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When homeowners go shopping for replacement windows, rising heating bills are usually their main concern. And who can blame them? Poorly insulated windows can dramatically hike up the price of your energy bill month after month. But no less important is safety. Windows are the weakest part of the house, and they can provide easy access for burglars. A simple hammer can quickly transform a replacement window into a convenient door. But the potential safety dangers don't stop there.
Although a poorly installed replacement window could make it easier for someone to get in, it could ironically make it harder for you or a loved one to get out in case of a fire or some other emergency.
• How easy is it to unlock and open your replacement window from the inside?
• Can a young child open the window if necessary?
• Does one need super strength to make a window budge?
• Is there a large enough opening for a person to slide out if necessary?
These are just a few of the safety considerations you need to go over when selecting a replacement window.
Let's paint a potential scenario that highlights how important home window safety actually is. Pretend that a 10 year old girl is trapped on the second floor because of fires in other parts of the house. If you don't have a child safety window installed, she might not be able to reach the latch, open the window, squeeze through and get to safety. Equally important are potential falls she might encounter even if she does manage to get the child safety window open.
• Is there an easy escape route from the outside ledge to the ground?
• Are their shrubs that might be able to catch her if she falls?
• Is it possible to install a fire escape so that the likelihood of falls is greatly reduced?
Apply this same scenario to a handicapped or elderly individual. Are you beginning to see how there are so many other things to consider besides how much replacement windows will help lower your heating bills?
If you're like many Americans, you might actually enjoy house projects such as installing light fixtures, new carpets, or kitchen cabinets. However, when it comes to safety, you should definitely hire a professional to handle the installation. They'll know exactly what they're doing, and they can provide a warranty- something that you can't necessarily do, and something that will provide you with little comfort if you ever do lose or hurt someone in an easily preventable accident.
Make sure you stay away from companies that outsource the work to subcontractors unless you can get a written guarantee that any problems are the responsibility of the main company, and not some subcontractor that you'll have to chase around if repairs need to be done. When it comes to home window safety, accountability and professionalism is extremely important. Making sure you go with a reputable company when installing your child safety replacement window will substantially reduce the likelihood of anyone getting injured by fires, falls, thefts, and yes, escalating heating bills.