You don’t want to have to break a window in an emergency because the window doesn’t open or the opening isn’t big enough. You can cut yourself badly crawling over broken glass.
If children are expected to escape through a bedroom window on their own make sure they are taught how to open the window and remove or release any screens or bars. Make sure they show you that they know how to open the window. Home fire drills should include practicing how to escape through the window. For those people who are too young or can’t escape on their own through a window, think about using more smoke alarms in the bedroom. You could also move their bedroom to the first floor so it is easier to get them out.
Windows should be easy to use and easy to open. Windows that take more than one step to open should not be used as an escape route.
Quick-release hardware, meant to make it easier to release the hardware, could also not allow the window to stay open, making it harder to get out.
Hardware used to latch the window (for security or to shut it tightly) should be in plain slight and easy to use.
Insect screens, security bars, grilles, etc. should be easy to remove or open. You should be able to open a security bar from the inside without any tools or extra steps.
Full Vent In-Swing Awning
Horizontal and Slider Windows
Ice build-up that prevents or restricts the opening of a window is a concern with any type of window.
If foundation concrete has to be cut to fit a larger window, you may need a building permit and/ or an engineer’s design. Contact your municipal Planning and Development department.
Current as of: March 5, 2015
Author: Environmental Public Health, Alberta Health Services
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