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Thread: Means of Egress

  1. #1
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    Default Means of Egress

    Hi everyone, first post so hope I do it correctly.

    Does a bedroom with no windows but two doors qualify as adequate egress?

    Thanks!

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    Default Re: Means of Egress

    Where do the doors lead to? That is the biggest part of the answer.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Where do the doors lead to? That is the biggest part of the answer.

    Jim Robinson
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    Default Re: Means of Egress

    A sleeping room (bedroom) with no windows would not meet the requirement for 8% natural light and unlikely would not meet the requirement for 4% ventilation.

    But as already mentioned, the emergency egress must lead directly to the exterior without passing through any other portion of the home.

    "The Code is not a peak to reach but a foundation to build from."

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    Default Re: Means of Egress

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Ramsey View Post
    A sleeping room (bedroom) with no windows would not meet the requirement for 8% natural light and unlikely would not meet the requirement for 4% ventilation.

    But as already mentioned, the emergency egress must lead directly to the exterior without passing through any other portion of the home.
    In Virginia:
    A door does qualify as an EERO if it leads to the exterior of the home (public way, court or yard).
    There is also an exception for an EERO if the home is equipped with a sprinkler system.
    Also if artificial light and ventilation are provided, there are exceptions that may apply to the 4% & 8% requirements.
    This info is based on the current state building code-new construction. Alot may depend on when the home was constructed or renovated.

    Jamie R Wilks
    Virginia Certified Home Inspector

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    Default Re: Means of Egress

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Ramsey View Post
    A sleeping room (bedroom) with no windows would not meet the requirement for 8% natural light and unlikely would not meet the requirement for 4% ventilation.
    Even a door with a lite in it, such as a french door or a sliding glass door? (For the 8% natural light)

    And with a screen? (For 4% natural ventilation)

    Do you have a code section for that?

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    Default Re: Means of Egress

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Even a door with a lite in it, such as a french door or a sliding glass door? (For the 8% natural light)

    And with a screen? (For 4% natural ventilation)

    Do you have a code section for that?

    Got me. I was thinking with no windows, no natural light. I guess a skylight would count as well.

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    Default Re: Means of Egress

    The main thing about the door (separate issue from natural light and ventilation) is where the door opens to.

    Typically, with windows, the window will open to a suitable area, doors sometimes lead to open porches which are later enclosed and cutting off direct open to the outdoors - this occasionally happens with windows too, just not as often from what I have seen).

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    Default Re: Means of Egress

    Sorry, I should have included more information. The home was built in 1975 and one of the bedrooms has two doors but no window. Both doors lead to different interior hallways of the home.


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    Default Re: Means of Egress

    No windows, its not a bedroom. Its a walk in closet. While a doorway could possibly supplement for natural L&V it is unlikely that your average developer would be smart enough to figure something like that out.
    You could potentially use the borrowed natural L&V allowance if your municipality has that. Once again though most flipper contractors aren't smart enough to figure that one out. Leaving the top of the wall open to the bathroom doesn't count as compliant borrowed natural L&V. (Just counts as compliant mildew generator)
    I run into flipper homes all too often where a house is listed as 4 or 5 bedrooms when in reality only 3 of the rooms are compliant sleeping rooms. It is important to inform your client about the potential risks involved in paying for 'bedrooms' that aren't actually compliant sleeping rooms. If they buy it anyway thats on them, its their home buying decision. As an HI you should be informing them of the risks. Such as:
    - think of a bedroom without windows as essentially smelling and looking like a teenage boys bedroom at some point, smelly and disgusting
    - health concerns
    - they may be way overpaying for a home based on the inflated bedroom count
    - someone in the future may not be willing to pay for the inflated bedroom count resulting in loss
    - if the AHJ comes in they could write it up resulting in costs and reconfiguration requirements

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    Default Re: Means of Egress

    Quote Originally Posted by Markus Keller View Post
    No windows, its not a bedroom. Its a walk in closet.
    Is that codified somewhere?

