The City of Austin rules on window egress can be confusing to a homeowner in need of window replacements. This is especially since so many homes in the city do not currently meet modern codes.
To close out a window replacement permit, City of Austin inspectors at final inspection will look at the following International Residential Code criteria for “Emergency Escape and Rescue Openings” to see if your new windows meet the city’s strict egress rules.
1) Every sleeping room shall have at least one operable emergency and rescue opening
2) Where emergency escape and rescue openings are provided they shall have a sill height of not more than 44 inches above the floor.
3) All emergency escape and rescue openings shall have a minimum net clear opening of 5.7 square feet. (Exception: Grade floor openings shall have a minimum net clear opening of 5 square feet.)
4) The minimum net clear opening height shall be 24 inches and the minimum net clear opening width shall be 20 inches.
5) Emergency escape and rescue openings shall be operational from the inside of the room without the use of keys, tools or special knowledge (no inoperable bars over the windows).