Home Inspections OKC: Explaining Egress Windows
When our home inspections OKC team is out looking at potential problems in a home one of the items on our checklist is whether there are “proper” windows. When we say proper we mean windows that follow today’s regulation codes.
If your home is older, then you may not realize that your windows do not meet the current safety standards. Even some newer homes may not be up to par with the code.
Our home inspections OKC team doesn’t check the windows to be bothersome, but instead to ensure safety. The fact is that egress windows are a requirement for homes that are now being built and, perhaps, should be considered for installment in older homes for safety reasons.
What does “egress” mean?
The word egress is Latin. It’s defined as “a way to get out of a place or the act of leaving a place”.
Egress windows are meant for emergency exiting or rescue. While completing our home inspections OKC checklist, we often see windows that not even a normal sized child could squeeze out of. You might be surprised just how many people don’t have an emergency exit plan from their bedrooms, or a way to exit from their bedrooms safely in case of a fire.
By today’s standards every residential sleeping room is required to have at least one operable window or exterior door approved for emergency exit in case of a fire. The egress windows are also required in basements with habitable space. Even if you have a basement without sleeping space, it would still be safe to have one installed. I would like to share with you from a home inspections OKC perspective more about egress windows; how they measure, why they’re beneficial and how they should function.
1.) The minimum net clear opening height must be 24 inches and the minimum net clear opening width must be 20 inches. An egress window must also have a sill height no more than 44” above the finished interior floor. It has to be large enough for you to get out of or a fully dressed fire fighter to get into!
2.) Not only are they meant for safety, but egress windows are economical, because they are adding value to your home. They may also be more energy efficient than your current windows which could be allowing drafts of air in.
3.) The egress window must be operable from the inside to a full clear opening without the use of a key, tool, or special knowledge.
Any way you choose to look at it, egress windows are essential lifesaving equipment.
Final thoughts from our home inspections OKC team:
If you’re replacing a smaller window with a larger one that meets egress requirements, keep in mind that enlarging the height of the opening takes less structural work than enlarging the width.
If you’re in need of a home inspection, feel free to give our home inspections OKC team a call. Sharp Shooter Inspection Service & Pest Control LLC can be reached at 405-538-6007.