    The code does not require a window ... at least not any code I have seen.

    Does it make good sales sense to have a window? Sure.

    But I am not aware of a window being required.

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    Default Re: Means of Egress

    I used to live in a house that in the bedrooms, there were no windows. Just sliding glass doors. So according to Markus, I was sleeping in a walk-in closet. Who knew?


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    Default Re: Means of Egress

    natural L&V is required for any room designated for human occupancy under the Code, a window being the typical vehicle for compliance, it is however possible to provide mechanical L&V or borrowed L&V

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    Default Re: Means of Egress

    Quote Originally Posted by Markus Keller View Post
    natural L&V is required for any room designated for human occupancy under the Code, a window being the typical vehicle for compliance, it is however possible to provide mechanical L&V or borrowed L&V
    It is also possible, and quite frequently done, to directly provide natural light and ventilation by installing sliding glass doors, and even loan that natural light and ventilation to other areas.

    In the end, though ... "No windows, its not a bedroom. Its a walk in closet." ... is not a correct statement.

    I have seen many condos which had the entire end wall sliding glass doors to a balcony off the bedroom - and all those condos met the code requirements.

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    Default Re: Means of Egress

    true Jerry, i have no issue with sliding glass doors, up here sliding glass doors are mostly off of family rooms or newer condo end of buildings; walk in closet 'bedrooms' are common issues in flipper rehab vintage homes in basements and attics

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    Default Re: Means of Egress

    Quote Originally Posted by Markus Keller View Post
    ... in flipper rehab vintage homes in basements and attics
    Ahhh ... now I understand - those key words "in basements and attics" ... that explains what you are describing better than bedrooms with no windows did.

    I suspect that there are many "bedrooms" in converted basement and attics by the people who lice there, and the flippers just take advantage of it ... that is, in addition to all the ones the flippers convert themselves.

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    Default Re: Means of Egress

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Ahhh ... now I understand - those key words "in basements and attics" ... that explains what you are describing better than bedrooms with no windows did.

    I suspect that there are many "bedrooms" in converted basement and attics by the people who lice there, and the flippers just take advantage of it ... that is, in addition to all the ones the flippers convert themselves.

    Not to nitpic here but in the window industry patio doors are in the same class as windows. The code intends a source of natural light and a means of egress both be present, so I would pass a patio door or hinged full glass door as meeting both.


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    Default Re: Means of Egress

    Quote Originally Posted by Stu Padaso View Post
    Sorry, I should have included more information. The home was built in 1975 and one of the bedrooms has two doors but no window. Both doors lead to different interior hallways of the home.
    Stu,

    The doors are to the interior and there is no exterior window? Then it is not a bedroom. See other posts regarding emergency egress, light and ventilation.

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    Default Re: Means of Egress

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Hawley;2645door0
    Not to nitpic here but in the window industry patio doors are in the same class as windows. The code intends a source of natural light and a means of egress both be present, so I would pass a patio door or hinged full glass door as meeting both.
    Yes and no.

    Yes, sliding glass doors are 'windows'.

    No, hinged full glass door (which is a door) doesn't meet the requirements.

    Here is why:
    - A sliding glass door meets the natural light.
    - A sliding glass door meets the natural ventilation because half of it opens and they come with screens.

    - A hinged full glass door likely meets the natural light (unless the room is quite large, this is because a hinged full glass door is, at best, half the area of a sliding glass door).
    - A hinged full glass door does not meet the natural ventilation by itself - a screen door would be required for the door to be opened for ventilation.

    Size-wise ... both would meet EERO requirements.

    Only the hinged full glass door could meet egress requirements.

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    Default Re: Means of Egress

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar Alquist View Post
    Stu,

    The doors are to the interior and there is no exterior window? Then it is not a bedroom. See other posts regarding emergency egress, light and ventilation.
    I didn't want to leave the thread side-tracked from the above important aspect ...
    - If there are no windows to the exterior ...
    - and ...
    - there are no doors to the exterior ...
    - Gunnar is correct ... those are not bedrooms.

