Results 1 to 24 of 24
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Philadelphia PA
    Posts
    3,177

    Default heavy grate over secondary egress

    Anyone run into this? The grate on top of the window well can pretty easily be moved by most adults, I'd say, especially to save their lives, but I think a smallish child would have a pretty hard time. The 2006 IRC is kind of vague about it.

    Similar Threads:
    ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images ***IMPORTANT*** You Need To Register To View Images
    Inspection Referral SOC
    "There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception." -James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961)
    www.ArnoldHomeInspections.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    1,339

    Default Re: heavy grate over secondary egress

    I imagine the safety grate is to prevent someone from falling into the window well.

    R310.4 Bars, grilles, covers and screens. Bars, grilles, covers, screens or similar devices are permitted to be placed over emergency escape and rescue openings, bulkhead enclosures, or window wells that serve such openings, provided the minimum net clear opening size complies with Sections R310.1.1 to R310.1.3, and such devices shall be releasable or removable from the inside without the use of a key, tool, special knowledge or force greater than that which is required for normal operation of the escape and rescue opening.
    I agree that It is a little vague on "force" requirements.


    Dom.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Plano, Texas
    Posts
    4,170

    Default Re: heavy grate over secondary egress

    Glad I don't have to wrestle with basement egress issues (no basements here).
    I can see two sides, fall hazard without the cover or entrapment with the cover. On the other hand I see plenty of room on for a child too small to push the grate out of the way to slide past the cover and climb out.
    So which would you rather have happen fall and bust your head and die or be trapped in a fire and die?

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Philadelphia PA
    Posts
    3,177

    Default Re: heavy grate over secondary egress

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    ...
    So which would you rather have happen fall and bust your head and die or be trapped in a fire and die?
    I think the choice is "bust your head and maybe, but probably not, die" or have a child die in a fire.
    I can't help but think there must be a better way, though. Like a grate that will take the weight of a large drunken adult but can be opened by a child from below because there's a counter weight or spring assist or something.

    "There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception." -James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961)
    www.ArnoldHomeInspections.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring City/Surrounding Philadelphia area
    Posts
    3,473

    Default Re: heavy grate over secondary egress

    I'd think by the same token, some windows are rather difficult to open as well which could also put a child or less physically able person at risk.

    Maybe a grate made of tubular aluminum would be a better option. Still plenty of strength but about 1/2 or less the weight of the current iron grates. Most treestands manufactured for hunting are made of tubular aluminum and many have 300-350 pound weight capacities, although those ratings are for 19x30 platforms. These grates cover much more area.

    "It takes a big man to cry. It takes an even bigger man to laugh at that man". - Jack Handey

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Morris, Illinois
    Posts
    41

    Default Re: heavy grate over secondary egress

    I recommend Sturdy plastic window well covers with clips that slip over the edge of the metal window well, available online. (search - sturdy plastic window well cover) - Sturdy enough to support a child and easily pushed up and out of the way. Also serves as a water shed, & helps to prevent moisture intrusion.

    Jess
    www.aplusinspector.com
    (815) 941-2345

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,248

    Default Re: heavy grate over secondary egress

    That grate is not allowed.

    If that window well is over 30" deep then it should have a guard around it, and a gate to allow a person escaping up that way to get out through the guard.

    Keep in mind that having that grate there makes it a very good place to place things out of the way, such as trash cans, garden hoses, all kinds of things which would inhibit someone escaping out that EERO.

    Think of it this way: would a small child be able to open the window to escape? Yes, that is why the sill is low, the latches are low, etc., but could that same small child lift that grate ... doubt it ...

    That pit would make a BBQ pit during a fire (except that the grilling would be done BELOW the grill ... I would not want anyone in there to become the BBQee (if you know what I mean).

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

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    1,339

    Default Re: heavy grate over secondary egress

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    That grate is not allowed.

    I think the manufacturer will disagree with you about that...

    http://www.boman-kemp.com/resources/esr-1856.pdf


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    1,339

    Default Re: heavy grate over secondary egress

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post

    Think of it this way: would a small child be able to open the window to escape? Yes, that is why the sill is low, the latches are low, etc., but could that same small child lift that grate ... doubt it ...

    How about a able-bodied adult with a deformity or medical condition?
    Or Rheumatoid arthritis?


    Any other such condition (or circumstance) can be inserted there, but the point is they didn't write any of that into the code.

    Dom.


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,248

    Default Re: heavy grate over secondary egress

    Quote Originally Posted by Dom D'Agostino View Post
    I think the manufacturer will disagree with you about that...

    http://www.boman-kemp.com/resources/esr-1856.pdf
    They probably would, but then I would point out that the plastic cover would block off the REQUIRED natural ventilation and that window is no longer providing that EITHER.

