Egress is the provision for a person to escape safely from a
building. There are tons of products stored in garages, barns and
additions. Paint, solvents, lumber, plastics, gasoline, oil, cleaners,
heaters, and electricity are all hazardous in the right situation. Most
garages store some or all of the above on a daily basis. Not all
garages have windows. Most garage doors are operated electrically. And
many accessory buildings have second floors, whether created by attic
trusses or true wooden floors. In the event of fire, the garage doors
may malfunction, making it impossible to lift them. If there are no
windows or windows that are large enough to fit through, only the entry
door would be an escape from the building.
Garages, apartments or accessory structures that have collar ties
above 6’11” must have at least one egress window. A collar tie is the
interior ceiling height of a room. Rooms that have ceiling heights of
7’ or higher are considered to be full 2-story buildings. Second floor
habitable spaces, regardless of use have additional code requirements
for fire safety. Two story garages are required to have an egress
opening of at least 5.7sf per code.
An egress window has a glass area that is at least 5.7sq feet or
larger. This is large enough for a fire-fighter with full gear to pass
through. Means of egress provides a continuous and unobstructed path of
vertical and horizontal travel from all portions of the dwelling to the
exterior of the dwelling, without traveling through a garage. Exterior
entry doors therefore, do not satisfy the egress requirement by
themselves. That is where the need for windows comes into play.
Also, there are code requirements for floors and landings that need
to be complied with to provide an unobstructed path. For instance, all
floors and landings, whether a garage, addition or home must have a
landing or floor on both sides of any doorway. The landing or floor on
the exterior side – an exterior landing – shall not be more than 7 ¾”
below the top of the threshold of that door, provided the door does not
swing over the landing or door. This is an attempt to prevent
entrapment due to overhead or blockage from conflicting planes. It also
helps to prevent tripping and falling.
Call an expert Contractor before building. Call HW Enterprises, Inc. at 757-595-4562 office or 757-696-1927 cell or visit www.hwenterprisesinc.com and we will help you build a safe and quality garage, barn, apartment, addition or shell home.