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Thread: A silly question, or is it? about back doors

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    A silly question, or is it? about back doors

    I am wondering..Are back doors mandatory on a house. I am thinking about eliminating it..it is a just wasting wall space I could use, plus just giving crooks another way to get in. I realize as far as fire issues it might be needed, but is it code you have to have one. I mean I have got some large enough windows you can virtually walk through if you need to escape

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    That is prickly ground, code clearly states that there must be at least one door leading directly to habitatable areas of the dwelling (not via a garage) R311.4.1
    However many inspection departments (and insurance companies) require a rear door as a second means of egress to and from the dwelling. The argument is what if your living room is on fire and that is where your front door is, how do you get out with kids, maybe grandma or maybe someone in a wheelchair, windows aren't going to be quick in these cases.
    I hear all the time people say things like "well it's just me in the house" or I know that electrical wire is hidden there", codes are enforced to protect future owners or the friend who house sits while your away.

    Bottom line would be to ask your local inspections department "their" take on the rule.
    Little about a lot and a lot about a little.
    Every day is a learning day.

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    radstorm (09-22-2011)

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    Thanks for the feedback, pushkins. Yes I guess I will just leave it as a door..might semi close it off for winter by stuffing insulation between it and the storm door, but could still be exited quick if needed.

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    most building codes state that there must be two means of egress. if you have an apartment that is accessible by means of only a stairwell, then an escape ladder must be installed at at least one window. I had this issue when I converted an attic apartment in Massachusetts. Code officer made it mandatory that I install a chain type escape ladder at one large window.

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    radstorm (09-23-2011)

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    Thanks HayZee, as i said I will just keep the door..and make a sort of inlution filled "pillow case" (not sure what else to call it.haha) between the doors..so if I need to get out..I just open the door and shove the insualtion out the way. This is mostly for winter use to keep out cold air..come summer,,wont need it there

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