When Did Egress Windows Become Mandatory?

  • By: Promise
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Similarly, an egress window has been available for quite some time. Many people know about it, while several more people still wonder about the mystery of what it is and how well it can make their lives better.

The idea behind the creation of egress windows revolves around having a safe zone away from danger. A danger, particularly a fire hazard or any form of threat to life and properties.

Can I get in as a firefighter? Or can I have myself free access to flee from danger? These questions are notable requirements of how needed is an egress window in a basement.

So, when did egress windows become mandatory? As part of the international residential code (IRC), egress windows became mandated in 1997 to keep the citizens safe from danger and to have a have way out during an emergency and a way in for help.

What is an Egress Window?

According to the oxford dictionary, “Egress” means “An exit or a way out”. An egress window is a type of window mainly in a basement that allows a faster way in and out of a building. If it is a taller house, it can have a ladder that leads faster to the ground or steps for easy climbing.

We can regard it as a window large enough to allow free access for inhabitants during emergencies, be it a fire hazard or other life-threatening situations.

An egress window isn’t the main entrance or the main exit point. It is a secondary “Go to the area” when danger comes peeping into our house.

Aside from emergencies being a major reason for having an egress window, it can also give life to your living rooms, giving it extra light, extra nature air, and an extra view.

Are Egress Windows Mandatory?

In every home where we have inhabitants, we must have egress windows in living rooms. It means you need a window large enough to give you a free passage in any chances for escape, be it a fire hazard, flooding, or other life-threatening emergencies.

Following the law of the independent residual Code (IRC), every living room (places where you sleep, work and do more of your work) must contain at least a wide opening for escape if any emergencies show up.

This isn’t to categorize individuals as bearing evil thoughts of situations that are likely to happen, it is just a protocol that needs to be followed.

Whether you think something strange that requires you to flee for your life will happen or if all the days of your life will be danger-free.

Regardless, according to the IRC, you need something that guarantees your exit. Something easy to open from the inner room without stress and someone from outside can open without having to break a sweat.

The enticing part of having an egress window is that we have choices and styles to which type fits our apartments. It doesn’t have to be something that looks so weird and disfigures the entire beauty of the apartment. Just something that guarantees your safety.

So, the question now is, what are the requirements for egress windows? Since it is mandatory to install an egress window in your house, what are the requirements you need to follow while doing it?

When Did Egress Windows Become Mandatory?

Way back to the 90s down to this present day, they have made egress windows a necessity for every apartment. If you have your apartment without this large-looking escape route, it means you are not up to date with the INTERNATIONAL RESIDENTIAL CODE (IRC).

According to the IRC, dimensions and mandated sizes to follow when building an egress window are:

  • Minimum width of clear opening: 20inchs
  • A minimum height of clear opening: 24inchs
  • A minimum net clear opening: 5.7sq.ft or 5.0sq.ft for ground windows
  • Maximum sill height above floor level: 44inchs

Since having an egress window is mandatory, the question you should ask is, How Many Egress Windows are Required in a Basement? You need to know how many egress windows you need to install in your home to avoid overdoing it.

Benefits of Egress Windows

I know you are very much conversant with the “escape plan” benefit of an egress window to a house inhabitant but aside from just escaping dangers and having a safer and comfortable route away from danger, some other benefits still linger around having an “Egress window”. They include:

1. A ventilated Apartment

You must agree with me that nothing is worth more than having direct air from mother nature. It is more refreshing when we can sleep, work or do major tasks and have the heavens support with good ventilation.

We link peace to good ventilation conditions. Having an egress window assures you an overload of peace coming to you in form of ventilation that keeps your room cool and your body system active.

2. A Lightened Apartment

Darkness sometimes can fill some parts of our apartment but with an egress window, a constant natural light always finds its way into our apartment.

Every good apartment needs enough illumination to lighten the area. Having an egress window assures you an avalanche of illumination directly into your basement.

3. The Fastest Route Away from Danger

Because we try not to mention the safety part of the egress window, it still serves as the primary reason and shouldn’t be neglected.

Having an egress window gives you an option during emergencies.

Maybe a fire hazard or a flooding issue and you need an escape route that isn’t the door; an egress window fits into that category. It ensures you have a way of escaping yourself away from danger.

Can You Sell a House Without Egress Window?

Not having an egress window can’t hold you from selling a house. As widely used as the egress window is and how much important it is to an apartment, a lot of citizens don’t know about it. It won’t be easy to ask for something you know nothing about.

A lot of houses have been sold without an egress window and it doesn’t stop you from selling or purchasing a house.

A good real estate agent with negotiation skills can sell any home without an egress window.

As a seller, it is most likely you feel due to how safe it is to have an egress window to home, spend some extra funds to get something fixed before you sell, but it doesn’t need to be so hard to sell.

A good real estate agent with excellent negotiation skills can sell a cup of water to a drowning man. You can sell a house without an egress window.

However, that doesn’t mean you can neglect it and do it. If you can be able to install the window before selling the house, please do.

This is because, if the person who wants the house noticed that there is no egress window since it is mandatory already, the person may ask that the price be reduced so he or she can be able to install the window by himself later on.

So, while it may not stop you from selling the house, it can affect the actual amount the house would have been sold in the first place.

Final Thoughts

Choosing to be ignorant about this safety house factor can be dangerous. It might not interest you to have good ventilation. Maybe you have other gadgets that supply your air or you have light rays in every corner of your room, but aside from these secondary factors, having an egress window gives you hope of a safe passage during emergencies.

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