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

  11. #11
    Darron Clark's Avatar
    Darron Clark Guest

    Default Re: heavy grate over secondary egress

    Most persons that couldn't lift the grate would be able to crawl over it easily once they had slid open the window. The bars would offer a 'great' handhold.


  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,248

    Default Re: heavy grate over secondary egress

    Quote Originally Posted by Darron Clark View Post
    Most persons that couldn't lift the grate would be able to crawl over it easily once they had slid open the window. The bars would offer a 'great' handhold.
    Darron,

    Not understanding what you are trying to say ... the people would be "under" the grate and would be BBQd by the time they were removed 'well done' from under the grate.

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

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    California
    Posts
    94

    Default Re: heavy grate over secondary egress

    The well with it's grate is a listed product, so like it or not, it is legal. As to ventilation, half of the window is above the cover and if that's not enough, add mechanical ventilation, which is also legal.


  14. #14
    Darron Clark's Avatar
    Darron Clark Guest

    Default Re: heavy grate over secondary egress

    Jerry;
    You can see by the picture that half the window is above the grate so that anyone who opens the window simply would have to grab the grate from the close edge and climb up.


  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Snowbird (this means I'm retired and migrate between locations), FL/MI
    Posts
    4,086

    Default Re: heavy grate over secondary egress

    It is not installed correctly, as to listed and published mfg instructions, or code reports/approvals. Neither has the area been filled correctly. This gets a big fat "F" .

    The required label identifying the "kit" appears to be in the photo. This mfg (assuming all of the componants are indeed from the grate mfg) offers the "well" in a variety of heights. Cutting one in half, using one too "short", or installing only to a lower "half" of a framed opening is not in keeping with the product design, instructions, or approval(s).

    This type "well" kit with grate is intended to be installed to the full extent of the frame/buck, above or just below the top frame but above the operatable portion so that the EERO opening as measured from the inside is unrestricted to the "well" by size. This type "well kit" is further designed, approved, instructed and intended to continue in is height to a minimum of 12" below the opening to the foundation. Even in areas not required to install an actual drainage system, the interior base filled with stone is not intended to fill to the window sill, opening, frame or buck.
    The guard is neither attached nor hinged, it is designed to be held in place by its own dead weight, restricted by its edge angles, force exerted from outside or slippage is (top edge nearest the window plane) is to make contact above the opening. These is by design, to prevent failures to the frame, buck, foundation wall, etc.; and to afford the required minimum area (both sq. ft. and height) for the entering rescuer with apparatus, or the escaping occupant to get fully into the "well" as a separate "step" so to speak, safely. The "waterproofing" of the exterior is to be done prior to fill, and to code, approval report(s) and to manufacturer's listed instructions (that means a grade elevation exterior much higher than shown), and as the grate is "slid" or "pushed off, to assure its "landing" so as to NOT interfere or restrict egress (path) or impose a futher hazard to either fleeing occupants or entering rescuers.

    It appears the side yard/foundation fill is sloped significantly, Window wells are not designed to be retaining walls for areas other than the area of the well itself. This particular style requires basically flat finished grade excepting the required and consistant slope in direction away from the foundation. Fill founations is covered in a different section of chapter 3.

    This particular style grate may not be modified with hinges, lifters, etc. it is designed to be slid/pushed straight away from the window and foundation, towards the narrowing side, towards the ladder and off the well, the outside peremeter has angled frame material preventing it from sliding IN to the well, as long as the grate is NOT attempted to be picked up or pushed UP (towards the sky). It is made of steel, is reasonably heavy. The area on the far side of the well must be "clear" for a minimum of 40" so as to allow this grate to be slid out and away from the home and well area, completely and unobstructed, and "land" completely and level on grade flat so as to allow the one climbing the ladder to escape safely and continue traveling the escape/exit path to safety.


  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Snowbird (this means I'm retired and migrate between locations), FL/MI
    Posts
    4,086

    Default Re: heavy grate over secondary egress

    Quote Originally Posted by Darron Clark View Post
    Most persons that couldn't lift the grate would be able to crawl over it easily once they had slid open the window. The bars would offer a 'great' handhold.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Darron,

    Not understanding what you are trying to say ... the people would be "under" the grate and would be BBQd by the time they were removed 'well done' from under the grate.
    This grate is NOT INTENDED or designed to be lifted for emergency egress or for emergency escape/exit. For escape one must first enter the well - this well is not installed at the correct elevation for the escape opening, frame/buck, compared to the base of the well elevation, or for the surrounding grade, according to its instructions, design provisions, report/acceptance, testing, or meeting code.

