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Emergency Escape/Rescue Openings Final
The residential checklist for (final) emergency escape/rescue openings includes:

  • Minimum 5 square foot net clear opening at grade and minimum 5.7 square foot net clear opening at any other floor level (including basement), section R310.1, I.R.C.
  • Minimum opening (net clear) height: 24 inches. Minimum opening (net clear) width: 20 inches, section R310.1, I.R.C.
  • Maximum opening sill height: 44 inches, section R310.1, I.R.C.
  • Openings shall be operational from the inside of the room without the use of keys, tools or special knowledge, section R310.1.4, I.R.C.
  • Window wells: minimum horizontal area of window well is 9 square feet (minimum horizontal projection and width, 36 inches), section R310.2, I.R.C. ***Please note: The area of the window well shall allow the emergency escape and rescue opening to be fully opened.  Also note that the window well shall be designed for proper drainage, sections R310.2.2 and R405.1, I.R.C.
  • Window wells: a vertical depth greater than 44 inches, requires an approved ladder, section R310.2.1, I.R.C. ***Please note: If grille covers are used over window wells, the grille cover must be releasable or removable from the inside without the use of a key, tool, special knowledge or force greater that that which is required for normal operation of the escape and rescue opening.
  • Landscape plantings may not obstruct exterior pathway to/from the emergency escape/rescue opening, City standard.
  • A minimum 36 inch unobstructed exit/access width shall be maintained clear and unobstructed from each required emergency escape/rescue opening to the nearest adjacent public way.  This would include exit ways and access ways around mechanical equipment located in side yards, City Standard


Contact Information

City of Litchfield Park 
Building Safety Department
214 West Wigwam Boulevard
Litchfield Park, Arizona 85340

Ph: 623-935-1066
Fx: 623-535-9754