Several factors, including local ordinances and the ages and abilities of the members of the household, will affect the decision to choose a particular type of security bar release mechanism.
In addition to using release-type bars and smoke detectors, David Gregor, a field training officer for the Hawthorne Police Department, advises homeowners to have regular drills.
"Make sure you can open the release mechanism. Make sure your kids and the baby-sitter can too," he said. "Have a meeting place outside and teach your family what to do during a fire."
Security bars for a 4-by-4-foot bedroom window will cost about $100, with a foot release adding $125 to $150 and a hand release $50 to $75, including installation, according to Maria Becerra, owner of Los Alamitos Iron in Gardena.