In the event of an emergency, such as a fire or forced entry, an egress window may be used to escape from a property. The window functions not only to allow light to enter the room but also as a passageway. Egress windows are different from doors as they only provide egress, which is to say they cannot be opened from the outside. As opposed to doors, which provide both ingress, entrance, and egress, exit.
Basements are popular throughout North America. They provide additional space within a home, and in the summer are cool and in he winter, warm. Older basements may not have windows and if they do they are likely to be smaller than those found today. Today, safety requirements suggest having an egress window in a basement and this is a requirement if the basement is going to be used as a bedroom. An egress window should be at least 48 square inches to provide enough space for an adult to climb through.
If an egress window is installed into a basement, there must be a well. A well is the term used to describe the area of space around the egress window of a basement on the outside of the home. This space must be dug down to prevent mud and other debris from piling up against the egress window. Many people choose to make a feature out of the well, by using wooden braces to make steps and planting plants along the sides of the well. The well can also be hidden from view by planting plants and hedges around the well, although care must be taken not to hinder a person’s ability to exit from the window.
An egress window can be added to a room and used as an access to a balcony area. Sliding or gliding egress windows are the most popular for this type of egress window as they function more like doors. If the balcony is going to be used often, it is advisable to install handles or a latch that can open the window from the outside. This style of egress window is also commonly found used in an apartment style building for access onto a fire escape.
So named because of the way in which they open and close, slider windows are mounted upon tracks or runners. These tracks allow the window to slide to one side. The window can slide horizontally or vertically depending on the style of the window. Size requirements are an issue when considering using a slider as an egress window, as only half the window can slide behind the other half, however, larger slider windows will be able to serve as an egress window.
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