    EERO are not required in apartment and condo bedrooms when a proper NFPA 13 sprinkler system is installed. But I doubt that is the discussion here.

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    Default Re: Means of Egress

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    EERO are not required in apartment and condo bedrooms when a proper NFPA 13 sprinkler system is installed. But I doubt that is the discussion here.
    Wait! What?

    So, a second story interior room with no window or door to the exterior but an operable skylight and a fire sprinkler head meets the requirements of a bedroom?

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    Default Re: Means of Egress

    Quote Originally Posted by Gunnar Alquist View Post
    Wait! What?

    So, a second story interior room with no window or door to the exterior but an operable skylight and a fire sprinkler head meets the requirements of a bedroom?
    From the 2012 IBC:
    - SECTION 1029 EMERGENCY ESCAPE AND RESCUE
    - - 1029.1 General.
    - - - In addition to the means of egress required by this chapter, provisions shall be made for emergency escape and rescue openings in Group R-2 occupancies in accordance with Tables 1021.2(1) and 1021.2(2) and Group R-3 occupancies. Basements and sleeping rooms below the fourth story above grade plane shall have at least one exterior emergency escape and rescue opening in accordance with this section. Where basements contain one or more sleeping rooms, emergency escape and rescue openings shall be required in each sleeping room, but shall not be required in adjoining areas of the basement. Such openings shall open directly into a public way or to a yard or court that opens to a public way.
    - - - - Exceptions:
    - - - - - 1. Basements with a ceiling height of less than 80 inches (2032 mm) shall not be required to have emergency escape and rescue openings.
    - - - - - 2. Emergency escape and rescue openings are not required from basements or sleeping rooms that have an exit door or exit access door that opens directly into a public way or to a yard, court or exterior exit balcony that opens to a public way.
    - - - - - 3. Basements without habitable spaces and having no more than 200 square feet (18.6 m2) in floor area shall not be required to have emergency escape and rescue openings.

    " ... below the fourth story above grade ... "

    Is an EERO required for the fifth floor above grade based on that?

    I'm using my phone right now, I'll have my computer back up tomorrow and can look things up better then.

    Last edited by Jerry Peck; 03-11-2016 at 07:47 AM. Reason: removed unwanted asterisks "*" and corrected other formatting issues
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    Default Re: Means of Egress

    My first thoughts about the sprinkler system exception were from the Florida Building Code as they refer to the NFPA codes, and (naturally) the ICC codes do not refer to the NFPA codes (competing codes).

    When a building is fully sprinklered with a monitored automatic system which meets NFPA 13 requirements, there is no need for EERO as the sprinkler system will put the fire out, and ... escaping from a mid-rise or high-rise by jumping out an EERO and death anyway.

    However, the ICC codes, in my opinion, missed the concept and just exempted any sleeping room which was not " ... below the fourth story above grade ... " (my last post which said "Is an EERO required for the fifth floor above grade based on that?" should have said "fourth" instead of "fifth" as "below the fourth story" means "third story", which leaves the fourth and higher).

    The ICC exempts out sleeping rooms which are on the fourth and higher stories above grade and does not stated whether sprinklered or not because the a four story building is subject to the IBC (not the IRC) and the IBC requires sprinkler system in accordance with the IFC (International Fire Code) which also requires sprinkler systems for those buildings. Thus there is no need to specifically state that sprinklered buildings are exempt.

    Makes sense when the code are put together.

    As far as a skylight for natural light and ventilation ... I don't know where that would be prohibited by the codes ... just not sure that anyone would want to buy or rent a place on the fourth story or higher above grade which only had skylights for sleeping rooms ... but the building would be sprinklered, so the fire aspect would be covered.


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    Default Re: Means of Egress

    Interior bed room with only a skylight was a way to get around ventilation/light requirements in the 1920s.


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    Default Re: Means of Egress

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Yes and no.

