Should You Have an Emergency Escape Ladder in Your Window Well?

Having an emergency exit in your basement is a requirement put in place to keep you and your family safe. When it comes to your basement, this is easily achieved with an egress window. An egress window is a window, particularly in bedrooms, that meet certain dimension requirements. An egress window must be at least 20 inches wide, 24 inches high, and can’t be more than 44 inches above the floor.

In the case of an emergency, these requirements allow occupants to easily escape through the window to safety. It also allows firefighters to enter the home through the basement if necessary. Besides having an egress window, there are a few other ways you can make it easier for loved ones to use these windows as an exit. Egress ladders or steps are available for purchase, but should you have an emergency escape ladder in your window well?  

Technically, if your window well is deeper than 44 inches, you are required to have an emergency escape ladder. Not only should you have one, but it should be permanently attached to the inside of your window well. There are a few other requirements you’ll need to keep in mind as you consider installing an emergency escape ladder. Your ladder may encroach into the window well up to 6 inches. As you shop, you’ll want to look for a ladder with rungs that are close enough to allow for easily climbing; they should not be more than 18 inches apart. The rungs must be at least 12 inches wide and the ladder must project at least 3 inches away from the back wall. But, it must not be further than 6 inches from the back wall.

These may seem like a lot of requirements for a simple ladder, but having a proper sized ladder, properly placed will ensure that your family members will be able to get out of the basement as easily as possible. So not only should you have an emergency escape ladder in your window well, but if you have a very deep window well you must.

Once you’ve met all the functional requirements for your window well, why not have a little fun and make it a beautiful addition to your home as well as a safety measure? Windowell Expressions offers beautiful window well liners to make the view from your egress window a complimentary one to your living space.

With a variety of patterns, colors, and textures, Windowell Expressions can help you find the perfect window well liner for your home. Besides looking expensive and adding value to your home, your window well liner can actually keep your window well cleaner. With surface materials that stay cleaner and are easier to wipe down, you’ll be able to keep your well bright and clean. This not only looks great from the inside, but a clean window well can make an emergency escape easier and less stressful.

For more information on window well liners or egress window requirements, don’t hesitate to contact the professionals at Windowell Expressions.