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January 04, 2009

Every home needs two exits

I read about the people who burned up in a duplex because they only had one door to the apartment, the front door (12/28, A-10, “Kerosene heater fire kills 7”). They had no escape.

Common sense would tell anyone that security starts at home. Any place should have a front door and a back door. I lived in one apartment with one door, and I couldn’t take it. I had to move out.

It’s sad. That should be a law — two doors.

Martha L. Farmer



"It’s sad. That should be a law — two doors."

Actually, building code allows windows to be considered means of egress, as long as they provide an open area of 5.7sf (enough room for an adult to squeeze through). Further, code requires that at least one window meeting this size requirement be located in every sleeping room. The general theory is that while using a window may result in injuries from a fall, escaping a fire is the most important concern.

If you don't like the idea of having to use a window at height, install a retractable ladder or only live in a residence with a door from every bedroom. Let the rest of us determine our level of comfort with the existing regulations without further intervention.

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