Safety should be a number one priority when it comes to your house. It is necessary that you can get out of your home in case of fire, and an escape window will provide you and your family with means of escape when needed. Domestic houses are typically equipped with such windows, as well as fire-resistant doors, as in many countries building regulations require these fire safety measures. Here is an overview of fire escape windows, as well as the necessary boxes you need to tick to fulfil the legal requirements of your local building control.
What Is an Escape Window?
To fully understand whether you need fire escape windows or not, you first need to learn how it is defined, because, generally, there are a lot of misconceptions about the term. Escape windows aren’t a special type of windows you go out and buy. The term refers to a very specific set of requirements that needs to be fulfilled for a window to be classified as a fire escape window.
Fire Escape Window Size Regulations
The regulations for the size of an escape window depend on your state or country. However, an escape window is typically a window that can be opened up to 450 millimetres along its width and at least 450mm high while it shouldn’t be higher than 1100mm above the floor. Any window that fulfils those requirements is a fire escape window.
Where Do I Need to Install Such Windows?
In some places, you’re mandated by law (building regulations) to install fire escape windows in your house as part of your means of escape. The rules are quite clear:
- All rooms on the ground floor should either have escape windows or lead to a hallway that has a fire escape window.
- If your first floor rooms aren’t higher than 4.5 metres off the ground, the same rules apply to them.
- For rooms that are located on higher floors, you need to have a staircase as one of your means of escape in case of emergencies. You should be considering an industrial staircase design to help you get set up.
Depending on your state, you might not even have a choice whether you’ll be getting fire escape windows or not.
Even if you don’t have to install it by law, there are still multiple benefits you get from installing these types of windows in your home:
- It makes your home safer. The most obvious benefit would be the added safety. Fires are one of the main causes of death in domestic properties, and having large windows you and your family can escape through makes your home a lot safer.
- Lighting and ventilation are important for any home and installing relatively large windows on the ground and the first floor ensures proper light and air circulation in your home. If you want to make sure your rooms are naturally lit and fresh air is always present, installing these windows are a great idea. Of course, this is only for the ground and the first floor, if your house has more floors, additional roof windows are an excellent idea.
- Larger windows provide a great view of the outside – if your home is overlooking a nice lake or a garden, installing large windows will be a great way to make your house look more attractive.
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It’s worth considering your escape strategy when you’re installing windows at your home and once they’re installed, make sure that you always keep that route clear. Improving your house’s fire resistance is something you should be very serious about, as having escape windows can be the difference between life and death in case of emergencies.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Do I Need a Building Permit to Install Fire Escape Windows?
Whether you need a building permit or not depends on your local building regulations. You can easily look them up on the government’s website or contact the building control authority. However, as a general rule of thumb, if you are just going to upgrade existing windows, you don’t need a permit. If you’re going to remodel your house and install windows where there were none, you probably do need one.
How to Choose a Fire Escape Window Company?
If you’ve decided to install fire escape windows in your home, you probably need to find a trustworthy and professional company to help you do it. You need to look at how many years they’ve been in the industry, what are the reviews about them, and learn what kind of products they are offering.