Egress Windows and window wells
Egress Windows and window
Building Inspections
Egress window and window wells are required by MN State Building Code R310
Egress Windows
Basements with habitable space and every sleeping room shall have at least
one egress window or exterior door opening for emergency escape and rescue.
Where basements contain one or more sleeping rooms, emergency egress and
rescue openings shall be required in each sleeping room but shall not be
required in adjoining areas of the basement.
Egress windows shall they shall have a sill height of not more than 44” above the
Where a door opening having a threshold below the adjacent ground elevation
serves as an emergency escape and rescue opening it shall be provided with a
bulkhead enclosure.
The net clear opening dimensions required by this section shall be obtained by
the normal operation of the window or door opening from the inside.
Egress windows below the adjacent ground elevation shall be provided with a
window well.
Basements used only to house mechanical equipment and not exceeding total
floor area of 200 sq ft are not required to have emergency egress openings.
A minimum of 36” height clearance is required above adjacent grade.
Required Size and Operation
All emergency escape and rescue openings shall have a minimum net clear
opening of 5.7 sf, except grade floor openings shall have an opening of 5 sf.
The minimum net clear opening height shall be 24”. The minimum net clear
opening width shall be 20”.
Emergency escape and rescue openings shall be operational from the inside of
the room without the use of keys or tools or special knowledge.
Window Wells.
Window wells required for emergency escape and rescue shall have horizontal
dimensions that allow the door or window of the emergency escape and rescue
opening to be fully opened.
The horizontal dimensions of the window well shall provide a horizontal area of 9
sq. ft. with a minimum horizontal projection and width of 36 inches.
The required ladder or steps shall be permitted to encroach 6 inches into the
required dimensions of the window well.
Bars, grills, covers, screens or similar devices are permitted to be placed over
emergency escape and rescue openings, bulkhead enclosures, or window wells
that serve such openings, provided the minimum net clear opening size equals
that required for egress windows.
Release or removal shall be from the inside and shall not require the use of a key,
tool, special knowledge or force greater than that which is required for normal
operation of the escape and rescue opening
Ladders and Steps in Window Wells
Window wells with a vertical depth greater than 44 inches below the adjacent
ground level must be equipped with a permanently affixed ladder or steps
usable with the window in the fully open position.
Ladders or rungs shall have an inside width of at least 12 inches, shall project at
least 3 inches from the wall and shall be spaced not more than 18 inches on
center vertically for the full height of the window well.
(This information is only to be used as a general guideline for building and does not
contain all requirements.)
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