Often when you talk about community safety with people, the first thing that comes to their minds is crime prevention. People, particularly those who live in high-crime areas, think of how they can protect themselves from intruders, both inside their homes and out. Having been attacked and stabbed outside my apartment building late at night in the Uptown neighborhood of Chicago many years ago, I can certainly relate to people’s fear of crime.
However, some of the things that people use to keep intruders out, including security bars on windows and doors, can make it impossible for them to escape from a fire in their homes. During Fire Prevention Week 2012, we are reminded to have two ways out. The 2012 edition of NFPA 101®, Life Safety Code, requires a secondary means of escape that “shall be an outside window or door operable from the inside without the use of tools, keys or special effort…” Windows that have security bars, grilles, or window guards should have emergency release devices.
To help spread the message about security bars, download the free Safe and Secure educational brochure and a Safe and Secure community guide on security bars and quick-release devices and related educational messages to share with people in your community. You can also download a free brochure on keeping exits free of furniture, hurricane screens, locks, and other items.