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Security Bars

Security bars can stop crime AND your escape from a fire

Many people have installed security bars on windows and doors in an effort to stop intruders from entering.  Too often these devices are installed without consideration of fire safety.  The bars designed for protection can also prevent escape from the toxic fumes of smoke and the heat of fire.

Security BarsSerious incidents have occurred where people have been trapped in their homes and died in fires because the security bars were permanently fixed or did not have quick release devices. Increasing a home's security from criminals does not have to mean decreasing a family member’s ability to escape from a fire.

Windows and doors with security bars should have quick-release devices to allow them to be opened immediately in an emergency.

  • Quick-release devices for security bars allow the bars open by pulling a lever, pushing a button, stepping on a pedal or kicking in a lever on the floor.
  • If the security bars in your home are permanently fixed or do not have quick release devices, they should be replaced or retrofitted with release devices

Everyone should know and practice fire escape plans at least twice a year.

  • Practicing a home escape plan provides an opportunity to identify and correct obstructions of windows and doors needed for escape from a deadly fire.
  • Windows should open easily and be wide enough to allow escape, and locked or barred doors should operate quickly and easily.
  • Everyone in the the family should understand and practice how to properly operate locked and barred windows and doors.

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Last Modified:   July 26, 2006

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