    Yes, sliding glass doors are 'windows'.

    No, hinged full glass door (which is a door) doesn't meet the requirements.

    Here is why:
    - A sliding glass door meets the natural light.
    - A sliding glass door meets the natural ventilation because half of it opens and they come with screens.

    - A hinged full glass door likely meets the natural light (unless the room is quite large, this is because a hinged full glass door is, at best, half the area of a sliding glass door).
    - A hinged full glass door does not meet the natural ventilation by itself - a screen door would be required for the door to be opened for ventilation.

    Size-wise ... both would meet EERO requirements.

    Only the hinged full glass door could meet egress requirements.
    Where in the IRC is a screen required on a door in order to meet the ventilation requirement?


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    Default Re: Means of Egress

    Quote Originally Posted by brian schmitt View Post
    Where in the IRC is a screen required on a door in order to meet the ventilation requirement?
    If the door is to be used to satisfy a requirement for "ventilation", then that door is intended to be left "open" (in as much as a window for ventilation is required to be left open for ventilation), and such a door would create a "building opening" ... just like an open window would ... and all building openings are required to be screened.

    If one is not using the door to meet ventilation, then it is just a "door" for egress,

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    Default Re: Means of Egress

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    If the door is to be used to satisfy a requirement for "ventilation", then that door is intended to be left "open" (in as much as a window for ventilation is required to be left open for ventilation), and such a door would create a "building opening" ... just like an open window would ... and all building openings are required to be screened.

    If one is not using the door to meet ventilation, then it is just a "door" for egress,
    Where does the IRC say that all building openings are required to be screened?


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    Default Re: Means of Egress

    Quote Originally Posted by brian schmitt View Post
    Where does the IRC say that all building openings are required to be screened?
    From the IRC:
    - R303.6 Outside opening protection.
    - - Air exhaust and intake openings that terminate outdoors shall be protected with corrosion-resistant screens, louvers or grilles having a minimum opening size of 1/4 inch (6 mm) and a maximum opening size of 1/2 inch (13 mm), in any dimension. Openings shall be protected against local weather conditions. Outdoor air exhaust and intake openings shall meet the provisions for exterior wall opening protectives in accordance with this code.

    All openings for ventilation are 'exhaust and intake openings'.

    Yes, yes, I know, those opening dimensions do not make sense for openings other than mechanical ventilation, but R306.3 does not specifically and only address mechanical ventilation - it addresses "exhaust and intake openings".

    Try telling window/door screen manufacturer's that you will not accept insect screening because the openings are not at least 1/4 inch in size ... then try to match that with the following ...


    ... and ... most areas have a property maintenance code, with most of those being based on the ICC Property Maintenance Code
    - 304.14 Insect screens.
    - - During the period from [DATE] to [DATE], every door, window and other outside opening required for ventilation of habitable rooms, food preparation areas, food service areas or any areas where products to be included or utilized in food for human consumption are processed, manufactured, packaged or stored shall be supplied with approved tightly fitting screens of minimum 16 mesh per inch (16 mesh per 25 mm), and every screen door used for insect control shall have a self-closing device in good working condition.
    - - - Exception: Screens shall not be required where other approved means, such as air curtains or insect repellent fans, are employed.

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    Default Re: Means of Egress

    Jerry, that is misleading.

    R303.6 Outside opening protection.
    - - Air exhaust and intake openings that terminate outdoors shall be protected with corrosion-resistant screens, louvers or grilles having a minimum opening size of 1/4 inch (6 mm) and a maximum opening size of 1/2 inch (13 mm), in any dimension.

    House ventilation comes in three categories.
    1. Natural ventilation.
    2: Spot ventilation.
    3: Whole-house Ventilation.

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    Default Re: Means of Egress

    Quote Originally Posted by ROBERT YOUNG View Post
    Jerry, that is misleading.

