Area of Refuge: Two-Way Communication Systems

Area of Refuge: Two-Way Communication Systems & Call Boxes

Area of Refuge Intercom, Two-Way Communication Systems & Call Boxes

An area of refuge, also referred to as an area of rescue assistance, is a specific location within a building that’s designed to safely hold individuals during a disaster or emergency. Not only can an area of refuge protect people who are not able to safely escape on their own, but an area of rescue assistance system is intended to provide rapid communication to alert first responders and help individuals in distress.

Like an intercom system, an area of refuge two-way communication system ensures that schools, healthcare facilities, commercial buildings, and other public venues have a way for individuals to call for help in the instance of an emergency. These call stations are created for emergency situations, such as a fire or tornado alert, when normal evacuation is unsafe or impossible, such as for handicapped people with limited mobility.

According to the state of Illinois’ IBC Section 1007, all areas of refuge located on one or more stories above or below the level of exit must be equipped with a two-way communication system. These systems must provide effective communication between each required location and the fire command center or a central control location, as well as automatic telephone dial-out capability to a monitoring location or 911 dispatch.

Area of Rescue Assistance Systems Save Lives

As an important aspect of a building’s fire and life safety system, an area of rescue assistance is specifically designed to help save lives in the case of an emergency. For example, patients in a hospital, those with disabilities, or due to a blocked exit. These rooms have to meet special fire-safety codes and are usually constructed in such a way that provides fresh air and two-way communication with emergency personnel.

Imagine yourself in a building on the sixth floor, in a wheelchair, or on crutches and the fire alarm system suddenly starts sounding. People start flowing out of rooms in a panic rushing for the stairwells. You desperately need to get out of the building; however, you realize the elevator is no longer in service as it was recalled for the fire department to use. Realizing you have no ability to get out of this building, this is a scenario in which you would want to seek out a designated emergency refuge area.

How an Area of Refuge Communication System Works

As an important aspect of a building’s fire and life safety system, an area of rescue assistance is specifically designed to help save lives in the case of an emergency. For example, they serve an important purpose for patients in a hospital, those with disabilities, or as an alternative refuge due to a blocked exit. These rooms have to meet special fire-safety codes and are usually constructed in such a way that provides fresh air and two-way communication with emergency personnel.

Imagine yourself in a building on the sixth floor, in a wheelchair, or on crutches and the fire alarm system suddenly starts sounding. You look around for emergency exit signs. People start flowing out of rooms in a panic rushing for the stairwells. You desperately need to get out of the building; however, you realize the elevator is no longer in service as it was recalled for the fire department to use. Realizing you have no ability to get out of this building, this is a scenario in which you would want to seek out a designated emergency refuge area.

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