It's incredible to see Don rant about something he either hasn't read
(most likely) or can't comprehend.
Emergency escape and rescue openings aren't required. There are
several alternatives available to any competent designer. One is to
provide a choice of two independent means of egress from the room exit.
A second is to simply provide automatic sprinklers. It ain't rocket
science. And as for Don's rant about designing to minimums, the
windows that he is compelled to put in are the minimum. Sprinklers and
multiple egress routes far exceed what he is forced to do.
As for where domestic fires originate, a plurality start in the
kitchen. However, most fatalities are in sleeping areas - with the
highest single cause smoking and the highest frequency between midnight
and daybreak. You can link to the 13th edition of "Fire in the United
States" at http://www.fldfs.com/SFM/sfmreportindex.htm .
Obviously, Don, from his vantage point in the swamp doesn't need to be
bothered with any actual research. After all, his big concern is "ugly
houses." Though it's hard to imagine a competent designer being
bothered by window size - or not accounting for it at the earliest
stages of design.
As for eliminating building codes, that would be great if all buildings
were designed by well trained professionals.