In Case of Emergency: Tips for Window & Patio Door Safety

Windows and patio doors are some of the most defining features of a home. They also play an important role when it comes to home safety, as they are typically the best escape routes in an emergency. Before an incident occurs, it’s important to take steps to prepare windows and ensure your most valuable treasure—your family—remains safe.

Laminated Glass

One way to make windows and patio doors more secure is to use laminated glass, which adds an extra degree of protection by placing a bonded layer of flexible plastic between two panes of glass. Most laminated glass would stop a baseball bat from breaking through a window, making it a great defense against intruders looking to enter the home through your windows or patio doors.

Egress, Exit Routes, Emergency Action Plans

Does your family have an emergency action plan? Be sure everyone in your family knows the exits from each room in your home and where they lead—windows, doors, hallways and stairwells.

Here are some important questions to ask:

  • Are your windows easily accessible?
  • Have you operated your windows and patio doors recently to ensure they open smoothly?
  • Do you have escape ladders on upper floors?

In case of an emergency, exiting the home quickly is crucial. Since there is no way to predict an emergency, make it a point to check your exits frequently and have a safe meeting place outside your home to do a head count in case your family is forced to evacuate.

Night Latches

Late summer/early fall is fast approaching, and this is perfect weather for leaving your windows open to take in the cool breeze. If you’re like many people, you enjoy sleeping with your windows

open when the weather is nice. Night latches allow you to open your windows wide enough to allow air through, but not wide enough for someone to get into your home.

Child Safety Latches

As always, you want to be mindful of children and pets when leaving windows open—window and patio door screens are designed to let fresh air into your home. Do not depend on screens to hold children and pets inside, and be especially careful on upper-story floors.

Much like night latches, child safety latches allow the window to open only a few inches, keeping children and pets inside while keeping unwanted intruders out. These latches stay engaged unless you depress and bypass the latches to open the window. Once you close the window, the latch resets so that a child cannot open the window.

Make sure you keep your windows locked when you are not using them for ventilation. Your family’s safety is important: be mindful of evacuation plans and window security features that will allow you to rest assured that your family will be safe within your home.