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PVC windows do not fully open

Guest EmmaCai

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Guest EmmaCai

Hi I am looking to buy a 1st and 2nd floor flat in a victorian house to rent out. The flat shares a front door with true ground floor flat and there is one staircase to the ground floor as a main fire escape route. The windows have just been replaced by the current owner but I am unsure of they open fully and therefore whether they could offer an alternative escape route from the bedrooms and livings room should the stairs be an unsafe option in the event of a fire. Should all modern PVC double glazed windows installed be able to open to allow escape if needed? What are my legal requirements as a landlord in respect of ensuring there are alternative escape routes (than just the front door)?

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The appropriate approved document says,

Provisions for escape from flats where any floor is not more than 4.5m above ground level.

Except for kitchens, all habitable rooms in the ground storey should either:

a. Open directly onto a hall leading to the entrance or other suitable exit; or

b. Be provided with a window (or door) which complies with paragraph 2.9.

Except for kitchens, all habitable rooms in the upper storey(s) should be provided with:

a. A window (or external door) which complies with paragraph 2.9. or

b. In the case of a multi-storey flat, direct access to its own internal protected stairway leading to a final exit.

Emergency egress windows

2.9 Any window provided for emergency egress purposes should comply with the following conditions:

a. The window should have an unobstructed openable area that is at least 0.33m2 and at least 450mm high and 450mm wide (the route through the window may be at an angle rather than straight through). The bottom of the openable area should be not more than 1100mm above the floor; and

b. The window should enable the person escaping to reach a place free from danger from fire.

Note: A single window can be accepted to serve two rooms provided both rooms have their own access to the stairs. A communicating door between the rooms must be provided so that it is possible to gain access to the window without passing through the stair enclosure.

Therefore when the windows where fitted the above should have been taken into consideration, check out http://www.planningportal.gov.uk/buildingregulations/approveddocuments/partb/bcapproveddocumentsb/bcapproveddocbvol2/ page 22.

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  • 5 months later...

I live in a sheltered accommodation bungalow with my bedroom attached to my living room so I have to go through two doors to reach a hallway.Because my bedroom window has a sliding hinge my only escape from the bedroom if there was a fire in the living room is a window 14inch wide 21 inch high when fully open.Can you advise please
Reg Kirby

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