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   Then there are the multiple safety requirements for a bedroom, which building codes refer to as a “sleeping room,” and once you consider that it is a place where people spend long hours unconscious and in the dark, make sense:

  1. Bullet Each bedroom must have an egress window. Egress is “a way out,” and an egress window in the building code is defined as a required alternate route out of the home in an emergency, typically a fire. All sleeping rooms must have a window of adequate size opening for a person to get out and a rescue fireman with a backpack to get in. The minimum specifications in the International Residential Code (IRC) and Florida Building Code (FBC) are:

  2. Minimum width of window opening: 20 inches

  3. Minimum height of window opening: 24 inches

  4. Minimum square area of opening: 5.7 square feet (5.0 square feet for ground floor)

  5. Maximum window sill height: 44 inches

  6. Must be openable without keys, tools, or special knowledge.

   To learn more, go to our blog “What is an egress window?”

  1. Bullet Smoke alarms are required in each bedroom and adjoining access room. They must be interconnected, so that the activation of one alarm sets off them all.

  2. Bullet Carbon monoxide alarms must be installed outside sleeping areas of residences with fossil-fuel appliances or with an attached garage. To find out more about carbon monoxide alarms, visit our blog “Are carbon monoxide alarms required to be installed in homes in Florida?”

   Requirements for egress windows, smoke and carbon monoxide alarms have been implemented over the last several decades and older houses are not required to meet the new bedroom safety standards unless certain types of remodeling or additions are done to the home. But if your are concerned about your family’s safety at home, upgrading to meet the current bedroom safety standards is a good idea.

While we hope you find this series of articles about home inspection helpful, they should not be considered an alternative to an actual home inspection by a local inspector. Also, construction standards vary in different parts of the country and it is possible that important issues related to your area may not be covered here.
©2015 - McGarry and Madsen Inspection.

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