Giving Your Home a Fire Safety Check

By Robert "Rabbett" Abbett Posted in: ImproveTips

I’ve been consulting with and selling windows to homeowners and contractors for 20 years now. I cannot believe how confused people are about the Fire Egress Code for bedrooms. I can’t tell you how many homes and town homes I drive by where windows have been changed and I just know that the bedroom windows do not meet the size requirements to meet the Fire Egress Code.

So what’s all the fuss about?

Making sure that the bedroom windows in your home meet the Fire Egress Code could very well save your life! In order to qualify to be an Egress Window, any window, no matter what type it is, must meet the following requirements:

Minimum Size. Emergency escape and rescue openings shall have a minimum net clear opening of 5.7 square feet (0.53 square meters). Exception: The minimum net clear opening for emergency escape and rescue grade-floor openings shall be 5 square feet (0.46 square meters).

Minimum dimensions. The minimum net clear opening height dimension shall be 24 inches (610 millimeters). The minimum net clear opening width dimension shall be 20 inches (508 millimeters). The net clear opening dimensions shall be the result of normal operation of the opening.

Real world example

That means that the guy who put 36-inch-tall single hungs in your bedrooms gave you less than the 24-inch minimum open height. When I add up the sill, sash overlap and header measurements of a typical vinyl single hung, the math looks like this:

• First, subtract 6.25 inches (for the frame) from the 36-inch height, then divide by 2. The total will equal 14.86 inches of openable height — almost 10 inches too short to meet the Fire Egress requirements.

Still confused? Need some help with this? Call me! — anytime at 483-0100.

At CCI, we pride ourselves on our routine attention to your safety. We were the very first window company to develop a City & County approved swing out, Aluminum Awning Fire Egress window. We make sure that every bedroom we replace windows in meets the Fire Egress Code whether that window is a slider, casement, awning, double hung or single hung.

ADDRESS: 99-840 IWAIWA ST., #2
CONTACT: 483-0100

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