Building and Installing Easily Removable Window Fall Restraints
By Larry Walton
Photos by Mark Walton
“Did you leave the windows open upstairs?” asked the bride of my youth.
“Yes,” I said cautiously.
“Don’t you think Sunny (our dog) will jump out?”
“No, she seems happy to me,”
“That’s not what I mean. I’m afraid she might see a squirrel and . . .”
End of conversation. Time to make some window guards to keep Sunny safe from our window-dive-inducing squirrels.
Parameters: small enough grid to keep the dog safe; large enough openings to provide maximum visibility; strong enough to withstand pressure from the inside; easily removable for emergency escape route.
I considered breaking out the welder but then I spotted a fence with some mesh while on our dog walk (that’s an outing where the dog sniffs and pees on everything, and I hear every detail about my wife’s accounting project from hell). Anyway, I saw this fence and it made me wonder if they used concrete-reinforcing wire mesh.
Next thing I knew, I had some in the garage for the “Save Sunny” Project. Here’s what I did with it:
Step by Step
After measuring to overlap the width of the windows by a couple of inches, I cut the wire grids to width and height (about the top of the opening) with bolt cutters.
I left a vertical set of wires along the bottom about one inch long to act as dowels into the window stool.
I used an angle grinder to take the sharp points off the cuts left by the bolt cutters.
I used Prolong’s SPL100 to remove the rust followed by Brakleen to remove the penetrating oil residue to prepare for paint.
Rust on the mild steel concrete-reinforcing wire was just on the surface and wiped off easily.
I used spray paint to color the wire. As you can see, more paint got on the newspaper than the steel!