Do you know what a basement egress window is? If not, you're not alone. In fact, most people don't even know that they need one in their homes. However, you will want to consider having at least one egress window installed. Here are a few things you need to know about these life-saving windows.
What Is A Basement Egress Window?
An egress window is a window that is specifically designed for emergency exits, typically from a home or office basement. This type of window allows you to easily escape in the event of a fire or other emergency. An egress window can be single-hung, double-hung, or casement — so long as it is operable, meets minimum width requirements, and offers a means of escape. An egress window is frequently located below grade and includes an exterior window well and stairs to make exiting easier.
Are Egress Windows Required?
Rules on egress windows in basements are changing throughout the United States. Older homes may not have egress windows, have egress windows that are considered too small for an adult to exit or a firefighter to enter, or worse, are made from hard-to-break glass blocks. As building codes change and upgrade, basement egress windows are included in the requirements for habitable rooms in the basement, such as bedrooms and offices by more and more municipalities in the United States.
If your area does not require egress windows or if you do not plan on finishing your basement, it is still wise to add an egress window during the construction process. Adding one is much less expensive as the foundation is being poured, as opposed to later when you have to excavate eight to ten feet of dirt and cut through the masonry wall to install a means of egress later.
Why Are Egress Windows So Important?
Egress windows are so important because they can literally be a matter of life and death. In the event of a fire, every second counts. Without an egress window, your only option is to go up the basement stairs and through the door. However, you could be trapped if the door is blocked by fire or smoke. An egress window offers another way out.
Basement egress windows can be very important. If you don't have one in your home and you want to remodel your basement for extra living space, contact a local remodeling contractor such as Cardinal Remodeling & Design, LLC to see about installing an egress window.