In an emergency, time is of the essence. New York State egress code requires that each finished basement room have two points of egress to protect yourself, loved ones, and our first responders. There is little time to act when fires rage, especially in isolated areas such as basements. Families must have a robust fire safety plan, especially for their basement, which must include an unobstructed means of escape in case of an emergency.
Below are fire safety tips to help ensure your family’s safety in the event of a fire.
1. Install an Egress Window System
Egress Window Systems must always be installed to Federal and NYS code. An egress window opening must be 20” x 24”. A code compliant egress opening ensures that your family members can exit the window system safely while first responders such as firefighters and paramedics can easily climb inside for a rescue or to extinguish a fire.
As with many products and procedures we learn with experience. Experience has taught us that it is not safe to be in a basement without multiple means of exit. An emergency does not announce itself. We need to be prepared. That is the reason why U.S. building codes have shifted towards a greater emphasis on egress windows for basements. When trusted professionals such as the team at Long Island Egress Pros are on the job, your family can rest easy knowing your system was installed properly and to code.
Commonly found in basements are mini windows, which can be deemed unsafe, especially during a fire. Glen Dauman of Long Island Egress Pros elaborates on the topic:
“The mini windows we typically find in a basement are too small and too high for a family member or first responder to fit through and or reach. Bottom line, Egress Saves Lives.”
2. Keep Your Routes of Escape Clear
You must keep the area around the egress window system clear of obstacles that will block the window from fully opening. Blocking inhabitants from stepping into the window well can lead to a disaster in times of emergency. You should never put anything in the window well such as AC units, garden plants, etc. Keeping your route of escape clear helps you to enjoy the many benefits of an Egress Window System; fresh air, sunshine, and healthier living space.
3. Consider Installation of a Basement Walkout
Basement walkouts installed properly will also bring your basement up to code. The state recognizes Basement walkouts as a form of egress. Basements that are lacking in egress points can benefit significantly from a walkout system. A walkout, much like an egress window, can connect the outside right to your basement.
A basement walkout is a popular form of egress. We install code compliant walkouts daily. “My experience has taught me that if you are choosing between an egress window system or a walkout, you get more value use from an egress window system,” said Glen Dauman.
Basement walkouts can provide easy access to inside and outside spaces, increased exit points in an emergency, increased sunlight, natural light, and fresh air. A walkout is a big job, but the team at Long Island Egress Pros will install your walkout within 3 to 4 days. Long Island Egress Pros also offer many upgrade options to enhance your walkout.
4. Test Your Alarm Systems
Whether you are installing a new smoke alarm or have a pre-existing smoke alarm system, keeping on top of maintenance and regularly testing your smoke alarms will keep your family safe in the event of an emergency. When alarms batteries fail, families lose precious time to safely exit their homes or rooms.
Ideally, alarms should be tested and cleaned once a month. What is also important is to make sure your alarm systems are interconnected. When a smoke alarm in your basement goes off, it is essential to hear it from the home’s upper level. Connecting smoke alarms to the other systems throughout your home can be a huge help when it comes to identifying an emergency.
In the words of Long Island Egress Pros’ Glen Dauman: “The most important part of any escape plan is the way out.”
Installing Egress Window Systems and other fire-safety precautions within your basement is a job for professionals. The team at Long Island Egress Pros cares about the safety of your family and our first responders. At Long Island Egress Pros our sales team, customer service, and installers are trained on code and install processes. If you have questions or concerns regarding egress the team at Long Island Egress Pros has your answers. Egress Pros installs a code compliant egress window system in one day. No stress, no mess.