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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Chicago IL
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    Default basement escape window

    Hi guys, looked at a house with the basement escape window in place. Everything looked fine except ... exterior window well level is 12" below the window sill. Doesn't seem right to me, seems like a hazard. Shouldn't that area be level or close to the window sill? Anyone know a reference? I rarely see these things in the City.
    Thanks, Markus

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  2. #2
    Ron Bibler's Avatar
    Ron Bibler Guest

    Default Re: basement escape window

    I think as long as you can stand up and get out you should be OK. With that 12 inch.

    We just about never see basements in Calif.

    Best

    Ron


  3. #3
    Bill Goromby's Avatar
    Bill Goromby Guest

    Default Re: basement escape window

    i know of no ht. requirement between sill and ground level except you need a fixed ladder to get out of the well if more than 44 inches below grade. local codes may differ, but I've never seen otherwise.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,252

    Default Re: basement escape window

    Look at it this way: Is there a maximum height requirement for a first floor window above grade?

    Only that if it is more than 44" above grade then it needs to be 5.7 sf instead of 5.0 sf in size.

    If the interior sill height is 44" or less in height, then up and out the window you go.

    Tumble down 3 feet and break your leg on the ladder nearby, now all you have to do is climb up that ladder with a broken leg.

    Meets code.

    No Problem.

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

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Chicago IL
    Posts
    1,984

    Default Re: basement escape window

    Thanks for the replies. From the window sill to grade is only about 24". So from the recessed grade below the window sill to actual grade is only about 36".
    I guess my concern is that if while actually trying to get out the window the 12" drop could cause surprise and injury, slowing escape for others behind the 1st person.
    If someone is rushing to get out, the 1' drop may be a bit of a surprise, they sprain their wrist, blah, blah. Maybe I'm just over thinking it.

    www.aic-chicago.com
    773/844-4AIC
    "The Code is not a ceiling to reach but a floor to work up from"

  6. #6
    Bill Goromby's Avatar
    Bill Goromby Guest

    Cool Re: basement escape window

    as long as you get out alive, the code is happy.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Healdsburg, CA
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    1,741

    Default Re: basement escape window

    Dwarf fireman saves young girl !

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