Basement Egress Windows

Bennett can help you determine if and egress window is the right choice for your home and family’s safety.

What is an Egress Window?

The International Building Code (IRC) requires basements and sleeping rooms below the fourth story of a home to have at least one “emergency escape and rescue opening.” This might be a skylight, patio door or window, but it must be big enough for you to escape through and for emergency workers to enter through.

How Does an Egress Window Differ from a Basement Window?

Not all basement windows are egress windows. For instance, if you have an unfinished basement, it may have ventilation windows. These probably wouldn’t meet the code for egress windows.

However, if your basement has habitable, finished rooms, building codes require it to have egress windows, or other means of egress (patio door, etc.). And every basement bedroom, whether existing or added, is required by code to have an egress window.  Basement egress openings have stricter standards than egress areas in the rest of the house.

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