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Escape Window Requirements

Escape Window Because so many fire-related deaths occur when people are asleep at home, the building code requires that basements of dwelling units and every bedroom below the fourth story have at least one operable window or door approved for emergency escape and rescue. This exit must open directly into a public street, public alley, yard or exit court. The units must provide a full clear opening without the use of tools.

Extensive testing has been done to establish the minimum window size requirements found in the building code.

The net clear opening must be no less than 5.7 square feet. In addition, the net clear openable height must be a minimum of 24 inches. The net clear openable width must be a minimum of 20 inches. Note that using both minimum figures will not obtain the required area. The finished sill height must not be more than 44 inches above the floor. 

Minimum Width/Height Requirement for Emergency Escape and Rescue Windows

Width
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
Height
41
39.1
37.3
35.7
34.2
32.8
31.6
30.4
29.3
 

More specifics can be found in the handout from the Inspections Department, as a Microsoft Word file  or as an Adobe Acrobat Reader file . For additional information, call the Inspections Department at 241-1561 or send an e-mail to inspections@cityoffargo.com .