Laws and regulations are in place to improve safety and security for homeowners. Your smoke detectors, for example, have a job to do to keep you safe. They alert you to a fire, but you still need to get out. The stairs might be blocked or hallways damaged. Egress windows give you an exit and could save your life in case of an emergency. But to do so, they have to meet the standards and requirements outlined in the building codes for the area. These can be stringent, so here is some information you need to know if you plan to keep your home safe.
What is an Egress Window?
Not all windows are egress windows. By definition, an egress window is one large enough for entry or exit in a case of emergency. It should open easily and exit to a yard, alley, or street. It must meet specific size requirements established by local building codes and is often required in certain locations in a dwelling below the fourth story. You will need to put at least one egress window in every bedroom on every floor of your home and in the basement.
Measurements for Egress Windows
While it can vary from city to city, the International Building Code (IRC) says egress windows must be operable from the inside without keys, tools, or special knowledge. Any bars, grates, and grills must operate without tools. They must also:
Basement egress windows have slightly different requirements. They must:
Typically, egress windows styles include casement, single-hung, double-hung, and horizontal sliders. Most awning and transom windows do not meet the size requirements. That is often why standard basement windows need to be upgraded if you convert any of the rooms into a bedroom. This can require concrete cutting to the proper opening size. You will want a professional window contractor to help you get the job done right the first time.
All these facts and numbers can be daunting, but selecting a proper sized egress window could be the difference between life and death in an emergency. The bad news is, some older homes and unfinished basements are not equipped with egress windows to meet the modern codes. Even some modern homes with rooms that were once offices and living rooms, but were converted into bedrooms might not meet requirements. You need to talk with window professionals to make sure your egress window units meet the standards.
Call Scientific Home Services Ltd. for help in choosing the right egress windows in Highland Park, IL. We provide a high level of product knowledge and a commitment to excellent service. Call (847) 752-0370 or stop by 7240 Saint Louis Ave., Skokie, IL 60076.