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Thread: Egress window

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
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    Default Egress window

    I am building an addition onto my sons house. The codes official marked on the plans that I need an egress window in the bedroom. Can anyone tell me why I need an egress window for a second floor bedroom?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
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    Default Re: Egress window

    Quote Originally Posted by schreff13 View Post
    I am building an addition onto my sons house. The codes official marked on the plans that I need an egress window in the bedroom. Can anyone tell me why I need an egress window for a second floor bedroom?
    Egress windows are required as a second method of exiting the house in an emergency in case the primary method is blocked or has become unsafe. The actual wording allows a second door exiting the structure directly to count as secondary egress, but you usually have to get the inspector to re-read the book as secondary egress is almost always achieved via windows, not doors. (I found this as my current home does not have egressable windows, but the two bedroom doors allow direct exit to different ends of the house where the exterior doors get you out directly after that, which qualifies for more than one method of egress. I live in an old converted small office building which is essentially 3 boxes stuck end-to-end with the single bedroom in the middle. One end is office or storage only because the floorplan is too small to qualify it as a bedroom)

    On the second floor you still need the secondary means of egress even if no ladder or stair is provided as the firefighters will still be able to get people out that way. I can hardly envision where adding an egress window during construction would be an issue as most people like a window in their bedroom anyway. Without it you won't be allowed to use it as a bedroom and if you do that anyway, your house insurance will deny coverage in the event of any problems, plus doing that is illegal. Just add the window somewhere, it's cheap enough to do and will make everyone else happy!

    Phil

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Egress window

    one little add on to master's answer. an egress window has to have an opening of 9 sq ft. so you can't get away with a small awning window. it has to be 9 sq ft of space when the window is broken out or removed.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    Default Re: Egress window

    Quote Originally Posted by MLB Construction View Post
    one little add on to master's answer. an egress window has to have an opening of 9 sq ft. so you can't get away with a small awning window. it has to be 9 sq ft of space when the window is broken out or removed.
    In my opinion, an egress window is a must thing for every home. We cannot predict when a disaster arise at our home. Whether it is a burglar attack or a fire, we should be prepared to get ourselves out and save our life.

    Quoting the lines from http://www.familyhandyman.com/window...ndows/view-all

    According to the International Building Code, “Basements and sleeping rooms below the fourth story shall have at least one exterior emergency escape and rescue opening. Such opening shall open directly into a public street, alley, yard or court.” This “escape and rescue opening” can be a window, skylight or patio door, but it must meet certain criteria.
    This either can be a replacement window like http://www.clerawindows.com/windows/styles/casement or a fresh piece with custom design.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Maryland
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    Default Re: Egress window

    Window manufactures usually state if the window meets egress requirements. In addition to sf req. their is a min opening too. They call it egress, but the size and height is based on a firefighter and equipment being able to get it.
    It's been part of building codes since at least the '80's.

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Portland, Oregon, formerly of Chicago
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    Default Re: Egress window

    Given my choice of burning to death or jumping from a second story window, I'm jumping!

    Codes usually call for minimum heights off the floor. An egress window doesn't do much good if you can't get your body up to it! Window configuration has an effect on safety too. If the window shape forces me to go out head first, that is not my preferred position to be in when I hit the ground! I'd rather be dead than a quadraplegic!

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