Why are Egress Windows Important?

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If you own a home with a basement in northern Virginia or southern Maryland, there are several reasons why you would want to install an egress window. The most important reason is that egress windows save lives. More than 90% of the communities in Virginia and Maryland have some sort of code regarding placement of egress windows for new construction or remodeling of basement bedrooms and apartments. Basement Masters Waterproofing offers top quality egress windows and egress window well products and installations through our  Egress Express team.

Egress Windows Allow Family Members to Escape a Fire

A fire in a home can occur anytime. Because fire, heat, and smoke rise, experts advise remaining as low as possible in the case of a fire. The basement is the lowest level of the house and an ideal place to install an egress window. In case of a fire, it not only allows family members to escape from the basement, but it provides an additional exit through the basement in case exits on the upper floors are blocked by smoke or flames.

Egress Windows Allow Firefighters Alternative Entry

In case of a fire or another emergency, egress windows allow firefighters and emergency personnel to enter the home with all their gear. If the entrances on the main floor are blocked by smoke or flame, an egress window provides a way to enter the home with less likelihood of causing a backdraft, reintroducing oxygen into the flames by breaking a window or opening a door. Also, in case someone has fallen or been injured in the basement, breaking through an egress window might save valuable minutes to provide aid.

Egress Windows Provide Light

No one likes a dark, dreary basement. Especially if the basement is to be used as an additional living area, installing an egress window is an ideal way to provide natural light. It is also a great idea for gardeners and indoor plant growers. An otherwise dark corner quickly becomes an ideal place to store outdoor plants during the winter and to start seedlings for spring planting.

Egress Windows are Required by Law

In most communities in Virginia, if you are building a one- or two-story home with a basement or remodeling your basement to add an apartment or extra bedroom, you are required by law to provide an egress window. These laws are strictly enforced in new residential homes. Even if you currently have egress windows in your Virginia basement, it is always good to check to see if they are up to date on recent code requirements. While you may be tempted to save a few dollars because you added a basement bedroom before the current codes were in effect, your family’s safety should always be your top priority.

Egress Window Wells

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When you install an egress window in northern Virginia or southern Maryland, you will also need to install an egress window well. An egress window well creates a space for a family member or tenant to exit the egress window in the basement. It also allows a firefighter or medical emergency person to enter the basement with a full set of equipment. You have an option to leave an egress window well uncovered or covered with easy to remove clear plastic.

There are few things to consider when installing an egress window well in your basement:

  • Make sure that all of your family members know how to open an egress window. Place a sturdy chair or step stool nearby in case they need it.
  • If you have small children sleeping in the basement, be sure that the window well isn’t too deep or install a ladder.
  • If you have a deck over the egress window, make sure there is enough space for you to get out.
  • Keep the space in front of the egress window free of obstructions. Don’t place furniture or plants directly in front of the window.
  • Keep the egress window well clear of water and debris. In an emergency, you want to assure that there are no obstacles to prevent easy exiting or entering the egress window.

Having these key items set into place before a fire or other emergency occurs can save your family’s lives.

Contact the Egress Express Team!

Contact our team at Egress Express today to schedule your egress window installation. We are the leading installer and service provider of egress windows and egress window wells in northern Virginia and southern Maryland.





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