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Areas of Refuge Fire Alarms

Area of Refuge and the Requirements

What’s an Area of Refuge?

An area of refuge is a designated location within a building specially designed to hold people safely during an emergency. In other words, an area of refuge is set aside for situations when evacuation may not be possible or is otherwise unsafe. For example, patients in a hospital may not be able to use a stairwell to exit the building because there is a fire. People can wait in the area of refuge safely until rescued by firefighters or emergency rescue teams. This area may also have the name “area of rescue assistance.”

Who utilizes these spaces?

  • Elderly people
  • People with disabilities
  • Hospital patients
  • Sick people
  • Very young children or infants
  • Operators in a critical facility who cannot leave their station (military base, power  station, prison)
  • Any person who cannot access an escape route
  • Any person assisting another person who is unable to escape
  • People on the upper floors of a building who cannot safely take stairs through lower levels where a fire is present


Requirements for An Area of Refuge

  • Location adjacent to an emergency exit path
  • Signs designating where to go for shelter
  • A fire barrier for protection
  • Fresh air intake
  • Emergency lighting for power outages
  • A two-way voice communication system
  • Large enough for wheelchair accessibility
  • Located where it doesn’t block others trying to escape
  • In public buildings, it must exist on every floor above ground level


Communication systems for An Area of Refuge

  • A two-way voice communication system
  • Call button for those awaiting rescue in an area of refuge
  • A confidence light to indicate an active call button
  • An acknowledgment light to show that someone at the central control point knows about the call for help

Related: Fire Alarm Testing

First, as a company that installs and maintains fire alarm systems in businesses and public buildings. ADS has experience in setting up area of refuge communication systems. Second, all ADS fire alarm systems meet the testing requirements from the NFPA.

Second, public buildings and high-rises are usually required by local building codes to have an area of refuge on every floor above ground level. ADS can help you meet local requirements and maintain your system on an ongoing basis. ADS has over five decades work with business alarm systems . We service hospitals, schools, and office buildings all around Chicago. If you have existing security in place, we likely can upgrade the equipment. As a result, we can you money.

Lastly, our firm specializes in many types of fire systems such as Edwards and Honeywell. We are the largest private security company in Illinois. We rank in the top 100 according to SDM magazine.

In addition, a live operator is ready to take your call, listen to your needs. As a result, we can recommend an option that works best for you. Our security reviews are always free. ADS will send an expert consultant to your business.

About Alarm Detection Systems, Inc.

Alarm Detection Systems is one of the largest alarm firms in the country. Family-owned since 1968, we provide business alarmsfire alarmscard accesssecurity cameras, and home security systems. Proudly servicing Chicagoland, Northern Illinois, Northwest Indiana, and Southern Wisconsin in the Midwest. Call us at 630.844.6300 for more information.

In Colorado, we service all of Denver, Boulder County, Northern Colorado, the Eastern Plains, and Colorado Springs. Call us at 1.800.446.7519 for more information.

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