California Egress Windows – What You Need to Know

California Egress Windows – What You Need to Know

Updated: August 2020

In the event of fires, floods, and other disasters, espit windows can be used to escape. They offer a safe exit from a burning building, preserve your belongings, and prevent smoke damage by allowing fumes to pour into the night instead of blowing up your house.

The good news is that any window can be used as an exit if it is properly placed. Many homes don’t have the required windows, with homeowners unaware that they are breaking the law concrete lifting Most of the time, Basements are not approved for egress windows. Check the window specifications in the guest bedrooms and offices. If you want to change an area to a bedroom, you should make sure that there is room for a code compliant room. It is easy to make your basement bedroom fire safe.

What to Know About Egress Windows

Most people don’t know that they are required by law. There are very specific regulations about the construction of older homes that predate the law.

The International Residential Code states that the following must be in place.

A maximum sill height of 44 inches

The space between the window and the ground can be difficult to rescue. It needs to be reachable.

  • The minimum clear opening is 5 square feet for ground floors and 5.7 square feet for upper stories.
  • The space provided by the window is the opening. It needs to be large enough for firefighters to climb through it.

Residential egress laws in California have additional specifications:

Section 1029 of the 2010 California Building Code requires that the basement of a dwelling unit be used as a fire escape.

Every sleeping room below the fourth story must have a window or door that can be used for escape and rescue. The openings will open directly into a public way or into a yard that opens to a public way. The net clear openable area is not more than 5 square feet.

  • The net clear openable height needs to be at least 24 inches. The net clear openable width must be at least 20 inches in width.

Source: Building in California

You will need to follow a few other guidelines.

  • Every room should have at least one window that can be used as an exit.
  • The windows should open directly into the space. The fires can spread between the windows.
  • Windows needs tools to be operational. If you have bars or grates over your window, you need to be able to tear them off in an emergency without the use of a power drill.

Whether you are building a new home or just remodeling your second floor, you should consider this guide. Your family’s safety is worth it, even if it takes a little time and planning. Disaster is always better to be prepared.

The post is only for informational purposes You can contact the International Residential Code for more information.


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