What Is An Egress Window?

Basement Egress Window InstalledWhether a person is building a new home or simply completing a renovation project, they will likely come across terms they are unfamiliar with in the process. The person designing the renovations may ask the client if they are interested in installing an egress window or door. This can lead up to the enviable question: What is an egress window?

An egress window, in the simplest of explanations, is a window used as an emergency entrance or exit from your basement or lower portion of your home. It must be big enough for a person or a firefighter in full gear to fit through. The windows can only be called egress windows if they fit the local government’s codes that define them as such. These codes will differ from place to place. In Pennsylvania, if you are using your basement as a livable space you must provide some type of egress. Whether that be a sliding door or egress window.

The dimensions of these types of windows vary widely as well. They are found most often in basements, and usually have some sort of ladder built in nearby to provide for easy access to the ground level. In some cases where ladders are deemed inappropriate or less than useful, stairs may be substituted. This is often seen on homes or businesses where the property is sloped.

It is becoming much more common to see egress windows in both homes and businesses. Many building codes are now requiring structures with a basement floor to install these features, as safety is paramount and escape from a lower level may one day be necessary. The individual responsible for building or renovating their home must check with code enforcement regulations in their area to decide whether or not they are required to add such a safety feature into their home.

“What is an egress window?” is a question that many designers and contractors are used to hearing. These safety features are often required on most finished basements and businesses that have underground levels. Even if building codes do not require them, egress windows can be a smart decision for any homeowner or contractor.

There have been numerous cases in the past concerning legal issues and construction work on new homes and businesses, especially after a disaster or tragedy occurs. In cases where people are hurt, a judge may ask the designer or contractor why they did not feel that such safety features should be included in the structure. It is not uncommon for these legal cases to cause great trauma to the businesses responsible for that decision.

In order to prevent such difficulties from occurring to their firms, many construction companies and designers are insisting upon adding brilliant safety features, such as egress windows, into their blueprints regardless of any regulations that may or may not require them. These companies are not only considering their business, but also the health and safety of their clients. They understand that cutting corners may save a few dollars, but it is better to save a life.

Installing egress windows may not be much more expensive than adding a decorative window to a basement. These important design features allow for safety and peace of mind to the people using the structure. Performing a renovation to a basement or building a new home should incorporate these important windows to provide assurance to those dwelling within the walls.