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Windows can serve as emergency exits

In the event of an emergency, like a fire, windows can serve as a way to exit a home or for rescue workers to enter it.

Larger-sized windows that meet codes for emergency escape and rescue requirements are called egress windows

Egress windows are sized to provide emergency escape and rescue access for you to exit your home quickly in an emergency. Egress windows also allow access for rescue workers to gain entry, even when wearing bulky safety gear like oxygen tanks. Bedrooms or sleeping areas should contain egress windows or exterior door. Egress windows can be any type of operable or venting window that opens. The specific location of a window in your home, and your building codes determine what size of an egress window is needed for each respective location in your home. 

Consult with your local code officials for specifics on code requirements in your area. If you remodel your home to include a basement bedroom or sleeping area, or you transform your basement into a finished basement, consult your local codes to see what’s required in terms of egress windows.

Enhancing safety, security

Residential windows are designed and tested to enhance safety and security.

For example, if you live in a hurricane-prone region, residential windows can include an option called impact-resistant glass. This specialized laminated glass helps resist airborne objects from penetrating it. The impact-resistant glass is designed and tested to help stay connected to the window frame, to help protect a home and its contents, to help a building stay intact in a storm. This is an obvious advantage over shutters or even plywood applications, allowing the occupant to see out and also allows daylight in during electrical power failures. This type of glass can also be used in other types of applications such as for increased security or outside noise reduction and even golf balls.

Some types of residential windows are tested to meet tornado standards in addition to hurricane conditions.

Window Safety Task Force

FGIA is a member of the National Safety Council’s Window Safety Task Force. The group educates consumers on home safety topics related to windows. For more information on window safety, visit our Window Safety page.