Rental Basics in 02116>Question Details

Megan, Other/Just Looking in South End, Boston, MA

Do bedrooms need to have 2 exits?

Asked by Megan, South End, Boston, MA Wed Jan 7, 2009

I am a renter who lives on the first floor of an old brownstown and the windows have grates on them that do not open.

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John Becker’s answer
Bedroom are required to have a window. The window should serve as an emergency means of exit. For fire safety the gate should be able to be opened from the inside. Grates are wonderful for keeping people out, but they also need to allow a means of exit or escape.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 13, 2013
Many properties have a locking quick release mechanism on the metal frame that is specifically designed for emergency situations.

Also, these releases may not be present if you have two exit/entry doors in your unit.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 15, 2013

There are two routes you could possibly go to obtain this information. The local fire department od the Municipal code enforcement office.

Thank you for bringing this one to our attention....We often get questions about the definition of a bedroom but we haven't seen one devoted to the issue of safety.

Great question.

The Eckler Team
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 7, 2009
Hi Megan- the grates need to open. They should have a simple release latch on them or something that you can access from the inside of the apartment. It cannot have a lock on it. I've had to install these before, but some owners/ landlords aren't really up with the most recent fire codes, etc.
You should look into that first, and then call your landlord or the property manager and see what they say. It is a safety issue- potentially.
Thanks, and good luck,

Ken L.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 7, 2009
Rooms should have some sort of heat source. As for exits, windows, etc., they need to be sufficient enough to get a fireman/woman with their full gear in/out.
Flag Mon Apr 7, 2014
Bedrooms only need one door. They also need a window.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 20, 2014
There are plenty of places that are rented that would give you nightmares if you really thought about it. I'm thinking about fire, or an intruder. If the door is blocked, you need to go out a window...that opens....I'd call Inspectional Services says at 1010 Mass Ave & and ask what they think. 617-635-5352.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 7, 2009
Hi Megan,

Sorry. I did not see the rest of your question until now.

Yes, your windows have to open and have locks. (Inspectional Services-Boston)

Good luck.

Karen & Paula
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 7, 2009
Hi Megan,

Bedrooms do not have to have 2 exits, actually many do not. There are specific rules for bedrooms below grade. (lower levels, basements)
Otherwise many people consider a room to be a bedroom even if it does not have a window. There are many rules and it depends on whether who you are; the fire department, city (inspectional services), the buyer, the owner, the Real estate professional... you get the picture. And definitely from region to region there are many expectations that may not be met, depending on where you come.
Some properties are 100 years old in Boston and some have been built in the past few years. Rules are different for each.
I suggest connecting with a buyers agent, and experienced one will make sure the value is in the property.

Good luck, it is very exciting buying property.

Karen & Paula
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 7, 2009
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