    Neither is the situation with this type EERO well system when installed and maintained correctly. When the EERO well kit has been installed and maintained correctly (not the case here), one does not lift or tilt the grate, it glides with little effort. Yes, the grate is designed to be graspable handhold wherever it is grasped from inside or outside to assist in that effort to push or pull it in its intended direction of travel so as to open access/egress from the well (at its proper height from base and in relation to the EERO opening and its supportive frame.

    The grate slides with no more effort than that to open the escape window or door, is either pushed or pulled away from the window, and beyond the ladder, where then gravity takes over and takes the grate to grade beyond the well.

    The well must be installed level, and at the appropriate height to the window opening, as pictured it is not. The grade fill and elevation/slope must be correct, as pictured it is not. The area beyond (out from well beyond ladder for full width clearance of well) must be maintained clear without obstruction and at appropriate grade, and remain clear of any locks, connections, pins, catchments (such as a pole, tree branch, etc.) through the grate which would interfere with its immediate, low-effort, free-sliding, egress or exit.

    The missing cover is of issue - it is designed to protect the well from collections and to avoid poles, sticks, things which pin or obstruct the ready operation to open the grate.

    The cover allows the required natural light, natural ventillation may still take place when the cover and/or grate slid open less than a 1/3rd, or removed, or via ANOTHER window opening, one that does NOT provide EERO in the same room, or a room provided with an alternative ventillation under exceptions provided thereby in the Code.

    Your ventillation, lifing, and frying/BBQ concerns are non-existant in a correctly SIZED, installed (this one is not), and maintained EERO well kit from this mfg.

    This kit is orderable in a multitude of "heights" , this one is not appropriately sized in that regard, or installed at the proper elevation in relation to the EERO.

    Following is a link to the "how to" instructions, and the next following is a link to more products information.

    http://www.boman-kemp.com/howto/Old_...8/complete.pdf

    http://www.boman-kemp.com/resources/...mp_final_2.pdf



    Attached are drawings.

    Jess Alvarez is 100 percent spot-on. Both the covers and the guards SLIP (that is to say slide, and/or glide), just like the pictured "slider" window operates, and does so in the direction of the path of travel to escape/exit (that is to say, OUT).

    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 03-30-2011 at 12:36 PM.

  17. #17
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: heavy grate over secondary egress

    If a child is so small they cannot move it then I rather doubt they will be climbing out the window anyway. If the grate is just lying there and can be moved to the side I see nothing in the way where a code would disallow it as it is not a locked permanent fixture. It is nothing more than a bicycle in from of a door way they has fallen against the door that a child or anyone else could move.

    Burglar bars are one thing. A safety grate that is just heavy enough to not blow off the window well or get nudged off .... I just don't see it a hindrance but more a safety item for folks and especially children outside falling in the hole and breaking a limb or neck. That hole, left open, is far more a safety hazard than the grate being on it.


  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Snowbird (this means I'm retired and migrate between locations), FL/MI
    Posts
    4,086

    Default Re: heavy grate over secondary egress

    Ted,

    The issue with the overall incorrect/improper installation as pictured, is that one rarely has arms LONG enough, and ROOM enough to afford full removal and gain clearance to the ladder handholds/footholds while still inside and prior to passing through the window opening using the prescibed minimal force defined elsewhere in the Codes and Standards for operation/ requires entry into the well or more than the minimal force to completely open the well to afford ladder path travel.

    The Well kit was tested and approved with a minimum "headroom" and approved with more than code minimum approx 9 sq.ft. area within the well and grate (complete kit) as installed, and in relation to the EERO installed correctly. Provides details regarding maximum base elevation in relationship to EERO opening, and requires fill surrounding as per both instruction, approval report, and code requirements.

    Further the stress at a midpoint of the EERO window frame itself, the lights within, the buck or frame supporting, etc. as well as the improperly distributed stress for the retaining well frame, can damage, twist, warp the EERO, and/or the well installation itself, which may then negatively effect ready escape.

    I have no "problems" with this particular grate included/guarded kit system, WHEN it is specified/SIZED correctly, installed correctly and maintained correctly.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 03-30-2011 at 12:51 PM.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Snowbird (this means I'm retired and migrate between locations), FL/MI
    Posts
    4,086

    Default Re: heavy grate over secondary egress

    Quote Originally Posted by Dom D'Agostino View Post
    How about a able-bodied adult with a deformity or medical condition?
    Or Rheumatoid arthritis?


    Any other such condition (or circumstance) can be inserted there, but the point is they didn't write any of that into the code.

