Egress Code

If you have been considering a remodel of your existing basement or are building a new building with a basement you should be aware of your local building codes egress requirements.

Many municipalities are now requiring proper emergency exit from the basement and proper emergency entry by firemen and other rescue workers in the event of a basement fire. So not only will your new LightWell™ Window System beautify your home by allowing natural light into your basement, it will also provide an excellent way to meet your local basement egress window requirements!

View/Download/Print Section R310 of the IRC code relating to Egress requirements or see below:

Code Compliant

Section R310

Emergency Escape and Rescue Openings

R 310. 1. Emergency escape and rescue required. Basements with habitable space and every sleeping room shall have at least one openable emergency escape and rescue window or exterior door opening for emergency escape and rescue. Where openings are provided as a means of  escape and rescue they shall have sill height of not more than 44 inches (1118 mm) above the floor. Where a door opening having a threshold below the adjacent ground elevation serves as an emergency escape and rescue opening and is provided with a bulkhead enclosure, the bulkhead enclosure shall comply with Section R310 3. The net clear opening dimensions required by this section shall be obtained by the normal  operation of the window or door opening from the inside. Escape and rescue window opening with a finished sill height below the adjacent  ground elevation shall be provided with a window well in accordance with Section R 310 2.

R310. 1.1 Minimum opening area. All emergency escape and rescue openings shall have a minimum net clear opening of 5.7 square feet (0.530m²).

Exception: Grade floor openings shall have a minimum net clear opening of 5 square feet (0.465 m²).

R310. 1.2 Minimum opening height. The minimum net clear opening height shall be 24 inches (610mm).

R310. 1.3 Minimum opening width. The minimum net clear opening width shall be 20 inches (508 mm).

R310 1.4 Operational constraints. Emergency escape and rescue openings shall be operational from the inside of the room without the use of keys or tools.

R310. 2. Window wells. Window wells require for emergency escape and rescue shall have horizontal dimensions that all the door or window of the emergency escape and rescue opening to be fully opened. The horizontal dimensions of the window well shall provide a minimum net clear area of 9 square feet (0.84 m²) with a minimum horizontal projection and width of 36 inches (914 mm).

Exception: The ladder or steps required by Section R 310 2.1 shall be permitted to encroach a maximum of 6 inches (152 mm) into the required dimensions of the window well.

R310 2.1 Ladder and steps. Window wells with a vertical depth greater than 44 inches (1118 mm) below the adjacent ground level shall be equipped with a permanently affixed ladder or steps usable with the window in the fully open position. Ladders or steps required by this section shall not be requited to comply with Section R 314 and R315. Ladders or rungs shall have an inside width of at least 12 inches (305 mm), shall project at least 3 inches (76 mm) from the wall and shall be spaced not more than 18 inches (457 mm) on center vertically for the full height of the window well.