Egress windows are an essential safety feature in any home, providing a means of escape in the event of an emergency. In Buffalo, New York, local building codes dictate specific requirements for egress windows to ensure the safety of residents. Here’s what you need to know about the requirements for egress windows in Erie County and WNY:
- Size Requirements:
According to the Buffalo building code, egress windows must have a minimum width of 20 inches, a minimum height of 24 inches, and a minimum net clear opening of 5.7 square feet. The maximum height from the floor to the bottom of the window sill should not exceed 44 inches.
- Location Requirements:
Egress windows must be installed in a location that is easily accessible in the event of an emergency. They must also provide adequate light and ventilation. In most cases, egress windows are installed in the basement, but they can also be installed in other areas of the home, such as bedrooms or living rooms.
- Installation Requirements:
Egress windows must be installed in compliance with the manufacturer’s specifications and the local building code. They must be properly secured and sealed to prevent air and water leaks. A proper window well must be installed with steps or ladder to allow easy access out of the window.
- Requirements for Existing Homes:
If you are adding egress windows to an existing home, you must obtain a building permit and have the work inspected to ensure compliance with the local building code. It’s important to note that existing windows cannot be retrofitted to meet egress window requirements, they must be replaced with a new egress window unit.
- Fire Safety Requirements:
In addition to the requirements for egress windows, there are also fire safety requirements that must be met. All egress windows must have a clear opening of at least 5.7 square feet and be located within 44 inches of the floor. Smoke detectors must be installed on every level of the home and must be interconnected so that if one detector goes off, all detectors in the home will sound.
- Choosing the Right Egress Window:
When choosing an egress window for your home, it’s important to select a window that meets the requirements of the local building code. You should also consider factors such as style, material, and energy efficiency. Consulting with a professional contractor or window installer can help ensure that you choose the right window for your needs and that it is installed properly.
Egress windows are an important safety feature that every home from Buffalo, West Seneca, Cheektowaga and all over the Western New York area should have. By following the local building code requirements, you can ensure that your egress windows meet the necessary safety standards and provide peace of mind in the event of an emergency.