Emergency escape and rescue openings and any exit doors shall be maintained free of any obstructions other than those allowed by this section and shall be operational from the inside of the room. Bars, grilles, grates or similar devices are permitted to be placed over emergency escape and rescue openings provided the minimum net clear opening size complies with Section 1029.2 and such devices shall be releasable or removable from the inside without the use of a key, tool, special knowledge or effort, or force greater than that which is required for normal operation of the escape and rescue opening. Where such bars, grilles, grates or similar devices are installed, smoke alarms shall be installed in accordance with Sections 907.2.11 regardless of the valuation of the alteration. The release mechanism shall be maintained operable at all times.
Such bars, grills, grates or any similar devices shall be equipped with an approved exterior release device for use by the fire department only when required by the authority having jurisdiction.
Where security bars (burglar bars) are installed on emergency egress and rescue windows or doors, on or after July 1, 2000, such devices shall comply with California Building Standards Code, Part 12, Chapter 12-3 and other applicable provisions of Part 2.
Exception: Group R-1 occupancies provided with a monitored fire sprinkler system in accordance with Section 903.2.8 and designed in accordance with NFPA 13 may have openable windows permanently restricted to a maximum 4-inch (102 mm) open position.
[California Code of Regulations, Title 19, Division 1, §4.2] Labeling.
Burglar bars shall not be sold in California at wholesale or retail unless warning information as specified in California Code of Regulations, Title 19, Division 1, Section 4.3 is provided either on the packaging or provided inside the packaging along with the burglar bars.
[California Code of Regulations, Title 19, Division 1, §4.3(a) through (c)] Warning Information.
- Warning that the burglar bars are intended to deter or delay intruders, they are not intended to prevent entry.
- A statement regarding the necessity of installing early warning smoke alarms (as required by the California Building Code, Part 2, Section 907) and planning occupant's escape routes and meeting places.
- Contact the local building and fire official to determine if a local ordinance requires a building permit prior to installation and if the burglar bars are required to have a release mechanism on the outside for use by the fire department in the event of a fire emergency.
- Written directions and illustrations on the operation of the emergency escape release mechanisms. These directions shall include a warning that the mechanisms be tested on a monthly basis.
- The textual information required by this section shall be printed in a minimum 12-point nondecorative lettering providing a sharp contrast to the background.
- Graphical information required by this section shall be of sufficient size to clearly illustrate the intended actions.
[California Code of Regulations, Title 19, Division 1, §4.4] Warning Information Location.
When placed on burglar bar packaging, the information required by California Code of Regulations, Title 19, Division 1, Section 4.3 shall be conspicuously located and shall not be covered or made illegible by product advertising not required by Section 4.3.
[California Code of Regulations, Title 19, Division 1, §4.5(a)] Contractor or Installer Disclosures.
Any contractor or installer of burglar bars shall provide the owner of the residential dwelling the warning information required pursuant to California Code of Regulations, Title 19, Division 1, Section 4.3 prior to installing burglar bars.
[California Code of Regulations, Title 19, Division 1, §4.6(a) and (b)] Prohibited Installations.
No person shall install for profit unopenable burglar bars on a residential dwelling:
- Where the California Building Code requires openable burglar bars for emergency escape or rescue, or
- On mobile homes, manufactured homes, or multi-unit manufactured housing unless at least one window or door to the exterior in each bedroom is openable for emergency escape or rescue.