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?
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