Snow, a problem for Egress TAGS: | | |

  This year it seems that everyone is shoveling snow.  No matter where you live in the country.  There seems to be snow EVERYWHERE!  My question; is that snow making it impossible to use your Egress Window?  Please be sure to clear off your egress well cover so that lifting it in case of an emergency is easy.  Too much weight from accumulated snow on top of your cover can make it difficult or impossible to open.  More house fires occur during the winter than any other time of the year.  So now is the time to be sure to keep …Continue reading


Fire Prevention Week TAGS: | | | | |

Last week was Notional Fire Prevention Week in the United States and Canada – an event we always take serious at because of the nature of what we sell; a product that has been proven to save lives during fires time after time. National Fire Prevention Week dates back to 1922, and occurs every year during the week that includes October 9th. The reason October 9th was picked it because it’s the date of the Great Chicago Fire – one of the greatest fires in modern history, which destroyed more than 17,000 structures in 1871, and left over 100,000 …Continue reading


Egress Windows More Important Than Ever TAGS: | | | | |

There are a whole host of reasons why basement egress windows are a good addition to your home – including better air circulation, more natural light and simply better aesthetics. But as this recent story from St. Paul, Minnesota reminds us – the most important reason for having them is to save lives. The St. Paul Star Tribune recently published an article that serves as a chilling reminder of the importance of a safe means of egress. It reported the narrow escape of a St. Mary’s University graduate, who was trapped inside her parent’s basement when the house caught fire. …Continue reading


Safety First – Egress Windows, Fire Extinguishers & More in Basement Apartments TAGS: | | |

Let’s take a quick look at the basement safety essentials. Renovating or refinishing a basement is a fantastic way to increase the livable space in your home, and increase your property values. However, it’s a project worth doing right – if your basement space isn’t completed to match building code, it can actually hurt your home’s value – and, even worse, pose a life-threatening risk to anybody occupying it. Basement apartments are at the top of the list when it comes to basement projects that require attention to safety details. Features like kitchens and water-heaters pose the same risk of …Continue reading


The Utility of Basement Window Wells TAGS: | | | | |

Many household utilities are located in the basement – which is why a window well is an important addition to your finished basement. Basements are one of the most functional areas of any home – a great place to locate important utilities like a furnace, hot water heater and electric boxes out of sight, and away from children. But utilities are one of the leading causes of fires – so placing them downstairs, in a basement, increases the risk of a basement fire. If one breaks out – does your basement have a means of egress? A means of egress …Continue reading


Wooden Stairs Pose a Risk During Basement Fires TAGS: | | | | |

If the stairs to your basement are made from wood, a means of egress is especially important. The vast majority of American homes are made using simple wooden framing in their construction – and while this is an affordable, durable and versatile material; it’s also vulnerable to fire. As a result, one of the “hot spots” of fire risk has always been basement stairs. If they’re made of wood, they can quickly become inaccessible and unsafe in the event of a fire; trapping people downstairs. This is why adding a means of egress to your basement is so important – …Continue reading

Darkroom in the basement

Make the Most of Your Basement: The Darkroom TAGS: | | | | | |

Fashion photographer Danny turned his unfinished basement into a darkroom – and added a basement window well for several important reasons. “Film photography isn’t dead,” explains Danny Patterson, a fashion photographer from New Jersey. “It’s still a medium used in high art, and a lot of fashion magazines still love the look of a photograph taken on real 35mm film.” But Danny, who specializes in photographs taken on real film, admits that the digital revolution has changed a lot of things. “Everything that used to be commonplace has got more difficult to get hold of now, though,” he admits. “You …Continue reading


Basement Window Wells Saved a Book Collector’s Life TAGS: | | | | | |

Bruno Holmes is a rare book collector, who remembers vividly why he is passionate about fire safety in his new basement library. “Back when I was working in England,” explains Bruno Holmes, a rare book dealer for a prestigious auction house in New York City, “I was caught in a fire once that nearly claimed my life.” Born and raised in the south coast of England, Bruno’s first foray into collector’s books was running a second hand bookshop in a basement-level store in greater London. “It was an old Georgian building, accessible by steps in the front, and a little …Continue reading

Cooking in the Kitchen

If you can’t stand the heat, can you get out of the kitchen? TAGS: | | | | |

I thought it would be a good idea to look at one of the most important reasons why a basement window well is important – kitchen fires. Basement apartments are a great option for homeowners looking to bring in a little extra money, and for renters looking for an affordable and well-located place to live. There are drawbacks that need to be addressed, though – and one of them is safety. Adding a fully functional kitchen into a basement apartment presents the risk (fortunately a small one) of a fire breaking out down there. And if that happens, how will …Continue reading

Basement emergency exit window

Finish a Basement Apartment Safely with Egress Window Wells TAGS: | | | | | |

To finish a basement apartment safely includes having a “means of egress” – a building code requirement that calls for an easy escape in the event of an emergency. But don’t look at your window wells as an obligation – think of the opportunities they could offer instead. Egress window wells are not just a building code requirement – they offer a number of additional benefits that can help make a basement apartment much more enjoyable. When you’re planning to install your basement window wells, consider the advantages of the different rooms you could install them in: Kitchen: There are …Continue reading

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About Me

Hi, I'm Jeff. I will be using this space to share my thoughts and opinions that I have accumulated over many years in the building industry. My hope is to also teach and inspire.

This will also be a location for important industry news and product information. Featured items and sales can also be found here. Subscribe, or check back often to keep up to date on what is happening in the world of Egress Windows.

I welcome comments on any of the posts and I would love to get suggestions from you for topics you would like to learn about in upcoming posts.

Jeff Ommundsen
(229) 234-7377
President of Shop Egress Windows, Inc.