When it comes to preparing for an emergency, an egress window can be a vital addition to your basement. Literally defined as “path out,” an egress window is a quick escape route in the event of an emergency. If you are having (or had) an egress window installed, you might also be thinking about an egress window cover. This is an allowable addition, but it must meet certain specifications in order to keep your egress window up to code.
If an egress window cover is something you’re considering, then you might have several questions which we want to help you answer. It shouldn’t be difficult for you to figure out what will work best to keep your family safe.
Why Do I Need an Egress Window Cover?
While it’s not required, the reason why you may want to add an egress cover is the same reason why you added the egress in the first place—safety. An egress is a relatively wide opening installed for an underground basement and therefore can create a fall hazard. This is particularly concerning if it’s in an area where you have kids playing or even an area of the property where adults often hang out or pass by, such as alongside a walkway. Many homeowners also have concerns about their pets falling into the egress opening if it’s an area of the property where they play or roam outside.
An egress window cover can prevent the risk of falls by covering the opening. However, because egress windows have other added benefits, such as allowing natural light to filter into your space, the last thing that you want is for the covering to interfere. Fortunately, egress window covers are made from a polycarbonate material that still allows sunlight to filter through—just like a regular window would.
What are the Egress Window Cover Requirements?
Of course, if you do add an egress window cover, then it’s important that it adheres to certain specifications. A cover must provide at least the same amount of net clear area of 5.7 square feet in addition to the minimum opening width of 20 inches.
On top of that, the window cover must also be easy to open and release from the inside. That means that both an adult or a child should be able to open the cover with ease. No tool or key should be needed to get the cover open or it completely defeats the purpose of having the egress present for an emergency. It could also make your egress no longer code compliant.
How can I Add an Egress Window Cover?
By working with a professional who installs egress windows, you can also ensure that you get a cover which is both code compliant and effective for your needs. While it may feel as though there are a lot of decisions, a professional can guide you through the process and keep it completely stress-free for you.
At Adams, a stress-free experience is always our goal. After all, we believe that keeping your family safe shouldn’t feel like it’s a lot of work or something that is difficult to do. That’s why we can help ensure that you get exactly what’s needed—and required—when it comes to creating your egress window as well as adding a cover, if so desired.