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The Scoop on Egress Windows

Tenants have been caught in the basement and perished because proper egress windows were not provided and bars were also installed in the windows.

In Ontario, Canada, the Ontario Building Code (OBC) sets the requirements for egress windows in basements. According to the OBC, if you are constructing or renovating a basement and intend to use it as a bedroom or a dwelling unit, you must have at least one egress window that meets specific size and height requirements.

The minimum clear opening area of the window must be 0.35 square meters (3.77 square feet), and the minimum height and width must be at least 380mm (15 inches). The window must also be no higher than 1.5 meters (4.92 feet) above the floor level.

In addition to the size and height requirements, the egress window must provide a safe and unobstructed means of escape from the basement in case of an emergency. This may include requirements for the window well size, ladder or steps, and clearance around the window.

It is important to check with your local building department to confirm the specific requirements for egress windows in your area, as some municipalities may have additional or more stringent requirements.

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