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New Jersey Egress Codes

2018 IRC EGRESS CODES - QUICK GLANCE

Window Well Requirements For Egress

  • Minimum
    Width
    36"
  • Minimum
    Projection36"
  • Maximum
    Depth44"Without an Egress Ladder
  • Maximum
    DepthWith a Permanent Egress Ladder

Basement Window Requirements For Egress

  • Minimum
    Opening5.7 ft²Above Grade
  • Minimum
    Opening
    5 ft²Below Grade
  • Minimum
    Width20"
  • Minimum
    Height24"

Last updated: Tue, Jan 25, 2022

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1030.1 General.

In addition to the means of egress required by this chapter, emergency escape and rescue openings shall be provided in the following occupancies:

  • 1. Group R-2 occupancies located in stories with only one exit or access to only one exit as permitted by Tables 1006.3.3(1) and 1006.3.3(2).
  • 2. Group R-3 and R-4 occupancies.

Sleeping rooms below the fourth story above grade plane shall have no fewer than one exterior emergency escape and rescue opening, according to this section. Where basements contain one or more sleeping rooms, emergency escape and rescue openings shall be required in each sleeping room but shall not be required in adjoining areas of the basement. Such openings shall open directly into a public way or to a yard or court that opens to a public way.

Exceptions:

2. Emergency escape and rescue openings are not required from sleeping rooms with an exit door or exit access door that opens directly into a public way or to a yard, court or exterior exit balcony that opens to a public way.

4. Within individual dwelling and sleeping units in Groups R-2 and R-3, where the building is equipped throughout with an automatic sprinkler system installed in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1903.3.1.2 or 903.3.1.3, sleeping rooms in basements shall not be required to have emergency escape and rescue openings provided that the basement has one of the following:

  • 4.1. One means of egress and one emergency escape and rescue opening.
  • 4.2. Two means of egress.

1030.1.1 Operational constraints and opening control devices.

Emergency escape and rescue openings shall be operational from inside the room without the use of keys or tools. Window-opening control devices complying with ASTM F2090 shall be permitted for use on windows serving as a required emergency escape and rescue opening.

030.2 Minimum size.

Emergency escape and rescue openings shall have a minimum net clear opening of 5.7 square feet (0.53 m2).

Exception: The minimum net clear opening for grade-floor emergency escape and rescue openings shall be 5 square feet (0.46 m2).

1030.2.1 Minimum dimensions.

The minimum net clear opening height dimension shall be 24 inches (610 mm). The minimum net clear opening width dimension shall be 20 inches (508 mm). The net clear opening dimensions shall be the result of normal operation of the opening.

1030.3 Maximum height from floor.

Emergency escape and rescue openings shall have the bottom of the clear opening not greater than 44 inches (1118 mm) measured from the floor.

1030.4 Window wells.

An emergency escape and rescue opening with a finished sill height below the adjacent ground level shall be provided with a window well in accordance with Sections 1030.4.1 and 1030.4.2.

1030.4.1 Minimum size.

The minimum horizontal area of the window well shall be 9 square feet (0.84 m2), with a minimum dimension of 36 inches (914 mm). The area of the window well shall allow the emergency escape and rescue opening to be fully opened.

1030.4.2 Ladders or steps.

Window wells with a vertical depth of more than 44 inches (1118 mm) shall be equipped with an approved permanently affixed ladder or steps. Ladders or rungs shall have an inside width of not less than 12 inches (305 mm), shall project not less than 3 inches (76 mm) from the wall and shall be spaced not more than 18 inches (457 mm) on center (o.c.) vertically for the full height of the window well. The ladder or steps shall not encroach into the required dimensions of the window well by more than 6 inches (152 mm). The ladder or steps shall not be obstructed by the emergency escape and rescue opening. Ladders or steps required by this section are exempt from the stairway requirements of Section 1011.

1030.5 Bars, grilles, covers and screens.

Bars, grilles, covers, screens or similar devices are permitted to be placed over emergency escape and rescue openings, bulkhead enclosures or window wells that serve such openings, provided that the minimum net clear opening size complies with Sections 1030.1.1 through 1030.4.2 and such devices shall be releasable or removable from the inside without the use of a key, tool or force greater than that which is required for normal operation of the emergency escape and rescue opening.

Find your state’s IRC code adoption

Download the State Local Codes Chart PDF to determine which International Residential Code your state follows. Depending on your State, your local county may have additional/different requirements. Please refer to your local government website for up-to-date information and to confirm the information on this page.

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