All you need to know about Egress Windows in Canada

Because not every window company will provide you with essential information on egress windows and some of them will just sell you windows that are below the provincial fire code, which of course is dangerous and unlawful, we, at Optima Windows and Doors, have decided to lay out everything that you need to know about egress windows.

What is it?

Egress windows are required by law as they provide a fast and safe escape from your home given an emergency situation. The National Building Code of Canada (NBCC) requires you to have it in basement or bedroom.

Most homes were built before egress window requirements existed. This means that they did not follow the egress window requirements. Basements and attics were in most cases redone into bedrooms. If you convert your basement into a bedroom without the guidance of an inspector or a certified company, it can be quite dangerous without a standard egress window.

Why do you need them?

If a person is involved in an accident or life-threatening situation, he/she gets so confused and panicked that thinking straight becomes almost impossible. In fire accidents, most people rush to the door, instead of looking for exits in buildings, which in most cases leads to even more accidents. That is the main reason egress windows are essential to your house. You need them to add value to your home and to increase safety in most rooms.

What windows can be considered egress windows?

According to the NBCC, a bedroom window should meet the following requirements:

  • The window should be large enough so that it can be used as an emergency exit.
  • You should be able to open such a window without special knowledge, hardware, tools, or keys.
  • The window must provide adequate ventilation throughout the year.
  • The window should provide at least 5 percent light to the entire room.

Basically, the vertical or horizontal slider and casement windows are acceptable as egress windows. However, these building codes are not the same for all provinces.

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