Recently, there have been some stories in the news about people who died in burning buildings or have been locked up as prisoners.  In one case, a man who escaped returned to rescue his children; in another case, a man tried to rescue his cat; and in both cases, the man as well as the children and cat died.  More recently, photos of the house where Ariel Castro kept three week locked up for over 10 years surfaced, showing small enclosed rooms with chains.  In all of these cases, egress windows would have made a big difference and could save lives – both in the cases where there were fires or if a fire or gas leak broke out in Castro’s house.  It doesn’t matter where you live or what the local law are, say in Michigan. Anyone should have egress windows on their home to provide an escape route in the case of fire.

These egress windows in the basement or on the other floors of your house can be the difference between life or death when there is an emergency, and the path to a regular exit is blocked, so you need to escape through a window.  For example, if a fire on the main floor blocks the front door and back door or if you can’t find a key to unlock the grills on the doors on the first floor, an egress window could be your path to getting out and thereby surviving the fire.  Likewise, if you are facing another type of emergency, such as extreme weather conditions or a home invasion robbery, the window could be your only way out.

You can check your local building code or egress window provider to determine what is required for constructing such windows, since there are certain size and other requirements to satisfy any codes.  For example, according to the International Residential Code (IRC) codes governing these windows, they have to be at least 20 inches wide and 24 inches high, and they have to have a 5.0-5.7 minimum free and clear space when open, based on whether the window is on the ground floor or on another floor in the house.  The window has to have this opening to allow a person to crawl through, and the window should be possible to open without any tools or keys.  This way, a person can immediately crawl through the opening to safety, without finding the egress blocked because he or she doesn’t have the key.

Thus, if you don’t already have these windows in place, resolve to get these installed as quickly as possible, whether you live in Michigan or anywhere else.


(248) 879.0671 Southeast Mi

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Basement egress window installed in basement of older home. Mike was very responsive and on time and performed the service without any problems.   Work completed: May 09, 2012 City:  Ann Arbor, Mi 48104
Graydon Krapohl