In Canada, it is legally required by the National Building Code of Canada (NBCC) for every home with a basement to have at least one egress window. In addition, one egress window must be present in every bedroom to provide a quick and convenient escape in the event of an emergency. 

Are you up-to-date on the specific requirements from the NBCC for egress style windows? If the windows in your bedroom or basement do not strictly adhere to these codes, you will have to opt for window replacement. The following blog will provide relevant information for homeowners on the latest regulations for egress bedroom and basement windows. 

Updated Information on Egress Window Requirements for Canadian Homeowners

Most Recent Updates to Egress Window Requirements

Purpose Of Egress Windows

The function of window egress styles is to provide residents of every home in Canada with a safe and easy escape in the unfortunate event of an emergency, such as a fire. Casement style windows are often the best choice for egress style windows, as most casement windows already fulfill the standards set in place by the NBCC. Every bedroom and basement must be equipped with at least one egress size window.

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General Requirements for Egress Style Windows

  • Required Area: area no less than 2.49 m/3.8ft2.
  • Required Dimension: no less than 380 mm/15 inches. 
  • Height for Bedroom: must be at least 1.5 ft above the floor.
  • Previously Installed Working Sprinkler System: in this instance, it is not required to install an egress size window.
  • Window Security Bars: must be able to be removed without the use of detailed directions or additional tools. They must be able to be removed from inside the home 
  • Measurement: measure the area been the window sills, jams, operating mechanism, and window sashes.

Specific Requirements for Egress Bedroom Windows

  • The egress bedroom window must be able to open easily and quickly. Also, there should be no additional tools or detailed instructions required to safely open the window.
  • The bedroom egress size window must provide 5% natural light to the flooring as well as sufficient year-round ventilation (air conditioners or window fans cannot be installed in egress bedroom windows).

Specific Requirements for Egress Basement Windows

  • Some fashion of step ladder or stair attachment must be in place as a means of easy escape in the case of an emergency.
  • The opening of the window well for egress basement windows must be 760 mm from the wall of the basement as well as 30 inches deep.

Additional Facts about Egress Style Windows

  • Check to see if your current casement or slider windows meet the above criteria for egress window sizes.
  • It might be necessary to cut into the existing concrete of the basement wall so as to convert the current window to an egress basement window. This should be done by a licensed contractor in order to adhere to the building codes in your region.
  • If the above is needed, a permit is most likely required. Check with your local municipal building for the specifics. This will help avoid additional fines as well as speed up the process.

Should you have any further questions regarding egress window codes, please contact NorthTech Windows and Doors. Our expert staff is informed of the current NBCC requirements and can assist you with any concerns. Call us today for a quote for window replacement for egress size windows.

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