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Windows for Better Peace of Mind

by Rachel Lyon, Editorial Director for The House Designers®

Everybody can benefit from certain window features, but those with pets and young children should make shopping with them in mind a priority. Have you given it any thought before? While you can improve windows with a number of products, it’s most aesthetically pleasing and convenient to install windows that have solutions built into them. If you’re building a new home or thinking of replacing your existing windows, here are some factory-applied options to consider.

Marvin and Integrity Windows WOCD

This built-in WOCD allows the window to open to a maximum of 4” unless you disengage the system with a two-step action, and it automatically resets when you close the window. It meets ASTM F2090-10 standards to prevent falls in children under five.

Window Opening Control Devices

Open windows are an invitation to curious children. The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that about eight children aged five and under die every year after falling through windows, and about 3,300 are treated in emergency rooms across the country. Screens are designed to prevent bugs from coming inside and they pop out easily, so don’t think they’ll stop a kid. You need window opening control devices (WOCDs) to prevent operable windows from opening wide enough to pose a fall risk.

WOCDs work in a variety of ways and with different types of windows—casement, double hung, glider, etc. They limit how much the window opens, so you can still use it for ventilation when the device is engaged. If you need to open the window fully, you must disengage the mechanism with a two-step action, sort of like a child safety cap. This keeps little ones from getting in trouble, but you can still get full use of your windows for everyday and emergency situations. So, don’t think that you have to trade one thing for another. Bring WOCDs up with your window dealer if you’re interested; otherwise there are devices you can install on existing windows.

Marvin Lock Status Sensor

The Marvin Lock Status Sensor brings smart home technology to windows. With wired or wireless connectivity, it can tell you whether a window is closed and locked or not. There are no visible components and it is compatible with third-party automation providers.

Smart Sensors

If window security is a concern for you, you might consider using app-compatible sensors that let you know if you still need to lock up. This way, you don’t have to go around the whole house; you can check right on your phone! Add-on sensors have been available for years, but now they can be directly integrated into window frames so there’s nothing to see and you can enjoy the beautiful view with greater peace of mind.

Depending on the status of your build, you can choose between wired and wireless sensors—perfect if you’re wiring for whole-home automation or doing a retrofit. The system should have a flexible platform so it can evolve with technology and work with the third-party service provider of your choice. There is no reason windows should ever become outdated, because they last much longer than smart technology has even existed. An open platform ensures you can sync your windows to new providers and apps as they come along, so you can enjoy the benefits without worrying about advances in technology and obsolescence.

Marvin Lift Lock Hardware

Marvin Lift Lock Hardware moves the lock on traditional double and single hung windows from the checkrail to the bottom of the lower sash so it’s easy to reach. What an elegant solution to a common problem!

Easily Operable Functions

Functionality and convenience often boil down to accessibility. If windows can sometimes pose a challenge for you, look for ones that simplify your life. Whether that means you need a different type of window treatment to control heat and brightness or the window itself is too difficult to use, a professional should be able to help make decisions. For example, some people have a difficult time opening double hung and glider windows, so they might do better with a casement style. If pushing or pulling it open poses a problem, try opening hardware that’s easy to reach. Locks should also be easily within reach so your windows are completely usable; if they aren’t, look for hardware options that are. You shouldn’t have to stand on a stool or otherwise risk hurting yourself—choose windows that adapt to your needs.

If you’d like your new windows to include built-in WOCDs, sensors, and/or more convenient construction for your needs, check out Marvin® and Integrity® to see what they can do for you. They have a wide variety of window models and factory-applied solutions designed specifically for them, so there’s no need to purchase generic fixes. With built-in efficacy you can trust, you’ll enjoy peace of mind while preserving the beauty of your windows from both sides. Find a local dealer to discuss your needs and the possibilities for your home!