Can’t get in… But Can I get out? Emergency Escape

By
Home Inspector with NCW Home Inspections, LLC

Can’t get in… But Can I get out? Emergency Escape- Chelan and Leavenworth Home Inspection Services

I have talked about emergency egress and ingress before on bedroom windows.

But sometimes you have to reiterate a point. On a recent Wenatchee Home Inspection I observed a curious security feature.

The owner must have had some worry about security. As a purposeful and resourceful soul he decided to repurpose some common household items, the bed headboard and footboard.


                                         Security Bars over bedroom window

Now I love ingenuity and creativeness but sometimes the thought is just not quite complete or well thought out.

In this example we can see that the homeowner placed these bars over the widows.

                                       Security Bars over Bedroom Window

Now two things-
First they are fastened from the exterior so if you really wanted in it would not be that hard to remove them.

Second and most important this is a life safety issue. This is how the code (IRC) describes this
R310.1.4 Operational constraints.
Emergency escape and rescue openings shall be operational from the inside of the room without the use of keys, tools or special knowledge.

As you can see these windows bars clearly cannot be operated from the inside or opened without a tool.

“One of the true tests of leadership is the ability to recognize a problem before it becomes an emergency.”

Arnold H Glasgow


NCW Home Inspections, LLC  is a Licensed Washington State Home Inspection service located in Wenatchee Washington serving Chelan County, Douglas County, Kittitas County, Okanogan County and Grant County Washington and the cities of Wenatchee, Leavenworth, Cashmere, Orville, Cle Elum, East Wenatchee, Quincy and many more…  

Your Wenatchee and Chelan Professional Real Estate, Home and Structural Pest Inspection Service

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Rainer
56,903
Brad Gotham
Granite Peak Inspection, Inc.

Nice, keeps the lazy ones out.

August 07, 2012 07:49 AM
Rainmaker
289,196
Fred Hernden
Tampa Bay area Home Inspector
Superior Home Inspections - Greater Tampa Bay Area

Hey, a burglar bar is a burglar bar...lol, very inventive! I have seen this also. Sometimes when people add a room to their house they don't realize that they need to have an emergency exit. It could be their children that are trapped inside.

August 07, 2012 07:51 AM
Rainmaker
358,974
Donald Hester
NCW Home Inspections, LLC
NCW Home Inspections, LLC

Brad, I fear lazy intruders ; )

 

Fred, You are correct. In older homes also many times they do not know they need an emergency escape for a finished basement also.

August 07, 2012 07:55 AM
Rainer
170,105
Robert Butler
Montreal Home Inspector | Aspect Inspection
Aspect Inspection

Just mount the bars (head and footer panels) on the interior, but hinge them on one side and put a simple turn latch on the other (well out of reach of an arm through the window.).

Better still, hinge them below the window so they can be flipped down and used as a ramp or ladder to get up to the sill.

Ingenuity and creativeness are great, but you have to think of everything.

August 07, 2012 10:53 AM
Rainmaker
692,519
Clint Mckie
Desert Sun Home, Comm. Inspection 1-575-706-5586
Desert Sun Home, commercial Inspections

Hi Donald,

I guess they never thought about the "means of egress". You can get in but you can't get out the window.

Gotta love this mess.

Have a great day my friend.

Best, Clint McKie

August 07, 2012 11:26 AM
Rainmaker
627,324
James Quarello
Connecticut Home Inspector
JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC

It's like putting keyed locks on the inside of the door. You're trapped like a rat. 

August 11, 2012 05:56 AM
Rainmaker
358,974
Donald Hester
NCW Home Inspections, LLC
NCW Home Inspections, LLC

Robert, Love your correction ; )

Clint, Many just never think about that sort of stuff.

 

Jim, Had one just a week ago on a back door.

 

August 14, 2012 02:04 PM
Anonymous
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Rainmaker
358,974

Donald Hester

NCW Home Inspections, LLC
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