Thursday, September 10, 2009

Emergency Escape and Rescue Openings for Residential and Institutional Occupancies

Emergency Escape and Rescue Openings are required in the New NYC Construction Code as per Section BC 1025 in R (Residential) and Group I-1 (Institutional) Occupancies.

Sleeping Rooms below the fourth story above grade shall have at least one emergency escape and rescue opening.

Where below-grade stories contain one or more sleeping rooms, emergency escape and rescue openings shall be required in each sleeping room and shall open directly in to a public street, public alley, yard or court.

  • The minimum size of such openings is a minimum net clear opening of 6 square feet.
  • The net clear opening height dimension shall not be less than 30"
  • The net clear opening width dimension shall not be less than 24"
  • The bottom of the clear opening shall not be more than 36" above the floor.
  • The opening shall be operational from the inside of the room without the use of keys or tools.
  • An emergency escape and rescue opening below the adjacent ground level shall be provided with a window well with a minimum horizontal area of 9 Sq Ft, with a minimum dimension of 36".
  • Window wells with a depth of more than 44" shall be equipped with an approved permanent ladder or steps.

There are exceptions listed in the Code under Section 1025.1. The above is an abbreviation/summary of the full Code requirement. Please refer to the Building Code Text for full details.

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