Fireplaces and human exits (residential)

Where to find Regulations on Human exits in rooms with fireplaces?


A client asked me during a home inspection this am, “what are the regulations for exits in rooms that have fireplaces?” and I said! (after a long pause and stare)… “I will get back to you! Cause honestly, the question some how has left me drawing a blank as if dementia has set in”…

finish inspection like a nomad brainless on the question… clients and we say our goodbyes…

dootadooo, leave inspection… driving…(reading at stop lights)…driving…(reading some more)

(back @ office for an hour)…and now that I am back at the computer and I’ve been diggin. I have wasted to much time on the question now (like 2 hours), I feel for some reason that I have read on this very recently but can not find or locate where. its baffling me cause I am itching all the way to my skull with all fingers like “WHERE IS IT!!!.. and if I haven’t read this, WHY do I feel like I have! WHATS WRONG WITH ME!..HELP!”

So I thought I would ask! Any takers? please help me feel stupid cause I know it one stupid click away!


Egress Law-s.


Thank you very Much!


Now how about answering his actual question?

Having a fireplace in a room does not influence or change egress law.


I can not advise clinically, or as to ones physiological state of mind. That would be your department.

Everyone gets a brain fart now ad then.
You handled yourself well. Explain to the client, I drew a blank, which happens, because I had a lot on your mind trying to remain focused on the component at hand during the inspection.

Personally, I do not do the Dog and Pony show any longer for that very reason. Questions distract me. There is so much to choregraph and place into chronologically order during a building inspection. Reports take 5 plus hours most times.

Thank you. I’m sure the OP appreciates an actual answer.

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I appreciate this info. Heres a quicky questiin. What if the fireplace exists in the basement where the only door that existed was sealed off by a contractor. Who installed a gas meter for a radiant heat system. There is no egrss windows that anybody could exit. The only way to exit is going up the stairs into a kitchen then through two doors before getting outdoors (backyard) or through the kitchen then dining room and then to an main entrance.

Are you asking a code question? Or what an inspector would recommend? What year was the home built?



Makes no difference. Egress requirements are not determined by fireplace locations.


Mr. Lindenmier,
What country are you in? Different countries have different safety codes.

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Jeffery … A fireplace in a room does not dictate Egress Requirements in the USA

The room or what its used for dictates those requirements


A fireplace installed in a basement turns that area of the basement into habitable space, thus requiring a second egress point.

Merely having a fireplace does not make it a habitable space.

“Bathrooms, toilet rooms , closets, halls, storage or utility spaces and similar areas are not considered habitable spaces .”

Utility areas are not considered habitable spaces.

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Seems to be a contradiction here;
Habitable means any room or enclosed floor space with electric and heat intended to be used for living, sleeping, or eating purposes including bathrooms, hallways, and closets but not including attics, garages or unfinished basements.
Habitable Definition: 31 Samples | Law Insider

We haven’t established finished, electric, or height. Simply having a fireplace doesn’t make it a habitable space. The OP suggested it needed secondary egress simply because it had a fireplace.


I agree with that, I was just showing the contradiction in habitable space in that same link.


My bad. I’m on holiday with no computer so I googled habitable spaces an s got what I believe is a 2015 definition. There is no indication what year this property is so it’s kinda hard to apply code.