Windows a Common Theme in October Awareness Activities

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Experts at Simonton Windows highlight October national consumer awareness campaigns that have an overarching theme of windows: Fire Prevention Week, National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, Crime Prevention Month and Energy Awareness Month. Homeowner tips provided to help keep homes safe and energy efficient.

Photo Courtesy of Simonton Windows

Several major national consumer awareness campaigns in October have an overarching theme that gives homeowners good reason to review the windows in their homes: Fire Prevention Week, National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, Crime Prevention Month and Energy Awareness Month.

    "Windows are a vital part of our daily living experience, so it's important to make certain they're properly maintained as part of a family's safe living strategy," says John Stark, marketing manager for Simonton Windows. "A window that is painted shut or not securely locked at night can impede the safety of a family. Similarly, an older window painted with lead-based paint can release microscopic paint dust into the air causing harm to young children and family members.

    "October is a key month for families to evaluate the energy efficiency of their homes. During this cooler time of the year, we like to remind homeowners to make sure their windows and doors are functioning properly, area accessible as an escape route in case of an emergency; and ensure they offer the best possible potential for energy efficiency."

    Experts at Simonton Windows offer the following tips to help homeowners evaluate their windows during this time of year.

Fire Prevention Week - October 6 -12, 2013

    During Fire Prevention Week, sponsored by the National Fire Protection Association, make sure to practice these home safety window tips:

Tip #1 - Practice fire safety drills regularly. Small children tend to “hide” from fire, so make sure children are familiar with planned escape routes and know how to move quickly out of the home. For homes with bedrooms on second floors or higher, make sure safety escape chain ladders are under beds in every room. Practice operating the window with older children and show them how to use escape ladders.

Tip #2 – If a door is not safe to exit through during a fire, exit through an open window, using an escape ladder if necessary. Avoid breaking the glass in a window whenever possible, because it could cause serious injury.

Tip #3 - Never put nails or screws in a window frame to hold up holiday lights or decorations. Also, do not glue, staple or tape lights to a window frame. All of these activities can be potential fire hazards and can impede the successful operation of the window.

Tip #4 - Do not place lit candles on a window sill or sash.

Tip #5 - Never decorate windows with anything that could impede them from opening quickly, in case you need to use the window as an escape route during an emergency. For example, don’t wrap garland, wire or artificial pine branches around the window hardware.

Tip #6: Don’t ever paint shut windows. Every window in the home must be operational in case of an emergency.

Tip #7 - Homeowners should plant shrubs, grass and place “soft landscaping” items like bark and mulch directly underneath windows to help lessen the impact should someone fall out the window.

National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week - October 20-26, 2013

During National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week, sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, make sure to practice these healthy home window tips:

Tip #1 – Determine what year your house was built. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the routine opening and closing of windows painted with lead-based paint (primarily in homes built prior to 1978) can cause microscopic paint dust to be released into the air.

Tip #2 – Contact a window installation professional trained and certified in lead-safe work practices to determine if there is lead-based paint on or near your windows before performing any renovation, repair or replacement projects that involve windows or doors. Visit for more details.

Tip #3 – Evaluate your specific family needs. Research indicates that the everyday activity of opening and closing lead-base painted windows creates friction that then allows microscopic lead dust to enter the air. This is of special concern in households built prior to 1978, with young children who crawl on the floor. Toddlers put their hands in their mouths … and after playing on the floor near a window, they can easily transfer the lead dust into their mouths. The ingested lead can travel through the bloodstream to a child’s developing brain, potentially causing neurobehavioral damage.

Tip #4 – Replace older windows --- especially single-pane windows --- using the EPA-approved lead safe renovation guidelines. Have your certified lead-safe contractor stabilize any significantly deteriorated paint and thoroughly remove lead-contaminated dust. Finally, perform dust wipe tests to confirm the absence of lead dust hazards after the clean up.

