29 Jan What Egress means for your home’s safety
What Egress means for your home’s safety
Property owners have a responsibility to make sure their properties follow all safety codes. One important safety requirement is to have the proper exit points throughout the property. In building code, a means of egress is a way to exit a property. Having the appropriate number of egress points can help save lives in a fire or other emergency.
The code stipulates that bedrooms must have at least two ways of egress in case of emergency. While egress could be a door opening to a different room or to the outside, it is most commonly a window. The egress window must feature a clear opening that must meet all the following criteria:
- Minimum net clear opening width dimension shall be 20 inches
- Minimum net clear opening height dimension shall be 24 inches
- Minimum net clear opening of 5.0 square feet at grade floor and 5.7 square feet otherwise
Window sill height should be 38″ min. and 42″ max.
It is very important to consider the style of the window. For example, a single hung window which is 37 inches wide by 50 5/8 inches tall (clear opening 18.5” wide and 25” high) does NOT pass egress. However, a casement window of the same dimensions does pass egress.
Does your house have emergency egress? Older homes may not have egress windows. A means of egress is sometimes overlooked during remodels — for example, converting a space to a bedroom that was not initially planned for that use. If you have a room that does not meet the minimum egress requirements, there are many reasons to correct the problem, the most important being providing a way to exit a house safely in an emergency.
Adding egress windows in required rooms will allow your house to pass inspection should you decide to sell it and will add value to the home as well. Sometimes, adding or replacing windows can become a major project, and it must be done correctly to avoid air leakage and drainage problems later.
If you need to install egress windows, contact Aruba Permit Services partnered with Aruba Construction & Roofing, Inc. We are familiar with the building code and will take the time to properly install energy efficient windows that meet egress requirements!