is to raise awareness about the danger windows may pose to young children. With proper education, parents and caregivers can be more mindful of the most likely conditions in which accidental falls from windows happen and make small changes to reduce risk.

Tips for Window Safety

Helping parents and caregivers teach their children proper behavior around windows can help keep them safe from accidental falls. Parents need to establish play areas away from windows and should not leave windows that can be easily accessed by unattended young children open for ventilation. Furniture should be kept away from windows, and climbing, jumping and playing on furniture should be discouraged to avoid injury.

Physical aspects of windows can be modified to help prevent falls as well. Manufacturers and installers can add window fall prevention devices such as window opening control devices (WOCDs) or window guards as a fall prevention measure. These products must comply with ASTM F2090 or ASTM F2006, which dictate that the window open no more than four inches.

ASTM F2090 or ASTM F2006 compliant WOCDs and guards can help prevent a child’s fall by limiting how far the window can open but are also equipped with release devices to allow for escape in case of a fire or other emergency. Proper operation of windows must be taught to children to create a healthy respect of the potential dangers of windows, while allowing for safe use in the event of an emergency.

Furthermore, it is important to remind parents that insect screens are not meant to prevent a fall and should not be thought of as an appropriate barrier. These screens keep insects out but will not keep children inside.

Resources for Companies and Customers

Although window safety is a year-round concern, our industry has established an annual reminder to address this important topic during Window Safety Week, the first full week of April. Promoted by the Window Safety Task Force (WSTF), Window Safety Week coincides with the arrival of warmer weather and thus, more open windows in homes and apartments. Formed in 1997 to raise awareness of window safety, the WSTF is composed of members representing the Fenestration and Glazing Industry Alliance (FGIA) and the Window & Door Manufacturers Association (WDMA), in cooperation with the National Safety Council (NSC).

The WSTF provides a number of resources that can be utilized by companies, consumers and the media to better educate and protect the public including:

  • A Window Safety Week tool kit that is downloadable and editable for company use
  • A Window Safety Week media kit that can be shared with media outlets for publication
  • A gallery of downloadable and shareable images can be found on Flickr to illustrate window safety tips
  • A window safety activity book is available for children to teach them about safe play and respect for windows

Please continue to educate your colleagues and customers on window safety to ensure that all of us enjoy the benefits of windows in our homes while minimizing risks to children. Visit and the Window Safety Task Force’s social media accounts (Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter) for more information.


Janice Yglesias FGIA

Janice Yglesias

Janice Yglesias is the executive director of FGIA overseeing the full organization. She joined the association in 1999 and can be reached at Opinions expressed are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the position of the National Glass Association or Window + Door.