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Safety in our Community

Niagara Emergency Medical Services is proud to assume expanded responsibility for health promotion. We contribute to public education and injury prevention initiatives in partnership with other community organizations. These educational opportunities by our staff empower individuals in Niagara to improve their own well-being.

Prevent Injuries

Window and Balcony Safety

When warmer weather arrives, people open their windows and move onto their balconies and decks. Many people are unaware of the potential dangers associated with these areas of the home all year-round. Children are curious and an open window or door is an invitation to adventure and, potentially, a tragedy. Every year, children are injured or die in falls from windows or balconies.

Niagara Emergency Medical Services is a proud to be involved in the national campaign for Partners Promoting Windows and Balcony Safety. This uses three main strategies to reduce injuries: education, supervision and the use of safety devices.

There are some ways that you can reduce the risk of a child or adult from falling from a window or balcony:

  • Teach your children never to play near open windows or on balconies
  • Do not leave children unattended or unsupervised
  • Keep furniture away from windows and balcony railings
  • Lock all unopened windows and patio doors Open windows from the top, not the bottom
  • Do not rely on screens - they keep insects out, not kids in
  • Install child safety window guards
  • Set a good example for children by practicing safety around windows, balconies and decks

What are Window Guards?Window Safety

  • Aluminum or steel bars with a maximum four-inch spacing that are installed in the bottom half of a double-hung window
  • Guards are designed and tested to withstand 150 pounds of pressure.
  • Recommended for any window on the second story and above and for the first floor if the window is over 12 feet high
  • Are not required by law in Ontario but are recommended in homes with children age six and under
  • Cannot be substituted with window screens, which are designed to keep out insects and bugs but are NOT strong enough to keep a child from falling out

Operable Window Guards

  • Are releasable or removable from the inside without the use of separate tools, a key, or excessive force
  • Can be installed on all windows, including those on which fixed window guards cannot be used

Additional Information

  • If fixed guards are used, at least one window in each room should have an operable window guard to allow for emergency escape
  • Child safety window guards are NOT the same as burglar/security bars. Security bars are wide enough to allow a child to slip through and should not be used as a safety window guard. Child safety window guards are not designed to protect against intruders
  • If a window does not have a safety window guard installed, a window lock can be used to restrict the window from opening more than four inches

Pool SafetyPool and Water Safety

  • To prevent children from falling into your pool, build a fence and a gate that will keep children from entering the area
  • Keep the gate locked at all times
  • ALWAYS have an adult watching the children in and around the pool
  • Children under the age of 3 and children who cannot swim must wear a life jacket or PFD (personal floatation device)
  • Send children to swimming and water safety lessons
  • Make sure to have lifesaving equipment and a first aid kit are handy
  • Take a course on pool safety, first aid and lifesaving skills (such as CPR)
  • Have emergency phone numbers listed at the telephone easily accessible beside the pool

Skateboarding Safety

  • Always wear protective gear, especially a helmet when riding
  • Never ride in the street
  • Don't take chances. Complicated tricks require careful practice and a specially designed area
  • Only have one person riding per skateboard
  • Never hitch a ride from a car, bus, truck or bicycle

Bicycle Safety

  • Always wear a bicycle helmet
  • Stop and look in all directions before cycling through an intersection and across a driveway
  • Never ride your bike on the left-hand side of the road while facing on-coming traffic
  • Never pull or tow a person with your bicycle
  • Keep both of your hands on the handlebars unless signalling
  • Obey all of the traffic signs and signals of the road
  • Never ride your bike through puddles
  • Remember that your bike is not a toy, it is a vehicle.
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