Puget Sound RFA: 5 Ways to Protect Children from Open Windows

Get free window locks at two Kent and Maple Valley fire stations.

Get free window locks at two Kent and Maple Valley fire stations.

Today is the first day of spring and an end to one of the wettest winters ever. Nicer weather makes people think about airing out their homes. But there is a hidden danger for many residents that open their upstairs windows – the tragedy of a child falling out.

Each year we hear heart breaking reports of children who have fallen out of windows, often in their own home. One of the saddest parts of this is that they could have all been prevented. (A child fell out of a SeaTac hotel window last week. Thankfully, he only suffered minor injuries.)

Puget Sound Fire asks adults to do what they can to protect children by following these simple steps:

  1. Always supervise young children – Yes, it is difficult and time consuming, but it is the responsible thing to do.
  1. Child-proof windows – Place a stick or other device in the window track to keep it from opening more than a few inches. Commercial locking devices are available from your local hardware store.
  1. Keep beds/cribs and chairs away from windows – Do not make it easy or convenient for kids to reach windows.
  1. Do not draw attention to windows – Avoid hanging anything on or near windows that will attract children. This includes wind chimes, window stickers, and wind socks.
  1. Remember what window screens are for – Screens keep bugs out, not kids in. Screens are easy to push outward and offer no barrier to prevent kids from falling out of a window.

To help keep kids safe, Puget Sound Fire and Maple Valley Fire and Life Safety are offering free window locking devices. Window Stop locks limit how far a window will open by attaching to the window’s frame. The locks were paid for through a grant, Harborview Medical Center, and Washington State Department of Health.

The free locks can be picked up during normal business hours at these locations:

Fire Station 74                                                 Fire Station 80
24611 116 Ave. SE, Kent WA                              23775 SE 264 St., Maple Valley, WA

Contributed by Puget Sound Regional Fire Authority.