Friday, July 9, 2010

Don't Fall Out The Window

It's time for a practical post.  Well, at least practical for me.  If you don't have windows like ours, this may not be practical for you. 

I'm going to tell you how we made window stop protectors all by ourselves.  Maybe you'll just think I'm an over protective mother and I worry too much.  I do, I worry.  About bears.  Sometimes coyotes.

This post is about window safety.  What does that have to do with bears, you ask?  I don't want the bears coming in my kids' windows at night.  Sometimes we leave their windows open until we go to bed so they can have some fresh cool night air.  Sometimes we leave our windows open at night.  I don't want bears coming in my window.  Call me crazy.  I saw a bear hiking a couple of weeks ago.  No bear sightings in our neighborhood this year....yet.  The one that was spotted in our neighborhood was probably the one that got hit on the freeway entrance ramp a year ago.  No more bear.  (I tend to diverge, don't I?)

Or rather back to the window stuff, I don't want my kids falling out the window.  Even though it's only 2 feet off the ground.  I can guarantee that they won't land on their feet like a cat would, especially if they take after me.  I can fall walking on flat ground.

So, no bears coming in windows, no creepy anything coming in the windows, and no kids going out the windows...unless there's a fire.  How do you do that? 

Well, you could purchase these handy dandy Cresci Window Wedge Window Stop things.  You attach these wedge-shapes stoppers to window frames to limit how far the window will open.  I think it's about $6 for two.  (I'm not affiliated with Cresci in any way, just in case you were wondering.  We had our brilliant window stop idea before I saw these other brilliant things in a magazine.)  There's also the Guardian Angel Window Guard which is strong enough to prevent your child from falling out the window, but can easily be removed in an emergency.  These are more pricey and remind me of the iron safety bars we had on our home in town to keep out intruders.  That house is still for sale.  (And no, I'm not affiliated with Guardian Angel either, I just did a little research for ya!)

Or you could take the thrifty window stop route, like we did.  My fabulous engineering husband came up with this idea after I expressed my concern about the windows being open at night when we first moved in.  Our contraption works with double hung windows and consists of a 1x2 board and some 3M velcro stuff (Dual Lock, I think that's what it is called). 

Let's take a look at how this works in our master bedroom window.  Oh, we have double hung windows.  I already mentioned that.

See anything in the window?  (Nothing like an arrow to help ya!)

Take a closer look.  Notice the board.  It fits so nicely in the notched out part of the window.  I don't know the technical names for this stuff.

We opened our windows to a height I deemed accessible, meaning it would be difficult for a bear or human to climb in and difficult for a child to get out.  And yes, I actually tried to climb in the window and had Biker Boy try too.  You can never be too careful, sometimes.  Biker Boy measured, cut the wood to that length, and then applied the velcro stuff. (You can check out 3M Dual Lock here at itapestore.com, just in case you wanted to.)  It's a really nifty click in to place kind of velcro.  Tough stuff.  That board isn't coming out and you can't reach in through the open window to remove it.  Nifty.  Yes, we tried to reach in and remove it.

Now the window can be "locked" in an open position.  We can remove the boards if we want to.  We usually store them in our closets during the winter.

And yes, we've had them up for 3 summers and I still have to paint them white.  It's all a work in progress.  A slow work in progress.

I just cover the wood sticks up with our drapes in the master bedroom.  In total we've got 12 of these homemade wooden window stoppers in 12 windows.  Amazing how that works out!  Plus, it was only about $8 for all 12!  Happy Momma, Happy Home!

Any safety features that you've jimmied up?  Window shutting features?  Bear prevention ideas?  Any other worries....make me feel better....I'm not the only one who worries.....right?  And now I'm worrying that I worry too much.

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