Frequently Asked Questions » Am I Required to Follow Current Egress Requirements with My Replacement Windows?
Am I Required to Follow Current Egress Requirements with My Replacement Windows?
Like many of the building regulations in California, egress (emergency escape and rescue) window requirements can be confusing. There are differing opinions amongst San Diego replacement window companies as to when and how current standards should be evaluated and applied.
Egress windows are required by the California Building Code to be in any sleeping room in your home, and as a contractor that is licensed with the California State License Board (CSLB), we are required to follow current codes. However, there is a caveat to this code: if your home was built before egress codes were put in place, you can replace the window with one of the same size without having to conform to the California Building Code’s current requirements for egress windows. That said, for safety purposes, you may want to bring your home up to current code standards by replacing the windows in your bedrooms with ones that meet the egress code.
In case you’re wondering what we’re talking about, let’s back up and give you a definition of an egress window. An egress window is one that is large enough to be used as an exit in case of emergency. They must be able to be opened easily from the inside and not be blocked by bars, grilles, or grates.
The code that addresses egress windows is CBC, Title 24, Part 9, Section 1030.7, which states:
“Emergency Escape Opening Required – emergency escape openings shall be maintained in accordance with the code in effect at the time of construction. Required emergency escape and rescue openings shall be operational from the inside of the room without the use of keys and tools. Bars, grilles, grates or similar devices are allowed to be placed over emergency escape and rescue openings provided the minimum net clear opening size complies with the code that was in effect at the time of construction and such devices shall be releasable or removable from the inside without the use of a key, tool or force greater than that which is required for normal operation of the escape and rescue opening.”
We are happy to answer your questions about egress windows or replace your current windows with ones that meet the California Building Code for emergency escape openings. Contact us at BM Windows to schedule an appointment or to get your initial questions answered.
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