City of Burlington, Vermont

City of Burlington, Vermont

City Hall, 149 Church Street, Burlington, VT 05401
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Egress escape window requirements; existing & new.

Buildings without sprinkler systems require emergency escape/rescue windows in all living and sleeping areas where a 2nd means leading to the outside is not available.  The window or door needs to be remotely located from the primary entrance into the room.  Respective to the State of Vermont Fire & Building Safety Code as adopted and amendment to National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 101:

Existing (replacement) emergency escape/rescue window requirements:  The clear opening of an existing means of escape (egress window) shall be:

1) Opening (bottom) sash for a wood, vinyl, aluminum or fiberglass framed window shall be a minimum of 24" H X  20" W (one dimension required to be greater than the other) to achieve a net clear opening equal to or greater than 5.0 square ft. 

2) Opening (bottom) sash for steel framed window shall be a minimum of 24” H x 20” W  with at least one dimension exceeded to provide a clear opening equal to or greater than 5.0 square ft. 

NOTE: Modifications to the existing rough opening to meet 5.0 is not acceptable but rather need to increase in size to accept the window size meeting 5.7 sq ft.    

New emergency egress/rescue window requirements:  shall be 5.7 ft2 of net clear with minimum measurements of 24" X H OR 20" x W to equal or greater than 821 square inches.  Divide the total sq inches (821) by 144 converts to square feet dimension or 5.7 ft2.    Net clear opening means the clear opening providing an absolute clear space to pass through without exception.  The maximum window height off finsh floor to sill shall not be more than 44 inches.

Height off grade:  Egress window sills shall be equal to or less than twenty (20) feet off grade.   Nationally recognized in the National Fire Protection Associations (NFPA) Safety Codes adopted 20 ft is the maximum safe distance for the first responders apparatus to reach those in danger and for those in danger to quickly escape.  

Exceptions: Means of escape windows are not required in building protected by automatic sprinkler systems, non-habitable spaces, i.e., bathrooms, kitchens, hallways or closets.   Habitable room shall mean approved living & sleeping.