Department of Buildings, Public Health Remind Residents That Guards and Code-Complaint Window/Door Screens are Vital to Child Safety

July 18, 2014

Chicago Building Code Requires Every Door Opening and Every Window to Have Screens in Place from April 15th to November 15th of Each Year

Mimi Simon | Department of Buildings 312.743.7204

Quenjana Adams | CDPH 312.747.9599


After incidents this summer in which young children were severely injured or killed after falling from an open window, the Department of Buildings and the Department of Public Health are reminding residential building owners, occupants and parents to install operable window guards on windows and limit window openings to 4 inches or less.

"As a parent myself, working to protect child safety is critical. It is imperative that building owners take responsibility for installing and maintaining code-compliant screens and window guards in good condition during the warmer months when it is likely that windows will be open. It is also very important that parents pay attention to these areas,” said Building Department Commissioner Felicia Davis. “Residents are encouraged to call 311 if they see windows that present a potential
danger and a building inspector will be sent out."

Also important is to avoid the placement of furniture such as beds, dressers and cribs near windows to prevent children from climbing onto window sills. Children should also stay away from open windows and doors when playing. Installing building code-compliant devices that limit how far windows will open can also help keep children safe from falling.

The Chicago Building Code requires every door opening and every window to have screens in place from April 15th to November 15th of each year. Specifically, every door opening directly from any family unit to the outdoors and every window, or other outside openings used for ventilation purposes, must be supplied with a screen of not less than 16 mesh per inch and every screen door shall have a self-closing device in good working condition.

"There are a number of basic precautions every parent can take to ensure their children stay healthy and safe at home," said Public Health Commissioner Bechara Choucair, M.D. "Having window guards and screens in place should be as fundamental as having working smoke alarms in your home. It’s another easy way to save lives."

In total, the Department of Buildings issued 168 violations related to screens in windows to date in 2014.


The Department of Buildings supports the safety and quality of life for the residents and visitors of the City of Chicago through enforcement of the Chicago Building Code. For more information, please visit our website at or follow us at and

The Chicago Department of Public Health (CDPH) works to make Chicago a safer and healthier place by working with community partners to promote health, prevent disease, reduce environmental hazards and ensure access to health care for all Chicagoans. Visit us at to learn more about how CDPH is transforming the health of our

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