Egress windows are windows that can be used to escape your home during an emergency. Egress windows are required in specific locations throughout your home. Generally, codes require that an egress window should be in place in every room where people sleep. However, an egress window is not necessarily a distinct kind of window. Egress windows are usually normal casement, sliding, and double-hung windows. The only specifications are that they are a minimum size to allow people to use them as an emergency exit.
The word “egress” is derived from the Latin word “egressus,” which means to go out or to exit. Egress windows are designed to be safe, convenient exits for emergencies like fires, home intrusions, or even sudden medical situations. Usually, newly constructed homes need to have an egress window in every bedroom and the basement. These windows serve as an escape option in case routine exits are unreachable or unsafe. Since egress windows need to be a minimum size, they can be in most styles and shapes.
Usually, egress windows must have 5.7 square feet of net clear opening area unless they are at-grade floor or below grade. In either case, the minimum becomes five feet. They also require 24 inches of net clear height opening and 20 inches of net clear width opening. If windows are used to meet egress regulations, rather than doors, the windowsill’s height cannot be more than 44 inches above your finished floor.