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Pet Safety Tips – Is Your Home an Accident Waiting to Happen?

By: Courtesy of Jennifer Rodstrom, Champion Window

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Do you often worry about your pet's safety in your home? What about the safety of your family? Champion Window, www.ChampionFactoryDirect.com, one of the nation's leading home improvement companies, has some simple tips to increase the safety of your home.

According to the Home Safety Council, there are tens of thousands of preventable injuries occurring in the home each year. "Preventable injuries and even deaths occur far too often, bringing the issue of home safety to the forefront," said Donald Jones, President and COO of Champion Window.

"As spring and summer arrive, homeowners begin opening their windows for ventilation for the first time in many months, so now is an ideal time to remind homeowners of some simple window safety tips."

Easy home renovations and improvements can make a huge difference in enhancing the safety level in a home. Those with young children or pets should pay special attention to ensure their loved ones are safe around windows. "What people need to keep in mind is that window screens are not safety belts. They have one purpose - to keep insects out while providing ventilation. They won't prevent a toddler or pet from falling through an open window. As such, there are simple tips to increase window safety."

For example:

Install double-hung replacement windows, which allow for ventilation at the top, as opposed to single-hung bottom-only ventilated windows.

  • Arrange larger furniture away from windows. Children and pets could potentially fall out of a window by climbing on a couch or bed that is placed under a window.

  • Make sure your windows have ventilation latches, a safety feature that limits the initial opening of the window to less than 4-inches. The latch can then be disengaged to allow the window to open further. This feature is becoming mandatory for code compliant windows with a sill height greater than 6 feet from the exterior grade.

  • Make sure that sash balance systems work properly. Windows with broken weight cords can cause a significant risk of crushing fingers, if a heavy sash unexpectedly slams closed.

  • Ensure window blind cords are not left hanging, as they are a risk for strangulation and they should be tied up and out of the way of reach.

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 85% of all U.S. fire deaths in 2009 occurred in homes. "Rooms need to have 'egress' windows, which are windows that are required in specific locations in a home to provide an emergency means of exit. The standard is 5.7 square feet of space to escape if needed. Besides egress windows, there is other advice for homeowners to promote fire safety in their homes."

  • Do not block windows with large furniture

  • Teach children their bedroom fire escape plan

  • Never have a bedroom in a room with small windows or no windows at all

    Unfortunately, crimes such as burglaries are a common occurrence in the home. To protect your home and family, consider the following home improvement tips:

  • Windows should pass AAMA Certification, a series of tests including testing the tightness of windows and also passing the forced entry standard, which resists the ability to force locks open from outside

  • Windows should be equipped with inner locks, which also provide a barrier to the locks from outside

  • Door locks should be regularly tested and maintained to ensure security

    Other things to keep in mind when considering renovating windows:

  • Make sure windows are operating correctly to prevent any injuries or security issues

  • Know what safety features to look for when purchasing windows and don't be afraid to ask questions before buying

  • Installing windows that can be cleaned from the inside is a simple way to prevent injuries from cleaning using a ladder on the outside

  • Assure that tempered safety glass is installed in proper locations especially in entry doors, sidelites and large windows located near the floor. If broken, tempered glass will crumble into small relatively harmless pebbles of glass rather than potentially dangerous jagged shards.

    For more information on Champion Window, please visit ChampionFactoryDirect.com

    About Champion Window and Supply Co. LLC and Patio Room Company, Inc.

    Started in 1953, Champion Window, Door and Patio Room Company is one of the nation's leading home improvement companies. Champion builds and installs vinyl replacement windows, entry doors, patio rooms and siding, with more than 40,000 homeowners joining the ranks of customers on an annual basis. Champion's energy-efficient products help consumers save money on their utility bills year-round. Champion's control over every aspect of manufacturing, distribution, installation and servicing provides a single source of accountability for its customers, removing all concerns about who is responsible for their home improvement project. The company operates factories in Cincinnati, Ohio, and Denver, Colo. For more information, visit Champion's website at www.ChampionFactoryDirect.com.

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