Egress Window Covers: Are There Code Requirements?

egress windows, egress window wells, egress window coversMany homeowners ask about egress cover code requirements. Having a cover over an egress window is both permitted and recommended. The cover adds extra safety when there is a playground or walkway adjacent to the egress window. Certain requirements must be met for egress windows, window wells, and egress window covers before installing an egress window.

Code Requirements for Egress Windows

Egress windows provide an easy means of exiting a home during an emergency. If any room in the basement used for sleeping, it must contain at least one egress window. What makes things complicated is if this window is located below ground level.  The window will require a window well. An egress well cover is attached to the top of the well to avoid someone falling into it.

If your window is located below ground level, you will need to install a window well. An egress well cover is attached to the top of the well to avoid someone falling into it.

Egress Window Requirements

An egress window located in a basement or other limited-access space must be at least 20-inches wide and 24-inches tall. It must provide an opening of at least 5.7 square feet with a bottom of the window no higher than 44 inches from the ground. Finally, it must be accessible to anyone without the use of force.

Egress Window Well Requirements

For basement egress windows, the well must provide enough space to that the window can open freely at the bottom. If the well is deeper than 44-inches, a permanent ladder or staircase is required. The ladder must be at least 36-inches in length and must extend beyond the window well no less than three and no more than six inches.

Adding an Egress Cover to a Window Well

Although an egress cover is not required for a well, it does add an extra safety feature. The cover must provide the same amount of 5.7 square feet in clearance with an opening a minimum of 20-inches wide. Most importantly, the well cover must be easy to open so that any child or adult can release the cover without a key or tool.

As long as the egress cover fulfills all of these requirements, it is legal to install it over an egress window well. Certainly, it provides a valuable safety feature in preventing someone from falling into the well.

Contact Jerry’s Waterproofing for Egress Windows Installation

Jerry’s Waterproofing installs egress windows, egress window wells, and egress window well covers for homeowners in the Omaha, Nebraska area, including Western Iowa. We can assure you that your egress window installation, including egress window well covers, will meet all of your state and local code requirements. Contact Jerry’s Waterproofing today!