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View Full Version : Awning/Casement window - bedroom egress



Robert Alexander
04-13-2008, 07:43 PM
Recently inspected a home that had awning windows throughout the home - including the bedrooms. My question/concern is:

1. the awning windows are like transom windows - extremely high and not reachable without a ladder or other assistance.

2. window requiring cranking to open and egress (slow).

I believe there is a safety concern in case of fire that occupant of bedroom would not have a safe egress.

Is there any code that would support my concern?

Thanks!

David Banks
04-13-2008, 07:58 PM
R310.............1 Sleeping rooms shall have a sill height of not more than 44 inches above the floor.
R310.1.1 Minimum opening area. All emergency escape and rescue openings shall have a minimum net clear opening of 5.7 sq, ft. Height 24. width 20.

John C Ritter
04-14-2008, 06:40 AM
Is there any problem with having a crank opening mechanism though?
Sort of slow to open compared to a double-hung, but I didn't know of any requirement that would ban a crank.

Dom D'Agostino
04-14-2008, 07:11 AM
Is there any problem with having a crank opening mechanism though?
Sort of slow to open compared to a double-hung, but I didn't know of any requirement that would ban a crank.


The mechanism is not the problem, it's the free and clear space when the window is open. Almost all awning windows lack enough clear space.

David Banks
04-14-2008, 07:12 AM
Is there any problem with having a crank opening mechanism though?
Sort of slow to open compared to a double-hung, but I didn't know of any requirement that would ban a crank.

If that was the case then all casement windows would not be allowed.

Victor DaGraca
04-14-2008, 07:34 AM
Would not be allowed in..... sleeping rooms.

unless they meet code. 24 high 20 wide < 44" off of floor

Michael Larson
04-14-2008, 07:43 AM
Would not be allowed in..... sleeping rooms.

unless they meet code. 24 high 20 wide < 44" off of floorThat's not enough by itself. It also must have either 5 sq. ft. or 5.7 sq. ft. minimum opening depending on location.

Victor DaGraca
04-14-2008, 07:52 AM
Right you are.......... and if given all those conditions........ okey dokey.

Jon Randolph
04-14-2008, 09:13 AM
Important to remember that that would be the "open area" of the window and not pane size. Casement windows do not offer the full width of the window as open area with the window fullly open.

Jerry McCarthy
04-14-2008, 09:43 AM
Diagrams are always handy as a visual aid. 2006 IRC

David Banks
04-14-2008, 09:54 AM
Thanks Jerry. Those are good.

Jerry Peck
04-14-2008, 11:50 AM
Important to remember that that would be the "open area" of the window and not pane size. Casement windows do not offer the full width of the window as open area with the window fullly open.

I've inspected many homes with casement windows which provided much larger openings than required for EERO.

Those are the ones which open (hinge) with the sash at 90 degrees at one side, there are other brands which open (hinge) with the sash at 90 degrees but approximately centered in the opening - not good for EERO.

John C Ritter
04-14-2008, 12:36 PM
Important to remember that that would be the "open area" of the window and not pane size. Casement windows do not offer the full width of the window as open area with the window fullly open.

I took Jon's comment to mean that the hinged edge of the window would not be out of the way even when open 90-degrees. (i.e., the actual open area would be full width of the window minus the thickness of the sash.) Not a big difference, but if you're stretching for inches to meet the 5.7 sq.ft. rule, could become relevant...

Jerry Peck
04-14-2008, 12:55 PM
I took Jon's comment to mean that the hinged edge of the window would not be out of the way even when open 90-degrees. (i.e., the actual open area would be full width of the window minus the thickness of the sash.) Not a big difference, but if you're stretching for inches to meet the 5.7 sq.ft. rule, could become relevant...

John,

Depends on the window.

I've seen casement windows with a clear open width of greater than 24" ... from the right side jamb to the closest edge of a left opening casement sash, and vice versa for right opening casements, and you only need 20" width there.

I've also seen window which you would walk up to and say 'That window is plenty wide enough for an EERO.', only to crank the casement open and have the casement sash move to the center of that large opening, splitting the opening in half width-wise, making it unsuitable for that use (and it was being used for that use, no one ever bothered to 'open the window and check it' before).

Jerry McCarthy
04-14-2008, 04:34 PM
Then there's the double-locking tall casement style sash where the upper locking device is far out of reach of a little kid or someone in a wheelchair. :mad:

Jerry Peck
04-14-2008, 05:47 PM
Then there's the double-locking tall casement style sash where the upper locking device is far out of reach of a little kid or someone in a wheelchair. :mad:

Or, two types I ran across frequently:

- slider windows with two locks, one up high

- single hung with locks at top of bottom sash - and over 54" high

lee bodine
11-05-2010, 09:55 AM
2. window requiring cranking to open and egress (slow).

Having served on the Means of Egress Committee I believe the responders are missing a very important element of an egress window and that is the part that you are not to have tools or special devices that you have to use to open the egress window. Remove crank and how do you open window? Ever open one to far and the gear get stripped and you have to use channel locks to close the window? Ever have a crank break when opening the window? Now open a window in an emergency and the slow part can become a disaster especially when it breaks in your hand. Crank windows are not allowed and the although the code doesn't specifically state crank it doesn't have to as it already stated that you must not rely on tools or devices to open a egress window.

Matt Fellman
11-07-2010, 08:10 PM
2. window requiring cranking to open and egress (slow).

Having served on the Means of Egress Committee I believe the responders are missing a very important element of an egress window and that is the part that you are not to have tools or special devices that you have to use to open the egress window. Remove crank and how do you open window? Ever open one to far and the gear get stripped and you have to use channel locks to close the window? Ever have a crank break when opening the window? Now open a window in an emergency and the slow part can become a disaster especially when it breaks in your hand. Crank windows are not allowed and the although the code doesn't specifically state crank it doesn't have to as it already stated that you must not rely on tools or devices to open a egress window.

Casement are allowed by the code and are used often... at least in my area.

The argument that you could lose part or they could become non-functional could be made for any window latching mechansim.... or door knob or handrail or any other building component. Anything "could" stop working.... that's not the point.