Partners Promoting Window & Balcony Safety

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FAQ

Here are some of the questions we are asked most often:


QuestionHow wide can I safely open my window?

Answer

Window safety devices should allow for a maximum opening of 10cm (4 inches). Research indicates that more than 90% of children over the age of one have a skull that could not pass through a four inch diameter opening (data from Consumer Product Safety Commission).



QuestionI moved into my apartment with my 4 year old and the previous tenant has removed the window safety devices. What should I do?

Answer

Ask your superintendent or landlord to replace the devices. Many cities have bylaws regulating the installation of safety devices. If your superintendent or landlord does not act, purchase the devices and install them yourself or have someone do it for you. The goal is to ensure your child's safety.



QuestionMy 3 year old loves to stand on his dresser and look out his window. What should I do?

Answer

To maintain the safety of your child remove all objects and furniture that allow anyone to climb or stand on by an open window, not only in your child's room, but all rooms. You don't want anything available that they can use as stairs to get to the window ledge. Remember, toddlers are good climbers, they will use anything they can find to climb onto window ledges for a better look.



QuestionWe just replaced the windows in our child's upstairs bedroom and I don't want to put anything on the new window. The screens are brand new and very sturdy. Won't they keep my child safe?

Answer

Screens are designed to keeps bugs out. They will NOT support the weight of a child under any circumstances. Check with the window hardware manufacturer to determine if they have safety devices to match your hardware and install them. If none are available, purchase and install dependable after-market safety devices.

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QuestionI live in a house, not in a high-rise building. Should window safety be a concern?

AnswerYes. Statistics from Toronto indicate that more than half of all falls in that city are from the second floor. Therefore it is important to be safety conscious regardless of what type of dwelling you live in. Falls occur in single-family homes, townhouses and apartment buildings.



QuestionWhat if my place catches fire? Will I be able to escape?

AnswerProper safety devices can be disabled by an adult quickly in case of an emergency.



QuestionMy daughter just turned 1. Do I really have to worry about her falling?

Answer

Yes. The age group with the greatest risk is children between the ages of 1 and 4. Children begin climbing even before they can walk. Young children do not perceive dangerous situations and tend to be very curious.

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QuestionMy 14 year old son looks after my friend's children at their apartment. He is responsible but should I be concerned?

Answer

Caregivers can be easily distracted and an accident takes only a split second to occur. Make sure your friend's apartment has window and door safety devices installed and that they are properly maintained.



QuestionMy husband just built our new deck and it is only 2 ½ feet off the ground. My two year old knows to use the stairs so we left the deck without a railing to allow for easier yard access. We're ok with this, right?

Answer

Young children are top heavy and when they fall, they tend to land on their head first. Even though your son knows to use the stairs he may forget this when chasing his ball or even the family pet. A railing provides the necessary protection for your son in these cases. Also, most local building codes will require that you install a railing on a deck over a certain height.



QuestionHow far away from my balcony railing should my patio set be so that my kids won't be able to climb over the railing?

Answer

You should remove all items from your balcony since children may be able to move them closer to the railings. Also, the door to your balcony should have a safety device on it so that your children cannot access your balcony without you.

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QuestionWhere can I purchase safety devices?

Answer

Window and door safety devices should be available at your local hardware, safety, or child specialty stores.



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