Are Your Windows a Fire Hazard?

Sep 28, 2020

Seven Dos and Don’ts

to make sure your windows can help you survive a dangerous situation. 

Backyard firepits, cozy fall-spice candles, and a toasty fire in the fireplace are all welcome ways to warm up as fall settles in. But under the wrong conditions, a controlled flame could become an out-of-control fire hazard for your home.  

roasting marshmallows in fire pit
Cozy fall candle
fireplace

To coincide with fall and winter, the National Fire Protection Association celebrates Fire Safety Awareness Month in October with Fire Prevention Week October 4-10. ImproveIt wants to help spread the word about this important safety effort with seven dos and don’ts when it comes to windows and fire safety.

Remember, a window could be your only lifeline in the event of a house fire. Use these important guidelines to help keep yourself and your family safe in a scary situation.  

DO

  • Incorporate windows into your fire safety plan. House fires are unpredictable, so the NFPA recommends that every room have two ways out in case one becomes blocked by smoke, fire, or debris. This is usually a door and a window, so plan accordingly for every room in the house, including bedrooms and bathrooms 
  • Regularly check all windows for proper operation. Windows do no good in your fire safety plan if they won’t open in an emergency. If windows or their locks stick, don’t open easily, are painted or fastened shut, or are otherwise inoperable, replace them immediately.  
  • Equip second-story rooms with safety ladders. Fold-away fire safety ladders are easy to buy online and at some home improvement stores, and will make getting out through your windows easier and safer. The NFPA and smoke detector manufacturer Kidde recommend storing a safety ladder in every occupied room above the main level. 
  • Practice fire safety drills regularly, including window evacuation. Discussing a fire evacuation plan with your family and writing it down are great first steps, but practicing that plan is essential to keep everyone calm in an emergency. The NFPA offers extensive escape planning advice and tools. 

DON’T

  • Attach holiday lights or other seasonal decorations to windows or window frames. Whether on the interior or exterior of the window, fasteners like nails, staples, glue, and tape can all impede the successful operation of windows, making them unreliable in a fire. 
  • Decorate windows with anything that could keep the window from opening quickly. Garlands, string lights, greenery, and even “fake snow” can all keep window hardware from working correctly. Window locks and sashes should be able to move freely with nothing in the way. 
  • Break window glass in case of a fire. Broken glass can put family members and rescuers in further danger if they need to move through the window. Make sure your windows are in good working order so you never have to resort to breaking the glass.  

If you’re worried that your windows won’t open easily in an emergency, give ImproveIt a call today. Our windows feature strong vinyl frames, easy-to-operate hardware, and sashes designed to slide smoothly every time. Your family’s safety is important to us. 

Let us help you outfit your home with windows that maximize the safety, security, and comfort of your home.

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