Exit windows must be a certain minimum size to allow occupants to exit and firefighters to enter.
There are generally three main types of window that can be sized and used as exit windows: casement windows, sliding or sliding windows, and double hanging windows. Sometimes a skylight is also suitable for use as an exit window. Awning windows are generally not used as exit windows because their openings are often very small and the hardware to open the window is often centered on the window opening, making it difficult to have a clear space to climb.
Every livable room should have a way for people to get outside in the event of a fire or other disaster, which can be provided by an exit window.
For any window to be considered an output window, it must meet certain size requirements. Size requirements are set out in the International Building Code (IBC), a set of standards often used by design and construction professionals. According to the IBC, all above-ground egress windows must have the following measurements: the height of the sill must be 44 inches (1.1 meters) or less above the floor; the opening must be at least 5.7 square feet (0.56 square meters), unless the window is on the ground floor, then it can be 5 square feet (0.46 square meters); and the minimum opening must be at least 24 inches (0.6 meters) high and at least 20 inches (0.5 meters) wide. An output window must also be able to be opened without using a special tool or key.
Double drop-down windows are considered a type of exit window.
Basement egress windows typically need to have a window pit footprint that measures a minimum of 9 square feet (0.83 square meters). The pit footprint also needs to measure at least 36 by 36 inches (0.91 by 0.91 meters). Depending on the depth of the window, a permanent ladder under the window may also be needed inside the basement. Basement windows that are under decks or porches must also open at least 36 inches (0.91 meters) below the bottom of the deck or porch construction for easy egress.
The casement windows are hinged.
A typical exit window installed in a basement is a casement window or sliding window. Double-hung window is often impractical as a basement exit window due to building restrictions in most basement spaces. A casement window works well as a basement exit window because it is hinged. Practically, this means that the sashes do not need to have as wide an opening as a sliding window. Sliding windows, however, can provide good natural light and good air circulation in a basement.
Having properly sized exit windows is one way to make your home safer in the event of a fire or other emergency. In older homes, windows may not be adequately sized to be considered exit windows under applicable building codes. If a homeowner decides to renovate or replace windows, especially in bedrooms or the basement, he must make sure that at least one of the replacement windows in each room meets the requirements for an exit window.