We get a lot out of skylights: daylight, fresh air, a fun and healthy home upgrade. But sometimes you need even more out of a skylight or roof window: sometimes you need it to work as an egress.
What Does Egress Mean?
"Egress" is one of those funny English words that's been around so long, most people have forgotten what it means, mainly due to lack of use. No, not a type of bird (that's "egret"), "egress" is another word for "exit." While it's not typical in everyday conversation, it is commonly used in building codes to refer to how somebody can exit a building.
For example, a fire escape is defined as a "means of egress" because it's a way for someone to exit a building in an emergency. Most states and townships have building codes that require means of egress on each floor, sometimes including finished basements and attics. Emergency exits on these floors usually come in the form of egress windows. Egress windows are large enough to open and allow people to get out — and emergency personnel, like firefighters, in.
VELUX Roof Windows as Egresses
VELUX's venting skylights only open a few inches, just enough to let fresh air flow through your home. A few of VELUX roof windows, on the other hand, open wide enough to qualify as egress windows under most residential building codes.
Top-Hinged Roof Window
As the name suggests, the Top-Hinged Roof Window features an innovative top control bar and convenient bottom handle for operation. That means this window can be installed lower than similar bottom-operated windows to get an excellent view while standing or when seated. It also features ThermoTechnology™ that creates an airtight seal, slowing heat transfer and increasing energy efficiency. And of course, it opens wide to function as an egress in emergency situations.
Roof Access Roof Window
For a room where you know you'll need regular roof access, there's the VELUX Roof Access Roof Window. Whether you need easy access for repairs, maintenance, or in case of emergency, this roof window opens wide and features a locking device to keep it in an open position. It can be installed as a left- or right-hinged window and has a ventilation flap for when you want airflow without fully opening the window. With this roof window, we recommend installing it in a higher position, such as a knee-high wall.
Flat Roof Exit Skylight
Got a flat roof? Need a skylight that doubles as an egress? We got you covered! Featuring a polycarbonate dome and an insulated PVC frame, the Flat Roof Exit Skylight opens up to 60° to act as an egress. It's manually operated and is available in three sizes. To operate, simply push open the top, and its gas arm struts will smoothly open the skylight, allowing you quick and easy roof access.
Need a daylight and fresh air source that doubles as an egress in your home or attic? Book a virtual consultation to learn more about your options!