What's Your Window Safety Week Plan?

Christina Lewellen
March 30, 2011
THE TALK... | Design & Performance

The sad stories that often accompany discussions about Window Safety Week are definitely enough to make me—a mother of two young girls—think twice about fall prevention measures.

 
Some of the stories in the March/April AAMA column remind remind us just how prevalent a safety concern this issue is. As the column points out, window professionals are in an ideal position to help spread the message about fall prevention. AAMA and its partner organizations in the Window Safety Week efforts even offer resources to make it easy for window companies to point out how critical window safety is, especially for households with young children and pets.
 
As Window Safety Week kicks off next week, I’d like to know if your company is doing anything to increase awareness of this issue. Will you send out press releases or host safety seminars? Will you distribute additional information to your customers? Is window safety a cause you highlight year-round? Please take a moment to send me an email or post a comment below describing your company's efforts.
 

Survey Results for 03/30/2011:

 

Does your company mark Window Safety Week?

No

  

 

95%

Yes

  

 

5%

 

I believe that this week’s one-sided response exposes an opportunity for window and door manufacturers and retailers. Regardless of whether you believe the window industry should play a role in keeping children safe and preventing falls, there’s a significant public relations benefit that can come with taking an educated prevention message to the marketplace.

Perhaps next year, your company will take advantage of the opportunity to share valuable information as Jeld-Wen did this week. In a press release issued by the company, it points out:

“Though many of us practice fire drills in the workplace and in school, most deaths and injuries from fire each year are the result of home fires. When it comes to a fire emergency in our homes, the National Safety Council's (NSC) Window Safety Task Force reminds Americans that doors and windows are the primary and secondary escape routes.”

Quoted in the release, Teri Cline, Jeld-Wen’s communications director, who is also a member of the Window Safety Task Force, says, "Your home fire escape plan should include two exits from every room in your home, through a door and a window. In the event of fire or other emergencies, you may have little time to escape safely, so it's essential to develop and test your plan at least twice a year with everyone in your home."

Seems to me that this is a perfectly appropriate reminder coming from a spokesperson of the window and door industry.

AAMA, a member of the Window Safety Task Force—along with the Window and Door Manufacturers Association and the Screen Manufacturers Association, in cooperation with the National Association of Home Builders and other organizations—also issued a release commemorating the week. “AAMA is proud to participate in the Window Safety Task Force, along with other industry organizations, to provide education that will keep homes and families safer and aid in the prevention of accidental falls and injuries through windows,” Rich Walker, AAMA’s president and CEO, noted in the release. “Window safety is not only an important issue in our industry but in our daily lives, as proper precautions can help ensure the well-being of young children.”

Still, I do respect those of the opinion that it’s not the window and door industry’s job to prevent accidental falls. “As much as my heart goes out to those affected by the tragic and needless loss of lives, especially those of children, I believe that special weeks or months will do nothing to replace common sense or good responsible parenting,” writes Bob Maynes, director of marketing and international sales for Mathews Brothers Co.  “Window Safety Week will not compel parents to do a better job keeping their eyes on their children. For decades now, the fire departments across the country have reminded us to replace the batteries in our smoke detectors every October, yet every year hundreds of Americans die because the batteries in their smoke detectors were either dead or missing.”

You can lead a horse to water, I suppose…   

Contact Christina Lewellen, senior editor, at clewellen@glass.org.