Egress Windows and What To Know About Them

Egress Windows by FAKRO

Egress Windows / Basement Windows:

The egress window is classified as a major component to secure your family’s safety. That’s why egress windows are in huge demand these days to build among homeowners their new homes. 

Many homeowners are also renovating their windows to install egress windows for their safety. If you don’t have an egress window in your home then you’re keeping the life of your family members in danger. 

Each year due to residential fire more than 2500 people died and more than 12000 gets injured. Every day around 7-8 members dies in house fires. It is mandatory to build an egress window that will help your family members during emergencies.

Egress Windows by FAKRO
Egress Windows by FAKRO

Egress Windows: Best Choice of Roof Windows in America

Let’s have look at what is an egress window is?

These windows are usually built in some specific places in your house to help you to get rescued in an emergency. Just like modern fire alarms and fire-rated attic ladders, egress windows are a necessary component in a home for domestic safety. 

Egress windows are usually built in places like the basement or any room where one could sleep. 

When you build egress windows on upper levels, they attached with attic or roof ladders for swift, secure access. With the help of roof ladders, you can easily get access to your roof whenever you needed. 

Where you should install the egress window?

For safety, you should install it in every room, including all the home floors, attics, and basements with a habitable distance. If you have constructed a new home then an egress window should be installed in every room including attics and basements. When you will install an egress window in an attic then always have a roof ladder for easy and quick access.  

The same regulations can also apply to existing homes. In modern home safety regulations, Egress window with attic ladders will be one of the best investments one can make. 

The necessity of special kinds of windows:

The egress window only has opening and minimum size requirements. Casement windows (which have hinged sashes) can also meet up with the requirements of egress windows except for size. Casement windows are relatively smaller in size than the size of egress windows. Casement windows are clear of opening and can swing free. 

Minimum size for egress windows:

Egress windows have universal guidelines. For these guidelines, you have to check with your local city office for your local requirements. Although, there are four common residential specifications your window will have to meet to be considered as an egress window. They are:

  1. 20 inches minimum width of the opening
  2. 24 inches minimum height of the opening
  3. 5.7 square feet (5 square feet for ground floors) minimum net clear opening
  4. 44 inches maximum sill height above the floor

The height of the net clear opening of the egress window is at least 5-5.7 square feet high which signifies the clear and free space when open the window. The actual size of an egress window’s opening is the person can crawl through- not the rough opening sides of the glass panel.

Egress windows should not be operated with keys or any kinds of tools or locks. They can be open from the inside without any locking system. You can also install grills, bars, or grates over your egress window. These coverings should not interfere with your windows. 

Egress window in attics and basements:

Egress windows in basements have some special requirements including the height, width, and square footage. The egress window should be opened and provide around 9 feet of floor area. Height should be extended to 36 inches in length and breadth from the floor. 

The basement egress window should have a permanent roof ladder or steps to climb out from the window well. When there is a difference of 44 inches between the land and window then only a ladder should be installed. If you have a roof ladder installed with an egress window then it greatly improves safety. 

In the basement egress window, ladders should not be less than 12 inches wide and 3 inches high. Ladders should not be more than 6 inches from the window. Egress windows build underneath the ground should be 48 inches deep

Egress windows not only help you to get out in an emergency but also help firefighters or emergency workers to get in easily and safely. Like attic ladders, egress windows enable emergency exits to you in emergency situations. 

Installing egress windows on upper floors with roof ladders, or in basements with ladders makes your family safer. 

Extra challenges for basements:

Except height, length, breadth, and overall square-footage requirements, some major and extra requirements are also there for an egress window in the basement. These are: 

  • Keep the egress window opening fully opened.
  • Keep 9 ft of floor distance.
  • The egress window should be 36 inches in length and breadth,
  • Should also have an affixed ladder of 44 inches.
  • The ladder should be 3 in. high and 12 in. wide. 

If you have built an egress window underground then it should be 36 in. between the top of the window and bottom of the deck. 

FAQ’s based on the egress and basement windows:

Is it necessary to install an egress window in an older home?

As you know nowadays egress windows are very essential so you must install it in your old homes too. The code requirements will let your loved ones stay safe at home. 

When we have to replace the egress window?

The egress window show similar signs of aging, wear and tear just like the other windows. If your windows become drafty, or condensation has built up between the panes then it is time to replace your egress windows before there would be an increase in your energy bills or you may have to suffer from other issues.

How much time does it take to install an egress window?

The process could be completed in one day if you hire an installation company. Many people think it’s a long time process but it’s a relatively fast process.  

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