Egress. It's an unfamiliar word. But when it comes to your safety during a fire, it could be a life saver.
Egress is defined as "a path or opening for going out; exit."
Most basements have only one egress..a staircase leading up to the main living area. With one way in and out, the danger is obvious. You could become trapped in the basement if a fire
blocks the staircase, your only means of escape and the only path for rescue.
If your basement renovation plans include a sleeping room, then an alternate means of egress is not an option, it is a requirement. Municipalities follow the International Residential Codes (IRC) for egress compliance. Section R310 of the IRC covers emergency rescue
and escape requirements.
Some municipalities, such as Paramus, NJ, do not permit basement bedrooms under any conditions. So check with your township building department before you plan a sleeping
room in your basement.
To learn more about egress compliance CLICK