June 8, 2015

The City of Chicago Reminds Residents Window Safeguards are Vital to Child Safety

Building Code Requires Every Door Opening and Window to Have Screens in Place

Mimi Simon | Department of Buildings    
312.744.7384 mimi.simon@cityofchicago.org

June 3, 2015

To protect the safety of Chicago residents, primarily children during the warm summer months, the Department of Buildings and the Chicago 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, and to secure door openings with proper screens.

“It is critical for building owners to install and maintain code-compliant screens and window guards in good condition during these warmer months when it is likely that windows will be open,” 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.”

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

“Parents are encouraged to take these basic precautions to ensure their children stay healthy and safe at home,” said Department of Public Health Commissioner Julie Morita, 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 addition, 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. Screens prevent mosquitos and other pests from entering homes.

In total, the Department of Buildings issued 1,526 violations for window-related violations in 2014.

For more information, please visit www.childwindowsafety.com.


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 http://www.cityofchicago.org/city/en/depts/bldgs.html or follow us at twitter.com/@chicagoDOB and www.facebook.com/Chicago-Department-of-Buildings.

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 www.cityofchicago.org/health to learn more about how CDPH is transforming the health of our city.

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