Our home is where we live our lives, most of the time. This is where we spend memorable moments with our family and sometimes friends. There is no place like home; nothing better, sweeter, or safer. Yet, despite that overwhelming feeling of safety that one derives from being at home, statistics show that there is an equally overwhelming amount of people who are killed in their own homes which they believed was the safest place on Earth. Most of these deaths come from fire hazards, criminal offenders, natural disasters, and other negative elements. We have lots of ways to safeguard and improve the safety in our homes, one of which is by the employment of egress windows.
What are egress windows? Basically, an egress window is a large utility window, for emergency entry or exit purposes. Egress windows are required all through out the country, as required by the International Residential code (or IRC), saying that egress windows should roughly have a minimum opening width of 20 meters, a minimum opening height of 40 meters, a minimum net clearing of 5.7 square feet, and a maximum sill height of 44 inches. Egress windows are required in bedrooms, basement, and other spaces as mandated by that said code. All new houses built after the promulgation of the IRC are, in fact, required to have basement egress windows.
The compliance with the IRC, apart from making one a good law-abiding citizen, is insurance against possible hazards that may threaten to harm the family inside the home with egress windows. What exactly are these hazards and how does this window help against counter-balancing their effects? In cases of fire, egress windows become an emergency exit for families trapped inside. Since an egress window is located in the basement or in the bedroom, residents have two escape routes in case a fire engulfs their homes and threatens to kill them in the process. Apart from being an emergency exit, the egress windows can be an emergency entrance for firemen who would rescue people from inside if they happen to have fallen unconscious because of the smoke.
Also, the egress window is an effective escape route in relation to unwanted intrusions from unlawful elements such as robbers, thieves, rapists, and arsonists, among other examples. The egress windows provide a clever way to evade these unlawful characters, and the choice redounds to the wise judgment of the people running away as there are two possible exits that may be used according to availability against unwanted interference from said criminal elements.
Indeed, it is a sad thing to wonder about the what-if’s. especially when there could have been something done about it. The egress window system is a viable solution to one of those what-if problems. What if you make sure you have your egress windows now?