All You Need To Know – Basement Egress Windows Edmonton
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If you’re planning on extending your home by adding new bedrooms in the basement, you definitely need to add egress windows, not just basement windows. What are egress windows you may ask? And how do they differ from basement windows? They’re basically basement windows that act as an emergency route. In the very unfortunate event that a fire breaks out, you don’t want to be trapped in your basement. Egress windows are easy to use and are actually required under provincial law. Our company knows all of the ins and outs of egress windows. Every IRC code regulation and every strict policy will be covered. When we’re done you won’t have to worry about anything. You’ll be covered in the event of a tragic accident, as well as covered when it comes to law and legalities.
In Edmonton, egress windows need to meet specific requirements. For those unfamiliar with the actual term “egress”, it basically refers to a way in which you can leave a structure directly. Generally, an egress window needs to be large enough for the average person to get through. However, in Edmonton, the law states that the window must be big enough for a firefighter in full gear. In Edmonton, the law also requires that you have an egress window for each of the basement bedrooms. This means if you have 3 basement bedrooms, one egress window is not enough. You’d need 3.
If you’ve bought a house that has very small windows in the basement that don’t really work as egress windows, you may need to renovate them to remain legal. Many find that this process is expensive and lengthy, but our company does it efficiently, effectively, and for relatively cheap.
One major benefit of egress windows (since they need to be so big) is the extra sunlight. A lot of people find that being in a basement apartment or bedroom can feel like being locked in a dungeon or cave. Egress windows will keep your place legal and dungeon free! If the window doesn’t make your basement feel like less of a dungeon, try adding different lights. Older lights can make your basement look really dark. Try adding white lights, preferably LEDs as they’re the brightest.
At first, a lot of people think that egress windows are a waste of time, but we’re here to tell you that they’re necessary and life-saving. If a fire starts in a small enclosed space (like an underground bedroom), the chances of flashover occurring are massive. For those that aren’t familiar with what flashover is, it’s one of the most tragic and dangerous things that have occurred in bedrooms all over the world. In an instant, a small fire can turn deadly. It takes less than 3 minutes for that small fire to heat up and burn through everything in the room. Typically a flashover consists of the fire sucking the oxygen out of the air and burning everything close to it. If you had the misfortune of being near a flashover, you’d have noticed an incredibly thick black smoke that clogs up everything around it. The air heats up to nearly 300 degrees celsius, which for reference is hot enough to melt your skin and clothes. When a fire causes this much heat to erupt around a small enclosed area, toxic fumes are often released. Carbon monoxide and other toxic fumes like ammonia and hydrogen cyanide. All of which can be deadly. They numb the senses and wreak havoc on your respiratory system (your breathing). If you found yourself in one of these situations with no egress window, chances are you won’t be making it out.
Installing egress windows may seem like a hassle at first, but they’re one of the best ways to protect your family in an emergency. Not to mention they’ll keep your home legal, and will undoubtedly keep the authorities away.
Let’s get into some of the actual regulations. For starters, the size of the window itself is not important. It’s the size of the opening when the said window is actually open. Do keep in mind that these windows must be easily opened from inside without knowing “the trick to it” or by using a bunch of tools. It needs to be easy. So easy that a child could do it with little to no difficulty. The windows themselves need to be unobstructed from the inside and outside, and must be larger than 3.77 square feet. None of the dimensions can be smaller than 380 mm, or 15 inches for perspective. Remember, the opening needs to be big enough for a firefighter in full gear to get through easily.
For more information on the legalities and regulations surrounding egress windows and other basement windows feel free to contact one of our highly trained representatives. Our company is experienced in all areas regarding egress windows. We pride ourselves on not only keeping homes legal, but safe and easily accessible.