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Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry

Opinion: Basement egress windows


98-48c (formally 96-3)


Basement egress windows


1996 MSBC 1994 UBC

Submitted By:

MN B.O. Uniformity Committee

Approved By:

Thomas R. Joachim, State Building Official

Issue Date: 

August 3, 1998 (previously July 22, 1996)

Question #1:  

If I finish my basement into more usable living space, must I install an egress window even though the space does not include a bedroom?

Answer #1:

No.  The committee interprets that this would only apply to new construction or additions to existing basements.

Committee comments:

The committee will be proposing a code change to clarify that existing basements are exempt from this requirement.

Question #2:

Is a guardrail required on the top of egress window wells that are adjacent to walkways not used as required exits?

Answer #2:

No.  The building code does not address this particular situation.  (however, see 509.1 for ramps)

Division comments:

Adopted by committee September 25, 1996 and ratified at the 41st Annual Institute of Building Officials on January 17, 1997

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