Granddaughter’s birth spurs window expert to invent safety device
The owner of a highly rated home improvement company started thinking about window safety when he became a grandpa.
Mitch Kersch, owner of Major Home Corps in Oakland Gardens, N.Y., installs thousands of windows a year, and he worried about the risk of children falling from windows or wandering through patio doors.
Kersch researched online and found statistics published in the journal “Pediatrics” showing that 5,000 children fall from windows each year. He didn’t want his granddaughter Lytal, now almost one-year-old, to become one of those statistics.
“So I put my mind to it and figured out how to come up with an invention that could stop children from falling out of windows or wandering out of the house,” he says.
Kersch invented Forever Safe ‘N’ Sound, a portable lock with a built-in alarm. The device attaches to a window or sliding-glass door with a suction cup, so if the window or door starts to slide open, it bumps against the lock and sounds an alarm.
The portability allows consumers to take the alarm with them when they go on vacation, or when their child spends the night at grandma and grandpa’s house.
Kersch worked alongside his 20-year-old son to build the portable lock, which he priced at $29.95.
“We’d built things like furniture and desks together before, but nothing to this extent,” says Aaron Kersch, a student majoring in air traffic management at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Fla. “It was a really valuable experience. I learned a lot from him.”
Mitch Kersch started the process by ordering about 20 safety locks and security devices to inspect products already available. He found most devices used screws to anchor the locks onto windows or frames.
“Obviously, not everyone’s handy, so they were very difficult to use,” he says. “And once you screw them into a window or door, you void the warranty. I wanted something that was simple to put on and take off, and that wouldn’t void the warranty.”
He decided to use a high-powered suction cup and inspected about 15 different suction cups from around the world before picking the right one for his product. Mitch and Aaron spent three months designing the device, which went through a number of changes between prototype and final product. For example, he tweaked the suction cup’s pull-tab to make it easier for adults to remove. “The whole process was frustrating, but worth it,” he says.
Kersch started selling the portable locks in July. So far, he’s sold about 500.