Chicago Department of Buildings Reminds Residents Window Safeguards are Vital to Child Safety

April 15, 2019

Gregg Cunningham    312.744.7384 |


CHICAGO - With warmer temperatures in Chicago and summer coming soon, the Department of Buildings is reminding residential building owners, occupants and parents to install operable window guards on windows, limit window openings to 4 inches or less, and to secure window openings with proper screens. 

“Each year we see children killed or injured following a fall from a window.  These incidents can be avoided when building owners, landlords and occupants follow basic safety guidelines, especially in the spring and summer months when it is likely that windows will be open,” said Building Commissioner Judy Frydland. “Residents are encouraged to call 311 if they see windows that present a potential danger and a building inspector will be sent out.” 

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.

Basic steps parents and caretakers can take to help make sure children stay safe at home include:

  • Limit window openings to 4 inches or less.
  • Install operable window guards on windows.
  • Avoid the placement of furniture such as beds, dressers and cribs near windows to prevent children from climbing onto window sills.
  • Keep children away from open windows and doors when playing.


Building owners and landlords can also install building code-compliant devices that limit how far windows will open.

In total, the Department of Buildings issued 284 “missing screens” violations in 2018.


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