The 2012 International Residential Code (R312.2) requires fall protection at operable windows when they meet a combination of two specific height requirements. The first requirement addresses the height of the window above finished grade while the second height requirement addresses the lowest part of the window’s opening on the interior side.
Fall protection is required when the exterior height above grade exceeds 72 inches, and the lowest part of the interior opening is below 24 inches above the finished floor. If a window happens to fall under these two conditions, the opening must be treated much like the code requirements for a guard rail, which limits opening size to 4 inches.
Like most codes, there are some exceptions to the rule. Fall protection or opening control devices may be used in lieu of the opening requirement, but must comply with ASTM F 2090 standards. Lastly, the built-in sash stop mechanisms on most windows do not comply with the ASTM F 2090 standards.
For More information, click on the links below.
Technical bulletin from the American Architectural Manufacturers Association (AAMA) – click here
My Building Permit tip sheet – click here
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