National Window Safety Week: April 2-8, 2017

With the arrival of spring, many homeowners are eager to open windows and let in the fresh air. Each year, the Window Safety Task Force of the National Safety Council takes the first full week in April to educate on the importance of practicing window safety year-round. National Window Safety Week is designed to increase awareness on helping to prevent accidental window falls and the proper use of windows for emergency escape purposes.

>>>Falls from a window can result in serious injury or death and pose an especially dangerous threat for children. Every year, about eight children under age five die each year from falling out a window, and more than 3,300 are injured seriously enough to go to the hospital.<<<

Here are 3 tips to help keep your home safer and prevent window fall accidents from occurring:

Tip #1 – Install window guards and stops. Properly installed window guards are your best defense in preventing window falls. Window stops are also a good idea to help allow you to enjoy a fresh breeze while ensuring windows won’t open wide enough to invite a fall.

Tip #2 – Open windows from the top and close after use. If you have windows that can open from top and bottom, choose opening the top versus the bottom to prevent falls. Don’t leave opened windows unattended if small children are present.

Tip #3 – Be sure windows are clear of chairs, cribs or other furniture being too close in proximity, especially if you have crawlers or climbers.

The Window Safety Task Force recommends the following items be a part of your fire emergency plan:

  • Make sure windows are not nailed or painted shut
  • Do not install air conditioners in windows that may be needed for escape
  • Make sure at least one window in each bedroom meets escape and rescue requirements
  • Window guards, security bars, grilles or grates render windows useless in an emergency unless they have a release mechanism; update them if necessary
  • Develop an emergency escape plan and practice it during the day and at night
  • Keep emergency escape ladders in second- or third-story bedrooms and teach everyone in the home how to use them

At Sentry Window Guards, our business is to keep children safe by preventing window fall accidents from occurring. Visit here for more tips from the National Safety Council regarding emergency plans and preventing window falls. And remember if you reside in New York City, homeowners MUST have window guards on their windows BY LAW if children 10 years or younger are living in the home. For more information regarding our window guard products and our experience and leadership in understanding NYC safety requirements, contact us today!

5 Tips to Help Prevent Window Cord Strangulation

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, approximately one child a month dies as a result of window cord strangulation. “Window cord strangulations are one of the top hidden hazards in the home,” explains CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum. “CPSC recommends that only cordless window coverings or those with inaccessible cords be used in homes with young children.” The Window Covering Safety Council encourages parents with infants and young children to follow these prevention tips:

  1. Make sure all furniture, especially cribs, beds and other climbable surfaces aren’t near windows.
  2. Keep all window cords out of reach from infants and young children.
  3. When possible, install only cordless window coverings.
  4. If cords are on window coverings, but sure they are as short as possible. Continuous-loop pull cords, often found on draperies and vertical blinds, should be taunt and anchored to the wall or the floor.
  5. Inspect cord stops for proper installation and adjust to limit inner-cord movement.

Keeping our children safe is a parent’s number one priority. We urge you to follow these 5 tips to help prevent window cord strangulation. If you are unable to replace your window coverings with the safer products on the market today, the Window Covering Safety Council offers free retrofit kits.

At Sentry Window Guards we make it our mission to help keep families safe. While our business is to help prevent falls from windows, we also recognize the importance of preventing window cord strangulation in infants and young children. For more information regarding our window guard products and our experience and leadership in understanding New York City safety requirements, contact us today!

Prevent Frozen Pipes With These 4 Tips

Having a busted frozen pipe in the middle of winter isn’t pleasant. Many don’t realize how much damage it can cause to a home. Here are 4 tips to take some preventative measures to help avoid a frozen pipe disaster this winter:

