Means of Egress

Windows can allow occupants to escape to the outdoors (provide a means of egress) if fire blocks the usual exit paths from a room. Each basement bedroom must have at least one outside window (or exterior door) operable from the inside without the use of tools or special knowledge and without the need to remove sashes or hardware. Windows in these locations must have an unobstructed open portion with no dimension less than 380 mm (15 in.) and with an open area of at least 0.35 m2 (3.8 sq. ft.) as shown in Figure 127. For example, a casement window with an opening that measures 450 × 750 mm (18 × 30 in.) would conform to this requirement, but an awning window of the same size might not, if the awning hardware restricts the size of the opening. Awning windows with simple-to-use and quick-release hardware should provide acceptable means of egress.

It is recommended that the sill for the escape window be no higher than 1.5 m (5 ft.) above the floor. Access to escape windows can be improved by using built-in furniture as a step.

Where a security grill is installed over a bedroom window, it must be possible to remove the grill from the interior without special tools or knowledge. The window must be capable of staying open during an emergency without the need for props or supports. Where a window opens into a window well, a clearance of at least 760 mm (30 in.) must be provided between the window and the well to provide room for a person to exit. For windows that swing out, the 760 mm (30 in.) requirement is measured from the edge of the window in its open position.

Figure 127

Minimum dimensions for egress windows

.Source : Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)