Egress windows are designed to be used when there is an emergency. For example, a fire occurs in the basement, you’d jump to the window as an emergency escape. Egress windows have been around for a long time, but it seems that 1987 seemed to be the turning point for more requirements on egress windows in basements. Essentially the window must be large enough for a person to be able to use as an exit or entry point to the home.
The International Residential Code 2006 Egress code requires egress windows to meet specifications for one and two family dwellings. According to the 2006 International Residential Code (IRC) requirements, egress windows are required if you are creating a bedroom or habitable space in the basement. The National Fire Protection Association conducted a 4-year study and concluded that an average of 130 people were killed in below-grade residential fires yearly. Having the concern over fire safety and homes, making the move to install egress windows has been a priority for many homeowners.
The codes for egress windows vary in each state, county, and city. It is best to call Peak Windows and we can find out what the requirements are for your home to ensure your home is update with the latest safety features. Older homes tend to have concerns with these basement window problems as they were not always required. The opening size of some old windows has been quite small for a number of homes. Attics and basement remodels starting bringing window safety to light as many homeowners did their own remodels and did not have legal inspections pass them. What happened is a dangerous firetrap in homes, causing important changes to be made and requirements to be met in the way windows are installed.
Homes must be able to meet the width, height and overall square-footage requirement of the basement egress window. If you have older windows to replace, updating them can require some additional egress work outside the home. Enlarging the height of the opening and the width can have some challenges, but it does give you a large, beautiful window to allow natural light into the home. Contact Peak Windows to discuss egress windows and make sure you are replacing those old windows with the correct ones.