As fall temperatures arrive, fire safety comes back into focus with October 9-15 being Fire Prevention Week in the U.S. In recognition of the designation, the Fenestration Glazing Industry Alliance Window Safety Task Force is reminding everyone that doors and windows are the primary and secondary escape routes, an especially important topic this fire season when occupants of the West Coast are experiencing higher risks of wildfires.

“Whether due to a wildfire, lightning or other causes, a home fire can start quickly, with little time to safely escape,” said Angela Dickson, co-chair of FGIA’s Window Safety Task Force. “The Window Safety Task Force encourages everyone to develop and test an escape plan at least twice a year. And remember, the plan should include accommodations for loved ones with special needs and for cherished pets.”

The Window Safety Task Force offers seven tips for Fire Prevention Week:

1. Create a fire escape plan that includes two exits from every room in your home, through a door and a window;

2. Practice your fire escape plan during the day and at night, as many home fires occur at night;

3. Practice opening and closing windows that may be designated as emergency exits;

4. Attempt to open a window first, rather than breaking the glass, if you must exit through it in an emergency;

5. Open the window to escape or choose another exit route if your home features windows with impact-resistant glass, commonly used in hurricane-prone areas;

6. Check with local code officials when remodeling your home to understand emergency escape and rescue (egress) building code requirements. Egress windows are those designated by code as large enough for you to escape through or for rescue workers to enter in emergency situations; and

7. Consult your local building code official to determine proper placement of window guards or fall prevention devices if you equip windows in your home with these. Look for devices that comply with ASTM F2090.

For more information, visit the window safety sections of the FGIA and the Window and Door Manufacturers Association.

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