  1. FAUCETS: Let your faucets drip. The slow drip reduces the pressure in the water system. If a pipe freezes, it’s less likely to rupture when the pressure is lower. Especially focus on letting the faucet that is furthest away from the main pipeline drip because this line brings water into your house. More pipes will benefit from the main line being allowed to drip.
  1. OUTDOOR SPIGOTS: If you are in house, you should protect your outdoor spigots. Make sure all garden hoses are disconnected from outdoor spigots. Shut down the water supply to outside if possible and drain remaining water. Purchase inexpensive insulated domes to be placed around each spigot for optimum protection. If you are living in an apartment, you may want to confirm with your building manager that any outdoor spigots are protected.
  1. PIPES: Insulate pipes and exposed water supply lines. Look for pipes in unheated areas and those needing extra insulation such as in the basement, crawl space, attic, garage, and under cabinets. Again, if you are living in an apartment, check with your building manager.
  1. GARAGE: If you have a garage, close it! Keep water supply lines in the garage warmer by minimizing length of time the garage doors are open. Do the opposite with kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors. Leave them open to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing.

As the temperatures continue to drop, practice these 4 tips to help prevent frozen pipes and potential damage to your home. Even a small burst pipe can become costly. If you live in an apartment, check with your building manager to see what preventative measures they are taking to avoid a frozen pipe disaster.

At Sentry Window Guards we make it our mission to help keep families safe. While our business is to help prevent falls from windows, we also recognize the importance of avoiding a frozen pipe disaster this winter. For more information regarding our window guard products and our experience and leadership in understanding New York safety requirements, contact us today!

Stay Warm this Winter with These 6 Tips

Winter is officially here with temps in the 20’s and 30’s and snow in the forecast. Keep your home warm by setting your thermostat properly, reversing ceiling fans, and considering energy efficient windows. But what about “winterizing” you and your family? As we experience colder temperatures this winter, winterize yourself with these 6 tips:

1. DRESS IN LAYERS: You can always remove a layer when you are hot. Thanks to polypropylene and silk, long underwear provides additional heat without the bulky versions of the past. Wear warm socks or slippers to keep your feet warm.

2. MOVE YOUR BODY: Nothing warms the body up quicker than to get it moving. Run up and down the stairs a few times or grab your family and have a dance party in your living room. You’ll be shedding some of those layers quickly while having fun and doing your body good!

3. HOT DRINKS AND FOOD: Feel your body instantly warm up by sipping on a warm cup of coffee or hot chocolate. Add a bowl of hearty beef stew and a slice of warm bread to warm your insides and satisfy your palate!

4. KITCHEN HEAT: Get cooking and baking in your kitchen and you’ll be surprised how quickly it can help warm your home. Run your dishwasher during the day and open it up after the cycle to allow some of the warm steam to seep into your kitchen.

5. WARM SLUMBER: Dress warmly and have warm bedding. Flannel or jersey sheets are much more cozier than chilly percale sheets. Warm bodies rest better than shivering ones!

6. SNUGGLE: Nothing is better than snuggling! Body warmth is almost as good as a heating blanket. Got no body or pet to snuggle with? Make a minimal investment in a body pillow or pull out that huge stuffed animal you won at the carnival in high school!

At Sentry Window Guards we make it our mission to help keep families safe. While our business is to help prevent falls from windows, we also recognize the importance of staying warm and safe this winter. For more information regarding our window guard products and our experience and leadership in understanding NYC safety requirements, contact us today!

Christmas Tree Fire Safety Tips for New Yorkers

The holidays in New York are a time when many people deck the halls with Christmas trees adorned with festive, twinkling lights. Although beautiful to admire, overloaded lights and dried-out trees are a recipe for fire disaster. According to the National Fire Protection Association, here are some scary facts:

  • Fire departments respond to an average of 210 structure fires caused by Christmas trees each year.
  • One of every three home Christmas tree fires is caused by electrical failures.
  • Although Christmas tree fires are not common, when they do occur they are more likely to be serious.
  • A heat source too close to the tree causes roughly one in every five of the fires.

Let’s avoid the famous scene from the Griswold’s home in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and take the necessary steps to ensure you and your loved ones stay safe during the holiday season.

1.  CHOOSING THE TREE

  • Artificial Tree: Make sure it’s labeled, certified or identified by the manufacturer as fire retardant.
  • Live Tree: Choose a tree with fresh, green needles that don’t fall off when touched.