Crime Prevention Month - October

During Crime Prevention Month, sponsored by the National Crime Prevention Council, note these important window security tips:

Tip #1 - Always lock windows and patio doors when not in use. This does two things: it helps deter potential intruders, and it creates a weather-tight, energy-efficient seal to help keep out the elements.

Tip #2 – Check your window frames. If you find warping or rotting wood it can be easier for intruders to break into a home through your windows. Consider durable vinyl-framed windows as a replacement. Vinyl is a great insulator, plus it’s durable and easy to maintain.

Tip #3 – To protect valuables in your home and deter theft, install windows with impact-resistant glass ... at least for the first floor of your home. In these units, two panes of glass are adhered to a durable plastic interlayer, much like a car windshield. This special glass can withstand repeated blows from a crow bar or baseball bat. The plastic interlayer is puncture-resistant and extremely difficult to penetrate, which will frustrate potential intruders.

Homeowners can request the SafePoint™ impact-resistant laminated glass package in windows manufactured by Simonton Windows. This special glass is engineered to help keep greatly unwanted outside noise outside the home, increase protection against flying debris during high wind events and offers proven protection against forced entry.*

Energy Awareness Month - October

During Energy Awareness Month, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, make sure to practice these home energy awareness window tips:

Tip #1 - Examine the edges of your windows and patio doors for hot and cold drafty areas. This indicates air infiltration which can greatly reduce the energy efficiency of the units.

Tip #2 - Check every window and door to make sure there is adequate weatherstripping and caulking around the units. This helps eliminate air infiltration and ensure a weather tight, secure seal.

Tip #3 – Look for “burnt out” or faded areas on your furnishings and carpeting. This could indicate harmful, damaging UV rays are entering your home through your windows or doors. You may want to consider replacement with more energy efficient units containing Low E coatings on the glass.

Tip #4 – If your windows no longer open or close easily--or if they need to be propped open--it could mean key components within the units are damaged or need adjustment. It could also mean the unit needs to be replaced entirely.

Tip #5 – Check the “fit” of your current windows or patio doors by having someone stand outside the units at night. With a small flashlight, stand inside and “travel” around the edge of the units. If the person outside sees light coming through the edges, this indicates a poor installation and is resulting in energy loss.

About Simonton Windows

Simonton Windows has been ranked “Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Windows and Doors, Four Years in a Row. Tied in 2013.” by J.D. Power and Associates. Simonton produces ENERGY STAR® qualified vinyl replacement and new construction windows and doors, including a line of impact-resistant products.

Simonton was also ranked #1 in quality in the 2013, 2009, 2007, 2002 and 1998 Brand Use Studies sponsored by Builder magazine and has won three Best In Class Awards administered by LBM Journal Research Institute.

Founded in 1946, Simonton’s hallmark has been to deliver the industry’s shortest, most dependable lead-times. Part of Fortune Brands Home & Security, Inc. (NYSE: FBHS), Simonton delivers award-recognized products to key markets throughout the 48 continental United States and North America. Simonton is a Founding Sponsor of The Weather Museum, a Lifetime Founding Sponsor of the Lead Safe America Foundation, and a supporter of Homes for Our Troops. For information, call (800) SIMONTON (1-800-746-6686) or visit

Simonton Windows received the highest numerical score among window and door manufacturers in a tie in the proprietary J.D. Power and Associates 2010-2013 Windows and Patio Doors Satisfaction StudiesSM. (Tied in 2013). 2013 study based on responses from more than 2,554 consumers measuring 11 brands and measures opinions of consumers who purchased new windows or patio doors in the previous 12 months. Proprietary study results are based on experiences and perceptions of consumers surveyed in January – February 2013. Your experiences may vary. Visit

ENERGY STAR is a government program that helps consumers protect the environment through superior energy efficiency and is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

*SafePoint laminated glass has an impact-resistant interlayer that can withstand repeated blows by a heavy object. SafePoint glass complements alarm systems and deadbolts for even greater security. With a Sound Transmission Rating (STC) of 32 – 36, SafePoint glass dramatically reduces unwanted noise infiltration.

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Kathy Ziprik
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