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 Windowand a Basement Egress Window Wellas 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.