    Dom.
    Although able-bodied doesn't generally infer one with a deformity or medical condition, or infirmity, etc...

    Yes they (Codes) do actually address accessiblity EEROs for dwelling units and sleeping units/residing under such circumstances and reference the need (but does not specifically proscribe or mandate what special needs/requirements may be for the particular elderly, weak, physically challenged, infirmity, etc.) to provide for evacuation or escape for such residents, which may include substantial changes to the residence to provide same.

    This is not such a system, please review the conditions section (5.2) to the approval report.

    Understanding the heirarchy and nuances of statutory construction becomes helpful here. Not unlike, for example, when an elevator is installed in a single family home, defer to appropriate (oftentimes more than one "code" let alone section therein) "codes" which apply to the circumstances.

    Its been a while and I don't have access to notes at the moment, but accessibility, occupancy/zoning, maintenance, ansi/icc A117.1, 3411, 1107, are numbers that the old brain circuits are firing off, also fire, life safety, and others are ringing bells I can't answer at the moment. If I'm recalling correctly, 5 lbs of force or less (22 N) at least "was" the operating limit, be it a twist, a push, a pull, or a shove, sliding, rotating, or hinged.

    Distances and sizes weren't and aren't ever absolutely expressed, as conditional/influanced upon horizontal and overhead reach, whether obstructed or unobstructed.

    HTH.

    Last edited by H.G. Watson, Sr.; 03-30-2011 at 01:47 PM.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    26,248

    Default Re: heavy grate over secondary egress

    Quote Originally Posted by Darron Clark View Post
    Jerry;
    You can see by the picture that half the window is above the grate so that anyone who opens the window simply would have to grab the grate from the close edge and climb up.
    Darron,

    That now puts the height above 44" high from the floor and also reduces the opening size to no where near the minimum 5.0 sf, 24" high, but it might make the 20" width.

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

  21. #21
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: heavy grate over secondary egress

    Quote Originally Posted by H.G. Watson, Sr. View Post
    Ted,

    The issue with the overall incorrect/improper installation as pictured, is that one rarely has arms LONG enough, and ROOM enough to afford full removal and gain clearance to the ladder handholds/footholds while still inside and prior to passing through the window opening using the prescibed minimal force defined elsewhere in the Codes and Standards for operation/ requires entry into the well or more than the minimal force to completely open the well to afford ladder path travel.

    The Well kit was tested and approved with a minimum "headroom" and approved with more than code minimum approx 9 sq.ft. area within the well and grate (complete kit) as installed, and in relation to the EERO installed correctly. Provides details regarding maximum base elevation in relationship to EERO opening, and requires fill surrounding as per both instruction, approval report, and code requirements.

    Further the stress at a midpoint of the EERO window frame itself, the lights within, the buck or frame supporting, etc. as well as the improperly distributed stress for the retaining well frame, can damage, twist, warp the EERO, and/or the well installation itself, which may then negatively effect ready escape.

    I have no "problems" with this particular grate included/guarded kit system, WHEN it is specified/SIZED correctly, installed correctly and maintained correctly.
    Now see how you say it so eloquently. You and everyone already posted all what was wrong. I just sat in the background and then added my opinion as to I find it of little problem and actually a help to cover the hole so some little tike chasing a ball does not fall in the ho9le and break his neck.


  22. #22
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Fuquay Varina, NC
    Posts
    1,072

    Default Re: heavy grate over secondary egress

    I agree with Ted.
    I you set fire to someones azz, you can bet a child or disabled will flick that cover off like a buggar.

    Mike Schulz License 393
    Affordable Home Inspections
    www.houseinspections.com

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Snowbird (this means I'm retired and migrate between locations), FL/MI
    Posts
    4,086

    Default Re: heavy grate over secondary egress

    When sized, installed, fitted, and maintained (including fill and area surrounding) correctly, that grate (and clear cover) slide off with little force (5 lbs of force or less - 22 N) with a simple push or pull motion, the same limits of force (be it push, pull, twist, that operating the EERO must adhere to, ANSI/ICC A117.1

    The pictured installation is wrong. The well kit is not installed correctly, it is not at the correct height or depth in relation to the EERO nor is the grading in the area correct.


  24. #24
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Healdsburg, CA
    Posts
    1,741

    Default Re: heavy grate over secondary egress

    I agree with Jerry P and when I first saw that picture I recall Jerry naming stuff like that "Fry Room #!", etc. I would call it BBQ #1. There is nothing right about it and why stop at kids? What about old Granny or Uncle Buck who had a few?

    Jerry McCarthy
    Building Code/ Construction Consultant

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •