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What are the code requirements for emergency escape from a Tiny House loft?
Monday, June 7, 2021
The code requires that all bedrooms, including those in Tiny Houses, provide a second means of escape directly to the exterior in case a fire blocks the regular path to get out of the house. This is accomplished by having at least one “egress window” in a loft or regular bedroom that complies with the requirements of the International Residential Code (IRC R310.2.1). Egress is “a way out."
The minimum specifications in the International Residential Code (IRC) and Florida Building Code (FBC) are:
• Minimum width of window opening: 20 inches
• Minimum height of window opening: 24 inches
• Minimum square area of opening: 5.7 square feet (5.0 square feet for ground floor)
• Maximum window sill height: 44 inches
Windows that are egress-rated are marked as such in the manufacturer’s catalogs. The egress opening of a single hung or sliding window—like the one shown above—is a little less than half of the total window area because only one side can be opened at a time. But there are also specially designed smaller windows that have a secondary hinge point on one side and the entire window assembly opens outward when the securing latch is released from inside the bedroom. This is the type best suited for a Tiny House.
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