2. PLACING THE TREE

  • Cut 2” from the base of the live tree trunk before placing it into the tree stand.
  • Make sure the live or artificial tree is at least three feet away from any heat source such as a fireplace, radiator, candle, heat vents or lights, and not blocking an exit.
  • Add water to live tree stand daily.

3. LIGHTING THE TREE

  • Indoors or outside, use only lights that have been tested for safety.
  • Check each set of lights, new or old, for broken or cracked sockets, frayed or bare wires, or loose connections.
  • Do not use more than three standard-size sets of lights per single extension cord.
  • Fasten outdoor lights securely to trees, house, walls or other firm support to protect from wind damage.
  • Never use lit candles to decorate the tree.
  • Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed. Lights could short out and start a fire.

4. AFTER THE HOLIDAYS

  • Get rid of the live tree when it begins dropping needles. Check with your local community to find a recycling program for your tree.
  • Bring outdoor electrical lights inside to prevent hazards and extend the life of the lights.

At Sentry Window Guards we make it our mission to help keep families safe in New York. While our business is to help prevent falls from windows, we also recognize the importance of preventing potential fire hazards in the home. For more information regarding our window guard products and our experience and leadership in understanding New York City safety requirements, contact us today!

Thank you, Veterans!

To all the Veterans – past, present and future – Thank you!

3 Tips to Help Prevent Window Fall Accidents

“A nine dollar window guard,” Jason says. “That’s all it would have taken to protect my son. And I didn’t even think about it.”

No parent should have to endure the trauma of having a child fall out of a window. Jason and Becca Cunningham* experienced just that when one of their three-year old sons fell from his second-story bedroom window. Although their son landed on his head on the concrete, suffered a severe traumatic brain injury and temporary paralysis, he did regain his health after intense, long-term therapy. With thousands of window fall accidents involving children in the U.S. each year, many stories don’t turn out with a happy ending. Many children die or sustain life-long injuries.

The Cunninghams did not reside in New York City, where homeowners must have window guards on their windows BY LAW if children 10 years or younger are living in the home. As a matter of fact, window safety wasn’t even on Jason and Becca’s radar as it probably isn’t with many families. Here are a few tips to help keep your home safer and prevent window fall accidents from occurring:

Tip #1 – Install window guards and stops. Properly installed window guards are your best defense in preventing window falls. Window stops are also a good idea to help allow you to enjoy a fresh breeze while ensuring windows won’t open wide enough to invite a fall.

Tip #2 – Open windows from the top and close after use. If you have windows that can open from top and bottom, choose opening the top versus the bottom to prevent falls. Don’t leave opened windows unattended if small children are present.

Tip #3 – Be sure windows are clear of chairs, cribs or other furniture being too close in proximity, especially if you have crawlers or climbers.

At Sentry Window Guards, our business is to keep children safe by preventing window fall accidents from occurring. For more information regarding our window guard products and our experience and leadership in understanding NYC safety requirements, contact us today!

 

*As a result of their traumatic experience, Jason and Becca became active members of the Stop at 4” Window Fall Prevention campaign in Portland, Oregon. Becca even went on to help educate other parents regarding the importance of window fall prevention with her book titled ‘If Kids Could Float!’

8 Heating Equipment Safety Tips | Sentry Window Guards

Autumn and cooler temperatures have arrived. While it may be a few more weeks before turning on the heating system, a space heater may be used to make things more comfortable in the evenings. But safety precautions must be taken seriously when you utilized heating equipment in the home. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), heating equipment is a leading cause of home fire deaths. Here are a few simple safety tips and precautions you can practice to help prevent heating equipment fires from happening:

  1. Keep any flammable items (curtains, paper, plastic, solvents, matches, lighters, etc.) at least three feet away from heating equipment.
  1. Create a “kid and pet-free zone” at least three feet around the heating and teach children to stay away. Invest in a baby play yard or fence system to create the zone, still keeping it at least three feet from the heater.
  1. Never try and cook on a space heater.
  1. Never stick objects into the heater.
  1. If you have a fuel burning space heater, make sure to use the right kind of fuel as specified by the manufacturer.
  1. Remember to turn off all heaters before leaving the room, going to bed or leaving your home.
  1. If the heater is portable and you need to move it, make sure it has cooled down completely before touching it.
  1. Test smoke alarms monthly.

