BCAB #1094 - Bedroom Windows, Article

October 5, 1989

BCAB #1094

Re: Bedroom Windows, Article

With reference to your letter of August 21, 1989, regarding bedroom windows.

Article requires the provision of at least one window suitable for use as an emergency exit, but gives no design criteria. The Code does not relate this requirement to Article, which deals specifically with the means of egress from an entire floor level in a dwelling unit as distinct from the possibility of emergency existing from an individual bedroom, and which includes a provision for the sill height.

Regardless of the absence of any sill height in Article, the purpose of the openable window section is clear, it must be capable of being used as an emergency exit. If the opening portion is so located that it could not act as an emergency exit, then we would consider it to be in contravention of the Code; the specific design may vary, requiring subjective judgement, but should provide for a normally active adult; we feel that to go beyond this and consider seniors and infants, is not the intent of the requirement.

We have no details of your design, but think that from the above, a reasonable assessment of the situation should be possible; the fact that your window has only an opening upper section is certainly a hindrance, but whether it constitutes an unacceptable obstacle depends on its specific features.

J.C. Currie, Chair