Window Guards and Locks Prevent Falls
All upper floor windows (and first floor windows that are 12 feet or
the ground) should be protected by window guards or window locks to
prevent accidental falls. Each year, children in Wisconsin are
injured or killed after falling out of windows. There are several
easy, inexpensive guards and locks that parents and landlords can install
to prevent falls from windows.
What are window guards and locks?
Window guards are aluminum or steel bars with a maximum 4 inch
spacing that are installed in the bottom half of a double hung window (or
over the entire opening of a crank style window). Some window guards
are removable or releasable from the inside without the separate use of
tools, keys or excessive force. This type of window guard can be
removed by an adult or rescue personnel in case of a fire. Child
safety window guards are not the same as burglar/security bars.
Security bars may be wide enough for a child to slip through and should
not be used as a child safety window guard.
Locks can be installed very inexpensively and can be used to
secure the window in the closed position, or to restrict the window from
opening more than four inches (the recommended safe amount).
Window Safety Tips
- Screens are not safety devices: Screens are only designed to
keep bugs and insects out, not to keep children in!
- Keep beds, furniture, and anything a child can climb on away from
- When opening windows for ventilation, open windows children cannot
reach, or open windows from the top, not the bottom.
- Install child safety window guards or locks on all windows that are
12 feet or more above the ground.
- Always supervise children.
For more information
- DHS Injury Prevention Program, call 608-267-7174
- National Safety Council Window
Safety Information (exit DHS)
- Center for Injury Research and Policy Fact Sheet on
Prepared by the
Division of Public Health
Bureau of Environmental and Occupational Health
Back to Injury Prevention page
September 12, 2013