Can you access or exit a bedroom through another bedroom?

Monday, June 25, 2018

The International Residential Code (IRC) and residential edition of the Florida Building Code (FBC) do not address this question directly. But bedrooms, like all rooms in a home, are required to have an unobstructed means of egress (way to get to the outside) through a designated exterior egress door. Each home must have at least one side-hinged exterior door with a minimum clear opening of 32-inches when fully open, and the path to it from every room in the house cannot be obstructed. Here’s what the FBC says:

    A locked door in the route between a bedroom and the egress door to the exterior would be an obstruction and, since bedrooms ordinarily have a privacy lock set that can only be controlled from one side, a lock that is not under your control could possibly trap you inside during a fire or keep you from exiting the house quickly.

    If the door between the two bedrooms has a latch set (door knob that cannot be locked), it could be argued that exiting a bedroom through another bedroom is safe and alright—no matter how goofy and unacceptable it is by social norms. 

    However, several counties and cities around Florida, such as Palm Beach County and Sanford, have adopted a model code called the International Property Maintenance Code (IPMC), which sets minimum upkeep standards for existing buildings. If your area has adopted the IPMC, you’ve got a specific and clear answer to the bedroom-thru-bedroom question:

    Also, see our related blog posts What are the requirements for a room to be classified as a bedroom? and Can a bedroom door open into the garage?

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 

Here’s links to a collection of our other blog posts about STRUCTURE AND ROOMS:

What are the building code requirements for notching and boring holes in a wall stud? 

What causes dark or light "ghost" lines on ceilings and walls?

Can you access or exit a bedroom through another bedroom?

What is the difference between a carport and a garage? 

What are simple ways to find the cause of a ceiling stain?

What is the minimum size of habitable rooms in a house according to the building code? 

Why is my garage ceiling sagging? 

How can I identify what kind of wood flooring I am looking at?

Why does my concrete floor slab sweat and get slippery?

What is the minimum ceiling height for rooms in a house? 

Why are there score line grooves in the concrete floor of the garage?

How much can I cut out of a floor joist? 

How can I tell if my floors are sloping?

Why do the floors slope in this old house? 

What are the common problems when a homeowner converts a garage to conditioned living space, such as a family room?

• How can I tell if a wall is load-bearing? Which walls can I take out? 

   Visit our STRUCTURE AND ROOMS page for other related blog posts on this subject, or go to the INDEX for a complete listing of all our articles.

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