Awning window egress?

Every room in this house (built in 1982) had an “awning” type window. 44" wide by 44" tall. When you opened the window though it only opened 12" with the lever right in the center of the window. I’m 6’2" 210 and I know I would have a hell of a time trying to squeeze my way through that window just for fun. A fireman? Forget it… Is this something you guys would write up as an ERRO issue? There should be a clear net opening of 5.7sqft which by the type of window these are they are not. I plan on writing it up but would like to see what your guys’ opinions are. Thanks!

I’m new to this profession, but I would agree with you. The whole point is for safety and this would definitely be a risk during a house fire. Err on the side of caution would be my opinion.

You know I did some reading and some manufactures make the hardware removable. I did not check to see if it’s “removable” but I know its screwed into the window frame so “removable” is relative. That’s the point though right? If you’re trying to escape, now you’re spending time removing hardware?

Awning windows: These top-hinged windows make lousy egress windows. They don’t meet egress requirements in basements because the opened sash impedes entrance and exit. And those with center opening mechanisms don’t meet code because the hardware gets in the way. Only those with special hardware will meet egress requirements—and there aren’t many available.


I would write it up as a safety improvement item an let it go. In realty a fireman will just break out the window.


That is the truth. I would mention it as info only. Not likely the windows would be replaced, it is what it is.

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And that includes the front door first and back door. LOL

On the contrary, a fire in a house it’s not going to standby wait for the firemen to arrive. What if there is an elderly person or a young child in there that is not able to break the window themselves? I don’t really have a soft way of writing this up. It’s either safe for occupants or not safe.

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throw the family cat through the window first then climb out…unless You are a cat person then use a chair…


Jacob, just write it up as a potential safety hazard and why. As many stated, more than likely they won’t be replaced, however, you covered you ass. All you need to do. :wink:

Exactly, Thomas!..a potential safety hazard and why. They may choose to use it as a den or something else.

The International Building Code holds that, ‘every bedroom must contain at least one egress window.’
The window must be at least 5.7 SQ, square feet, at least 20" inches in width by 24" inches in height and an opening no higher than 44’ inches from the floor.

My interpretation. A: A window glazing, including the frame, at least 5.7 SQ, square feet, at least 20" inches in width by 24" inches in height, 44’ inches from the floor. Not the free opening.

Window: An opening in the wall or roof of a building, or vehicle, that is fitted with glass or other transparent material in a frame to admit light or air and allow people to see out.


shall have a net clear opening

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A 20 x 24 inch window is only 480 square inches (3.3 square feet). 5.7 square feet is 821 square inches.

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A lot of people out there don’t understand that 20" and 24" are minimums widths and heights respectively for clear openings.

Do an inspection in downtown Miami & you may see where no one is getting in or out!


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All three requirements must be met. You could have a 5.7 sf opening in a casement but the width is only 14". That would not comply for egress. That is way all must be met. Min 20" wide, min 24" high and min total net free clear opening area of 5.7sf. To open the window it requires no special knowledge or tools. This is why tilt in sashes are not acceptable with the sashes removed. As a side note, these dimensions were arrived at to fit a fireman with an airpack the ability to climb through even though they just break the hole window.

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Exactly. A window opening that’s the bare minimum of 24 in. high and 20 in. wide does not meet egress requirements, since its net clear opening is only 3.33 sq. ft. A window has to be taller and/or wider than these minimums to meet the 5.7-sq.-ft.-opening requirement.

On opening is an opening to fit the glazing. No bars.