What is the International Residential Egress Code (IRC) and how does it apply to the basement of a residential dwelling?
- The IRC in general is a nationally developed consensus set of model regulations covering all aspects of construction for one and two family dwellings in a single document aimed at safeguarding public health and safety in communities large and small.
- Its intent is to establish uniform building standards which allows efficient design, provides flexibility to code officials, engineers, architects, and builders while encouraging the use of new and smarter technologies.
- The IRC is in use or has been adopted in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands.
- The IRC as it specifically applies to basement egress is a set of regulations that establishes the need for a second way out of a basement bedroom or finished basement area. It defines the requirements for installing a Basement Egress Window and a Basement Egress Window Well as the second means of egress.
- It was established to allow a basement occupant a way to safely exit the bedroom or allow firemen in full gear to make a rescue or fight a fire other than by the normal basement steps.
- Since the IRC is a national standard adopted by all 50 states it lets Egress Windows and Wells be manufactured in standard sizes reducing the cost to supply these products.