    R303.6 Outside opening protection.
    - - Air exhaust and intake openings that terminate outdoors shall be protected with corrosion-resistant screens, louvers or grilles having a minimum opening size of 1/4 inch (6 mm) and a maximum opening size of 1/2 inch (13 mm), in any dimension.

    House ventilation comes in three categories.
    1. Natural ventilation.
    2: Spot ventilation.
    3: Whole-house Ventilation.
    4. Mechanical ventilation.

    What is misleading about it? That is what the code says. When the code is specifically and only addressing "mechanical ventilation" the code makes that statement.

    1. Natural ventilation is by natural means, not mechanical.
    2. Spot ventilation could be by either natural or mechanical means.
    3. Whole-house ventilation could be by either natural or mechanical means.
    4. Mechanical ventilation is, obviously, by mechanical means.

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    Default Re: Means of Egress

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    4. Mechanical ventilation.

    What is misleading about it? That is what the code says. When the code is specifically and only addressing "mechanical ventilation" the code makes that statement.

    1. Natural ventilation is by natural means, not mechanical.
    2. Spot ventilation could be by either natural or mechanical means.
    3. Whole-house ventilation could be by either natural or mechanical means.
    4. Mechanical ventilation is, obviously, by mechanical means.
    Correct, the code is specific, I am not denying.

    Post #26.
    "Where does the IRC say that all building openings are required to be screened?"
    An egress opening, door or window, does not require ventilation if ventilation is already in place.

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    Default Re: Means of Egress

    Quote Originally Posted by ROBERT YOUNG View Post
    Post #26.
    "Where does the IRC say that all building openings are required to be screened?"
    An egress opening, door or window, does not require ventilation if ventilation is already in place.
    Have you followed the discussion through to what we were talking about at the time of that question?

    If so, I'm not sure why you are asking your question?

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    Default Re: Means of Egress

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Have you followed the discussion through to what we were talking about at the time of that question?

    If so, I'm not sure why you are asking your question?
    No question, rather a remark.

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    Default Re: Means of Egress

    Legal bedrooms require windows that have a total viewing space that is no less than 8% of the floor space of the room and the window opening to the outside must be of a size no less than 4% of the floor space of the room. Second egress Having a second way of exiting a room is a crucial safety feature. That second exit or egress can be a second door or a window. For a window to provide legal egress, its bottom must be no higher than 44 inches from the ground. The window must also have a minimum height of 24 inches and a minimum width of 20 inches.


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    Default Re: Means of Egress

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    From the IRC:
    - R303.6 Outside opening protection.
    - - Air exhaust and intake openings that terminate outdoors shall be protected with corrosion-resistant screens, louvers or grilles having a minimum opening size of 1/4 inch (6 mm) and a maximum opening size of 1/2 inch (13 mm), in any dimension. Openings shall be protected against local weather conditions. Outdoor air exhaust and intake openings shall meet the provisions for exterior wall opening protectives in accordance with this code.

    All openings for ventilation are 'exhaust and intake openings'.

    Yes, yes, I know, those opening dimensions do not make sense for openings other than mechanical ventilation, but R306.3 does not specifically and only address mechanical ventilation - it addresses "exhaust and intake openings".

    Try telling window/door screen manufacturer's that you will not accept insect screening because the openings are not at least 1/4 inch in size ... then try to match that with the following ...


    ... and ... most areas have a property maintenance code, with most of those being based on the ICC Property Maintenance Code
    - 304.14 Insect screens.
    - - During the period from [DATE] to [DATE], every door, window and other outside opening required for ventilation of habitable rooms, food preparation areas, food service areas or any areas where products to be included or utilized in food for human consumption are processed, manufactured, packaged or stored shall be supplied with approved tightly fitting screens of minimum 16 mesh per inch (16 mesh per 25 mm), and every screen door used for insect control shall have a self-closing device in good working condition.
    - - - Exception: Screens shall not be required where other approved means, such as air curtains or insect repellent fans, are employed.

    Jerry, I respect you a lot on code issues, but I think you have over thought this one. I believe you backtracked before on this position awhile back.

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