Master bedroom has no window...

the only emergency escape opening is in the master bathroom water closet. I an interested in opinions regarding this because it does not seem to be clear in section R310 of the IRC.

Does the emergency escape opening have to be in the sleeping room itself or does the adjoining bathromm WC window qualify?

A “study” is listed as a bedroom by the seller. There are two door openings into the room but not directly to the exterior. Does this room qualify as a sleeping room?

Appreciate your input.

Does it have a closet?

Study and master both have closets.

In my area at least, a bedroom does not have to have a closet. Heat, power and emergency egress.

Absolutely, 100% yes.

I thought that all habital rooms has to have natural light @ a min 8% of the sq ft of the room

If it does not have a window, it’s a storage room/closet, not a habitable space.

I’m headed out the door this morning. I can elaborate later. . .

Bedroom Definition

Q. Do you have a definition of a bedroom in the Dwelling Code? I’m currently building a house which has a specific room dedicated as a exercise/weight room. The inspector is calling it a bedroom and requiring me to install smoke alarms and an egress window. This room is not a bedroom and I feel it’s wrong for the inspector to insist on these requirements. Doesn’t a bedroom have to have a closet or something like that? This room doesn’t have a closet and has a lot of special wiring done to accommodate the exercise equipment, which should make it obvious we plan on using it for a exercise/weight room.
A. The Dwelling Code does not define bedroom, so we need to go to the dictionary for a definition. The definition in the dictionary is; "**bed-room: **a room furnished with a bed and intended primarily for sleeping."
It is not uncommon for someone to submit a set of plans which has an extra room designated as a den, office, weight room, library, etc. The primary use in these rooms is not intended for sleeping. However some contractors and/or homeowners may designate a room as a den or office to circumvent the local SDC’s (System Development Charges) or septic tank requirements or sometimes the original owner may use this room as it was designated on the plans, but the next owner has a larger family or their mother-law living with them and they end up using the “den” as a bedroom. The cost of smoke detection and appropriate egress windows is small compare to the cost of a human life, therefore it may be advantageous for the local jurisdiction to require these safety provisions, but the homeowner/contractor should be given the benefit of the doubt for the purpose of the SDC’s. It is inappropriate for a jurisdiction to tell a homeowner/contractor how each room of their home will be used or classified. There are many times when it is obvious the room in question is not a bedroom, i.e. no closets, a door leading to the outside to be used as a office entrance, wall of shelving for library use, special provisions for exercise equipment, etc. These rooms need to be treated as designate on the plans, not based on speculated future use. If, however, this room had a closet in it and the only distinguishing difference is that it’s called a “den” on the plan, then the requirements for smoke detectors and egress windows would be appropriate.

I found this in the Oregon Salem Newsletter a whole long time ago. I think it has to do with Oregon interpretation.

In my area a bedroom has to have a closet space WITH doors of some kind to be “listed” as a bedroom.

Window is required as Jeff pointed out.

NFPA Life Safety Code Chapter 24. I believe a little common sense would automatically mandate that there is an other means of egress. JMO

Marcel :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

Natural light supplied by skylights.

Natural light supplied by skylights.


I agree. This three bedroom townhome just got downgraded (in my mind) to a one bedroom.

Is this a new or old house? If newer housing yes it would require a window, but if the house predates the code then it does not have to be retrofitted in my opinion. Many older homes did not have closets they had armoirs (sp?) (free standing closet)

Did not mention anything about natural light.

MEANS OF EGRESS ( secondary)

Marcel :slight_smile:

The emergeny escape or rescue opening (EERO) is required to communicate directly to the room which it serves, with no doors or corridores separating the room from its EERO.

IRC Commentary

**R310.1 Emergency escape and rescue required. **Basements with habitable space and every sleeping room shall have at least one openable emergency escape and rescue opening. Where basements contain one or more sleeping rooms, emergency egress and rescue openings shall be required in each sleeping room, but shall not be required in adjoining areas of the basement.

Secondary Means of Escape It shall be a door, stairway, passage, or hall providing a way of unobstructed travel to the outside of the dwelling at street or ground level that is independent of and remote from the primary means of escape. It shall be an outside window or door operable from the inside without the use of tools, keys, or special effort and shall provide a clear opening of not less than 5.7 sq.ft… The width shall be not less than 20 in. and the height shall be not less than 24". The bottom of the opening shall be not more than 44"above the floor.

Marcel :slight_smile:


What’s weird is the IRC specifically defines that “exit doors” must provide for direct access to the exteiror.

No such wording for emergency escape and rescue openings. Are we just to assume that EERO’s are defined as direct access to the exterior?


I only mention skylights with regards to fulfilling the requirement for natural light not for emergency escape.

That’s exactly what the commentary is for :wink: (bold is mine)

EMERGENCY ESCAPE AND RESCUE OPENING. An operable window, door or similar device that provides for a means of escape and access for rescue in the event of an emergency.


In the case of an emergency, particularly a fire, immediate action must be taken. Evacuation of the dwelling unit in a timely manner is often required. If occupants are sleeping at the time of the incident, the time for evacuation is extended, often to the point where normal egress cannot be accomplished. In such situations, a door or window to the exterior can be used. It is also possible to use such an exterior opening for rescue purposes. See Section R310 for code requirements.