If you are building a new home or remodeling an existing home make sure you know the current building codes or hire someone who does (wink, wink).
Often times, we don’t plan for emergencies because we think “That will never happen to me.” The problem is that sometimes emergencies do happen, and unfortunately, they happen to us or someone we know and care about.
I sincerely hope that none of our customers reading this blog have to deal with a catastrophic emergency such as a fire. However, those that have had to deal with such an event were thankful for the development of egress windows and for the building and safety codes they require.
Egress code requires that a bedroom has an adequate exit in case of an emergent situation. They allow entry for firefighters in the event the main exit becomes blocked either by the flames themselves or a fallen structure. In the case of a below-grade or basement level fire egress windows are an excellent alternative escape route.
Per building and safety codes egress windows must be easy to operate. In fact, a person with no training or prior knowledge of how to operate them should be able to do so easily. To meet local egress requireme nts a window must be a maximum of 44 inches from the floor with an opening minimum width of 20 inches, and a minimum height of 24 inches. It is extremely important to note that the overall opening for an egress window is required to be 5.7 square feet.
Egress windows are required in certain areas to protect you and your loved ones in the event of an emergency. However, there are other benefits to having egress windows, particularly in basements. Egress windows can literally brighten your day by adding more natural light to your basement. They also hold their value, and more often than not you can recoup your costs at resale.