At Sentry Window Guards we make it our mission to help keep families safe. While our business is to help prevent falls from windows, we also recognize the importance of heating equipment safety precautions in homes. For more information regarding our window guard products and our experience and leadership in understanding NYC safety requirements, contact us today!

3 Top Tips to Help Prepare for Severe Weather

Preventing severe weather disasters from happening is out of our control. However, we can control how we respond if we are better prepared. Following a few tips to help prepare you in the event you should encounter a disaster will not only help you respond more quickly, but can also save your life and the lives of your loved ones.

  1. PLAN OF ACTION: Evaluate the risks of severe weather in your area and plan accordingly. Set up a plan of action with your family and designate a place to meet if your family is separated during a severe weather disaster. Monitor the weather on a regular basis and invest in a quality weather radio. Many smart phones have weather apps that can alert you of severe weather in your area. Designate a safe place to keep all of your important documents such as your homeowner’s insurance policy.
  1. EMERGENCY SUPPLY KIT: Be smart and prepare a home emergency preparedness kit. You can find a checklist for one at gov. Make sure your kit has enough emergency supplies, dried and canned food, and water for at least three days. Store all battery-powered flashlights, lanterns and candles together for quick retrieval.
  1. UNDERSTAND YOUR HOMEOWNER’S POLICY: It’s important to understand your homeowner’s insurance policy and what you are covered for in the event of a disaster. Make sure to complete an inventory of your home assets along with documentation such as photos or videos.

At Sentry Window Guards we make it our business to help keep families safe. We strongly suggest you take these three tips seriously and make arrangements to prepare for severe weather disasters now. Preparedness can mean the difference between a disaster and a tragedy. For more information regarding our window guard products and our experience and leadership in understanding NYC safety requirements, contact us today!

Tips to Improve Indoor Air Quality

While most expect poor indoor air quality (AIQ) to be at its worst “seasonally,” poor IAQ is actually a year-round issue that needs to be addressed. Poor IAQ can cause problems such as headaches, nausea, and eye and throat irritation. More serious risks can include asthma and allergies. Unfortunately children and the elderly are more at risk to experience symptoms of poor IAQ. Here are some common sources for poor IAQ and solutions to reduce the risks to help keep you and your family safe in your home:

  1. INTERIOR PAINT & NEW CARPETS: Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are gasses released by many household products such as interior paint and new carpets. Try to use a low concentration of VOC-paints and leave windows open and a fan running while painting. Choose low-VOC carpet to also help reduce the amount of VOC gasses emitted.
  1. CLEANING PRODUCTS: Try and avoid cleaning products containing chemicals such as ammonia and chlorine. Replace with hot water, baking soda and less-toxic cleaning products.
  1. HVAC SYSTEMS: Systems with cracks, dirty air filters and poor ventilation can cause dangerous carbon monoxide buildup. Maintain your HVAC system on a regular basis by scheduling annual inspections and changing out air filters. Also make sure your carbon monoxide alarm is properly working with fresh batteries.
  1. GAS STOVES: Improperly installed or vented stoves can dangerous. Vent the stove with a fan that blows properly and make sure burners are adjusted correctly.
  1. CIGARETTE SMOKE: If someone in your home is a smoker, the best solution is to have the smoker smoke outside. Also keep in mind that second hand and third hand (smoke that lingers in clothes, cushions and carpets) smoke can be especially harmful to children and the elderly.

At Sentry Window Guards we make it our mission to help keep families safe. While our business is to help prevent falls from windows, we also recognize the importance of safe air quality in homes. For more information regarding our window guard products and our experience and leadership in understanding NYC safety requirements, contact us today!