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Egress Window Requirements

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Emergency Escape and Rescue Windows requirements

In one or two family dwellings, Section R310.1 of the International Residential Code requires basements, habitable attics and every sleeping room shall have at least one operable emergency escape and rescue opening.

Where basements contain one or more sleeping rooms, emergency egress and rescue openings shall be required in each sleeping room.

Egress/escape openings may be provided by a window or a door.

Egress/escape openings shall open directly into a public way, or to a yard or court that opens to a public way.

All emergency escape/rescue openings shall have a minimum net clear opening of 5.7 square feet, except grade floor openings shall have a minimum net clear opening of 5 square feet.

The sill height shall not be greater than 44" off the floor.

The minimum net clear opening height shall be 24" and the minimum net clear opening width shall be 20". The minimum net openings shall be obtained by the normal operation of the emergency escape and rescue opening from the inside.

Emergency escape/rescue opening shall be operational from the inside of the room without the use of keys, tools or special knowledge.

Please note: Any cut on a residential foundation requires signed and stamped structural engineer letter or drawing with current date in order to assure the structural integrity of the foundation.

Window egress


Minimum width/height requirements for emergency escape and rescue windows (inches)

Width Height
20.0 41.0
20.5 40.0
21.0 39.1
21.5 38.2
22.0 37.3
22.5 36.5
23.0 35.7
23.5 34.9
24.0 34.2
24.5 33.5
25.0 32.8
25.5 32.2
26.0 31.6
26.5 31.0
27.0 30.4
27.5 29.8
28.0 29.3
28.5 28.8
29.0 28.3
29.5 27.8
30.0 27.4
30.5 26.9
31.0 26.5
31.5 26.5
32.0 26.1
32.5 25.7
33.0 25.3
33.5 24.9
34.0 24.5
34.5 24.0