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Old 05-27-2010, 11:29 PM   #1
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Is it legal (in Canada) to have a home dwelling with only one exit?


I live in a duplex that only has one front door? Is this up to code, there is a basement, the foyer where the entrence is, then the upstairs, which is 15 feet off the ground, if I had to jump from a window.

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Old 05-28-2010, 12:13 PM   #2
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Is it legal (in Canada) to have a home dwelling with only one exit?


I'm no expert, but...

Just did some quick reading and it seems it will depend on where you are. Canada has a national building code, each province/territory can (and usually does) have a provincial/territorial building code that overrides parts of the national code. Finally, each municipality can then override components of the provincial/territorial or national code.

From what I've read, there are definitely some places where it is not allowed, and others where it definitely is.

I'd drop in to City Hall and ask the inspector/inspector office.

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Old 05-28-2010, 11:34 PM   #3
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Is it legal (in Canada) to have a home dwelling with only one exit?


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Originally Posted by Jasper66 View Post
I live in a duplex that only has one front door? Is this up to code, there is a basement, the foyer where the entrence is, then the upstairs, which is 15 feet off the ground, if I had to jump from a window.
Where I live (s/w Ontario) rental units are required to have a fire escape. If the 'escape' is above a certain height a ladder must be in place.
In one case that I know of, a knotted rope had been provided and it was rejected as unsuitable. The landlord had to put a steel ladder in place.
A call to the by-law officer for your municipality will get you an answer for your area.
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Old 05-28-2010, 11:44 PM   #4
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Is it legal (in Canada) to have a home dwelling with only one exit?


From a safety point of view I'd try to get a second exit in place anyways, even if it's a high window, with a rope ladder easily available. ex: in a drawer next to the window, and some solid hooks that it can be clipped on quickly and securely.
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Old 05-29-2010, 12:05 AM   #5
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Is it legal (in Canada) to have a home dwelling with only one exit?


Building codes here in Canada specify that there must be at least two points of exit to every dwelling. This point of exit does NOT have to be a door and can be a window. The code does suggest that there should be two doors exiting any dwelling from different sides, however this is not a requirement. Some municipal and provincial codes do differ from this and should be checked. Rental accomidations are subject to different rules then private residences and are often far more strigent. Again a simple phone call to your municipality permit office will answer many question you may have.
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