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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012

    Default Emergency Exit Open Spaces in Basement

    I live in a Brooklyn, NY brownstone and I have two emergency exits in my basement...one is the exit towards the front of the house and is covered from the outside by a metal shed and is the size of a regular doorway. The other is the exit towards the backyard and is also covered by a metal shed but is a square half the size of a regular door opening. There's nothing covering these openings from the inside and it's easy for bugs to get into the basement and it's not very economical as far as heating is concerned. What can I install to cover the openings and still keep the emergency exit?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Pacific Northwet

    Default Re: Emergency Exit Open Spaces in Basement

    For the larger one, you may be able to install a prehung exterior door with weatherstripping. Not sure on the smaller opening.
    The "Senior Member" designation under my name doesn't mean I know a lot, it just means I talk a lot.I've been a DIYer since I was 12 (thanks, Dad!). I have read several books on various home improvement topics. I do not have any current code books I can refer to. I was an apprentice plumber for two years.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Northern Virginia

    Default Re: Emergency Exit Open Spaces in Basement

    If this is a code-mandated and regulated situation, where the fire marshall is involved and lives are at stake, then any door will have to be outward-opening and have panic hardware.
    Remove not the ancient landmark, which your fathers have set.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2010

    Default Re: Emergency Exit Open Spaces in Basement

    Emergency escape exits cannot be blocked, or they become useless in time of emergency. I hope there's enough clearance between the openings and the metal sheds.

    You can install doors, even fabricate a custom door for the small exit, but they must be approved by the FD, so you don't become just another statistics. Check with your neighbors and see what they use in their emergency exists.

    These doors will help you cut on heat loss, but bugs? they will still find a way in, no matter what...

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