Dwellings consisting of no more than a first floor with a maximum floor area of 400 square feet and a loft area not
exceeding half of the first floor area, shall be provided with at least one exit door leading directly to the exterior and at least one egress window that complies with sub. (6)
Dwellings that meet the size restrictions under subd. 1.
, are not required to meet the exit separation requirements under par. (e)
If a dwelling that meets the size restrictions under subd. 1.
, has more than one room on the first floor, the door and the egress window shall be located in different rooms.
One of the exit doors required in par. (a)
may be omitted for a dwelling unit that has one or more egress windows on the first floor. If there are bedrooms, each must have a window that complies
with sub. (6)
(2) Exits from the second floor.
At least 2 exits shall be provided from the second floor. At least one of the exits shall be a stairway or ramp
and lead to the first floor or discharge to grade. The second exit may be via a stairway or ramp that discharges to grade, or to a balcony which complies with sub. (8)
, or to a deck that complies with s. SPS 321.225
and that is no more than 15 feet above the grade below.
Windows that comply with sub. (6)
may be provided in each second floor bedroom — or in another location on the second floor if there are no bedrooms on that floor — in lieu of the second exit
from that floor.
(c) Where the second floor of a building is the lowest floor level in a dwelling unit, as in an up-and-down duplex, no
exit from the unit may go through another dwelling unit or other party's occupancy on the first floor.
(3) Exits above the second floor.
Except as provided under pars. (b)
, each habitable floor above the second floor shall be provided with at least 2 exits that meet all of
the following requirements:
1. The exits shall be stairways or ramps that lead to the second floor or discharge to grade.
2. The exits shall be located such that an exit is accessible to the second floor if another exit is blocked.
(b) A second stairway or ramp exit is not required for habitable areas on a third floor that meet all of the following
1. The habitable area consists of a single room.
Note: Non-habitable areas, such as closets and bathrooms may be partitioned off.
2. The room is not used for sleeping.
3. The habitable area has a floor area of 400 square feet or less.
There is at least one egress window meeting the requirements of sub. (6)
in the habitable area.
(c) A second stairway or ramp exit is not required for habitable areas on a third floor that meet all of the following
1. The dwelling is fully sprinklered in accordance with NFPA 13R or NFPA 13D.
2. If a required exit includes an attached garage, the garage shall be sprinklered.
(4) Exits from lofts.
(a) At least one stairway exit shall be provided, to the floor below, for a loft exceeding 400 square feet in
(b) At least one stairway or ladder exit shall be provided to the floor below for a loft, 400 square feet or less, in
(5) Exits from basements and ground floors.
Except as provided in
, all basements and ground floors shall be provided with at least one exit of the following
1. A door to the exterior of the dwelling.
2. A stairway or ramp that leads to the floor above.
(b) Basements and ground floors used for
1. Basements and ground floors used for sleeping shall be provided with at least 2 exits.
2. The exits shall be located as far apart as practical.
3. The exits may not be accessed from the same ramp or stairway.
In addition to the exit type required under par. (a)
, the second exit from a basement or ground floor used for sleeping shall be one of the following types:
a. A door to the exterior of the dwelling.
b. A stairway or ramp that leads to the floor above.
c. A stairway that leads to a garage provided the garage has an exit door other than the overhead door.
An egress window that complies with sub. (6)
, located in each bedroom.
(6) Windows used for exiting. Windows which are installed for exit purposes shall comply with the requirements of this subsection.
(a) The window shall be openable from the inside without the use of tools or the removal of a sash. If equipped with a
storm or screen, it shall be openable from the inside.
1. The nominal size of the net clear window opening shall be at least 20 inches by 24 inches irrespective of height or
width. Nominal dimensions shall be determined by rounding up fractions of inches if they are ½-inch or greater or rounding down fractions of inches if they
are less than ½-inch.
2. No portion of the window, including stops, stools, meeting rails and operator arms, shall infringe on the required
The area and dimension requirements of par. (b)
may be infringed on by a storm window.
1. For any window used for exiting, the lowest point of clear opening shall be no more than 60 inches above the
2. If the lowest point of clear opening is more than 46 inches above the floor, a permanent platform or fixture shall
be installed such that a flat surface at least 20 inches wide and 9 inches deep is located no more than 46 inches directly below the clear opening.
3. The topmost surface of the platform or fixture shall be no more than 24 inches above the floor.
4. The topmost surface of the platform or fixture shall support a live load of at least 200 pounds.
A stair used for the sole purpose of reaching the top of the platform or fixture is exempt from the requirements of
s. SPS 321.04
1. An egress window with any point of clear opening below adjacent grade shall be provided with an areaway in
accordance with this section.
2. The width of the areaway shall be at least equal to the width of the window.
3. The areaway shall be a minimum of 36 inches measured perpendicular from the outer surface of the below-grade
If the bottom of the areaway is more than 46 inches below adjacent grade or the top of the areaway enclosure, the
areaway shall be provided with a ladder or stair to aid egress. Stairs used to comply with this section are exempt from the requirements of s. SPS 321.04
Ladders or other stairs used to comply with subd. 4.
may infringe on the required area of the areaway by a maximum of 6 inches.
b. Ladder rungs shall have a minimum inside width of at least 12 inches and shall project at least 3 inches from the
wall behind the ladder.
c. Ladder rungs shall be able to support a concentrated load of 200 pounds.
d. Ladder rungs shall have a maximum rise of 12 inches between rungs and shall extend to within 12 inches of exterior
6. The areaway shall be constructed such that water entering the areaway does not enter the dwelling.
(f) An egress window under a deck or porch shall discharge through a clear path of at least 36 inches in height and 36
inches in width, and no more than 15 feet in length, to a yard or open space.
Note: Under this paragraph, there is no maximum height above grade for an egress window. Similarly,
egress windows are not prohibited from discharging to a roof, regardless of the slope of the roof.