One of the questions we are most often asked is ‘are sash windows safe with children in the house?’ It’s understandable – children are curious and accident prone, and it’s always worth considering how you can make your sash windows safer with little ones around. This is an especially important consideration with older sash windows, where the lock could have become looser, making it easier to open the window. Sadly, ten children are killed each year due to a fall in the home, and most of these cases involve stairs or windows. You just can’t be too careful with young children around.
Sash window child safety
You will be pleased to know that it’s perfectly possible to keep children safe around sash windows. You just need to take steps to ensure the windows can’t be opened too far, or that your children can’t get too close to them. In this guide, we will tell you about some of the key safety considerations for sash windows, so you can have a truly child-friendly home.
Sash window safety restrictors
Sash windows can be easy for children to open, or children might be able to fiddle with a sash window that is already open, creating a larger gap that they could fall through.
It’s simple to make sash windows childproof. All you need are child safety window restrictors. These window restrictors are little bolts that sit at the side of the upper part of your sash window, restricting its opening. They are operated using a specific key for added safety, and they are fitted at a height that is inaccessible for young children.
If the sash is raised more than ten centimetres, then the bolts come into play, preventing it from being lifted any higher. This means the opening will be too small to pose any immediate danger to your child. If you would like to open your windows further when children aren’t around, you can unlock the bolts using the window restrictor key, allowing you to operate the window as normal.
As an additional benefit, window restrictors can also act as a security feature. If someone attempts to raise your sash window from the outside in order to enter your home, they will be prevented from doing so by the window restrictor. The ten-centimetre gap is good for children, and good for protecting your home from break ins.
Sash window safety restrictors are a low-cost solution for childproofing your home, and they are aesthetically pleasing as well. They can be fitted when we install your sash windows, or they can easily be fitted retrospectively as your family grows. Talk to our team – we are always happy to advise on the safety features of sash windows. Call 020 3930 1457 and we can advise you further.
Sash window safety guards
When children are very young and just starting to walk and explore, you might not want them to be near an open window at all, even if it is only open very slightly. In this instance, it is also possible to install sash window safety guards. These clever contraptions are similar to the child safety gates you can use by staircases, creating a barrier that your child cannot cross and keeping them safe from falls. You can get various designs; some grilles can be used with sash windows and others are designed for use with casement windows. Check the specifications to see what will work for your home.
Double hung sash windows for extra safety
Double hung sash windows feature two moveable sashes set within the box frame. This means that the window can be opened by sliding the bottom panel up, as well as by sliding the top panel down. Many families with young children prefer to install double hung sash windows. They can open the top window for ventilation and it will be too high for children to reach, making it easier to keep little ones out of harm’s way. Of course, children are curious and may still be able to climb up to the window, so keep a close eye on them and make sure an adult is always present.
Sash window safety and security – an important point for the whole family
Ensuring the safety and security of your sash windows is important for the whole family. You will naturally want to make your home as secure as possible when living with children, and windows are one of the most common entry points during burglaries due to their fragility. A simple and proactive step that you can take is to upgrade old sash windows; burglars are always going to look for the easiest option. If it’s a choice between targeting a property with old sash windows in crumbling frames, or a property with brand new sash windows in strong, robust frames, the visibly older windows are going to be the more vulnerable option.
General sash window child safety tips
Here are some general tips for keeping children safe when you have sash windows in your home:
- Only have the windows open when an adult is present
- Don’t put anything underneath the window that your child could climb onto, such as low tables or toys
- Don’t leave anything near to windows that could become a trip hazard
- Never let children climb up onto windowsills
- Make sure your sash window restrictors are working correctly – test them regularly and get them fixed straight away if you notice they are becoming old or inefficient
- Open the top window instead of the bottom window if you have double hung sash windows
- Talk to older children and sensibly explain the dangers of going too near to sash windows
- If you have window restrictors, ensure that you keep the key out of reach of children
Original post August 2015
Here at Wandsworth Sash Windows one question we often get asked is “what additional security can I have to prevent my children from opening my windows?”
Sash windows are traditionally associated with old and old-style buildings. Around one hundred years ago people didn’t take health and safety as seriously as we do today. In short, if you fell out of a sash window then tough – it was your own fault!
Original Sash windows do raise concerns when considering safety. Old sash windows are unlikely to have locks or, if the window has fallen into disrepair, then the lock is likely to be broken or easy to undo.
Young children are naturally inquisitive and like to ‘fiddle with things’, and don’t really have that much of an idea about their own safety. Sash windows can therefore be very easy for them to open, and because of their design as being close to the floor, an adventurous child can soon climb onto or even out of the window, putting themselves in serious jeopardy.
You might think that “my child would never do that”, but the unfortunate truth is that around 4,000 children fall through open windows each year in the UK alone. Many of them suffer serious injuries, sadly including fatalities.
The good news is that making your sash window ‘child-proof’ is not difficult at all. All you need to do is to choose some child safety window restrictors.
These restrictors are little bolts that sit at the sides of the upper part of your sash window and operate using a specific key. Crucially, they sit at a height that is out of reach of most children who are too young to understand the danger inherent in messing about with windows.
If the sash window is raised more than ten centimetres, then the bolts come into play and prevent the sash window being lifted any higher. This ten centimetre gap is specified as the safest distance to prevent any age of child falling through the window.
When it comes to purposefully lifting your sash windows fully, all you need to do is unlock the bolts using your window restrictor key. You can then slide the sash window beyond the restrictor, and to whatever height you choose.
One additional benefit of window restrictors is that they act as an additional security measure if someone attempts to raise your sash window from the outside with the intent of gaining entry to your home. Burglars are definitely not able to squeeze through a ten centimetre gap and you will be able to leave your sash windows partly open without worrying about security which is particularly useful during the hot summer months..
When it comes to sash windows, window restrictors offer a very low cost solution to some important safety issues, both for the safety of your children, and the safety of your home.
If there is anything else you would like to know about sash window safety, please do get in touch. We are always happy to offer you advice – our team know a great deal about sash windows and how they work.
Call 020 3930 1457 or fill in our contact form and we will get back to you ASAP.