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  1. #1
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    Default IRC code on bedroom egress

    Iím sure this question has been addressed somewhere on this forum, but can someone point me to the IRC requirement for more than one egress from a sleeping area? Recently encountered a remodel in which homeowner created a nursery room with no window. Also, only wall in which a window could be installed leads to an enclosed storage area attached to the garage. Not sure how to write this up.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: IRC code on bedroom egress

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Laird View Post
    Iím sure this question has been addressed somewhere on this forum, but can someone point me to the IRC requirement for more than one egress from a sleeping area? Recently encountered a remodel in which homeowner created a nursery room with no window. Also, only wall in which a window could be installed leads to an enclosed storage area attached to the garage. Not sure how to write this up.
    Before applying the code (or looking up the code sections), these are the requirements which would apply to a "sleeping room" - and a nursery is a "sleeping room ":

    - smoke alarm

    - probably a carbon monoxide alarm

    - 8% of the floor area for natural light (i.e., glazed area of window, door, etc)

    - 4% of the floor area for natural ventilation (i.e., opening area of window, door, etc)

    - EERO (Emergency Escape Rescue Opening)
    - - minimum opening width of 20"
    - - minimum opening height of 24"
    - - minimum opening size of 5.0 sf if not greater than 44" from ground outside to bottom of opening
    - - minimum opening size of 5.7 sf if greater than 44" from ground outside to bottom of opening
    - - note: minimum height and minimum width opening does not meet minimum opening size of 5.0 sf

    Those are beginning starting points, then there is minimum room size, minimum ceiling height, etc, for starters.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: IRC code on bedroom egress

    References are from the California Residential Code. The IRC might have different numbers.

    R303: Light & Ventilation
    R310: Emergency Egress
    R609: Windows

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  4. #4
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    Default Re: IRC code on bedroom egress

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Laird View Post
    Also, only wall in which a window could be installed leads to an enclosed storage area attached to the garage.
    The escape and rescue path/access from (escape) and to (rescue) the EERO is that the EERO opens to a yard, court, public way, or leads to a public way - i.e., needs to open directly to the outdoors, not through any room, space, or garage.

    Not sure how to write this up.
    Sounds like you have what I used to call Fry Room 1 (with the next one being Fry Room 2 - usually created by security bars which are attached in a manner in which the security bars are not removable from inside without tools or special knowledge.

    "Fry Room" ... because that is what will happen during a fire ... all that will be found after the fire is the charred remains of a body ... especially an infant.

    A bit crude and course, you may be thinking, but ... I found that 'softer' wording got an ignored look from clients, whereas "Fry Room" got a "Whay? What do you mean?" Then I would explain what I just explained above - ALWAYS got their full attention ... DID NOT always get an acknowledgement that they would act upon it, but I did my job in bringing it to their attention.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: IRC code on bedroom egress

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    The escape and rescue path/access from (escape) and to (rescue) the EERO is that the EERO opens to a yard, court, public way, or leads to a public way - i.e., needs to open directly to the outdoors, not through any room, space, or garage.

    Sounds like you have what I used to call Fry Room 1 (with the next one being Fry Room 2 - usually created by security bars which are attached in a manner in which the security bars are not removable from inside without tools or special knowledge.

    "Fry Room" ... because that is what will happen during a fire ... all that will be found after the fire is the charred remains of a body ... especially an infant.

    A bit crude and course, you may be thinking, but ... I found that 'softer' wording got an ignored look from clients, whereas "Fry Room" got a "Whay? What do you mean?" Then I would explain what I just explained above - ALWAYS got their full attention ... DID NOT always get an acknowledgement that they would act upon it, but I did my job in bringing it to their attention.
    Random posts about Vietnamese condos aside...

    We have a few homes in my area (some individual, some PUD/condo style) where the master bedroom exterior window opens into an enclosed courtyard/atrium. I say enclosed, there is no roof - but it is essentially in the center of the house, surrounded on all four sides by exterior walls. Consequently, the escape route from the master is out the window and into a courtyard/atrium, then (assuming someone left the sliding glass door unlocked) back into the living room where you can exit through the front entry door. Similar to what Jerry posted, someone would be trapped in the bedroom or a courtyard. Fortunately, there is a hose bibb and floor drain in this courtyard, so I guess you could attempt to put the fire out or spray yourself with water until the fire department arrived. (First pic from master, second pic from living)

    I suspect the wording in the UBC at the time (1970s) technically allowed this, but I am certain that it was not the intent. I have yet to look it up, but I will do so... eventually.

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  6. #6
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    Default Re: IRC code on bedroom egress

    "The reported nursery room is unlikely to be deemed compliant under a full Municipal Code compliance review. Based on initial assessment as part of the home inspection, the space does not appear to meet the minimum requirements for natural light & ventilation, egress, and/or ________."
    I suggest you contact the AHJ for full review and requirements prior to making a final decision. This space conversion may have been done without proper Municipal permits.

    The above is my basic boilerplate for those types of installations. I'll add details and applicable code sections depending on the situation. If a homeowner did it I provide the info but am less brutal about it. If its a flipper, I tend to hammer the crap out of it.

    As far as the lack of a window in a room, I've encountered a lot of buyers who think its no big deal. It helps to put it in real terms rather than just in terms of Code requirements.
    Looking at the wife, "think of it this way Ma'am, your husband and buddies spend the weekend in this room watching football, eating pizza, drinking beer and farting. If there is no window to air out the room afterwards how are you going to keep the room from smelling like a high school locker room?. Wife then always turns to the husband and tells him 'we have to have a window'.

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  7. #7
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    Mar 2017
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    California
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    107

    Default Re: IRC code on bedroom egress

    I would use the words "FIRE EGRESS" in there somewhere.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: IRC code on bedroom egress

    Quote Originally Posted by Elizabeth Chambers View Post
    I would use the words "FIRE EGRESS" in there somewhere.
    Except that it is not for fire to egress ... ... it is for emergency egress for people.

    I found the terms "Fry Room" to be quite compelling. Sounds like Markus used a gentler persuasion method.

    The idea is to educate the client as to the "why" that condition is unsafe, to encourage them to listen and pay attention, then let them decide what they are going to do about it, if anything, but you (the inspector) have made sure that they understand the gravity of the condition (which is why I put it in writing that way - I didn't want anyone to be able to come back to me and say 'I understand that YOU TOLD the owner, now deceased, about that condition as the real estate agent said they were there when you did, but I DON"T SEE ANYTHING IN THE REPORT about it, so, there is no record of what you told the now deceased owner.'

    I would be able to point to that and say, see that sentence there, where it says "all that will be found after the fire is the charred remains of a body" *I* told then what the outcome could be.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

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