Disabled Refuge

A disabled refuge system, also known as a disabled refuge area or a refuge point, is a safety measure designed to assist individuals with disabilities during an emergency evacuation in buildings.

Where are Disabled Refuges Commonly Used?

These systems are typically implemented in multi-story buildings where it may be difficult or unsafe for individuals with mobility impairments to use staircases during an evacuation.

What is a Disabled Refuge?

The disabled refuge system consists of designated areas within the building where individuals with disabilities can safely wait for assistance or rescue. These areas are usually located on fire-protected landings or spacious lobbies, and they are equipped with communication devices to enable communication with building management or emergency personnel.

Correct Usage of a Disabled Refuge

It's important to note that disabled refuge systems are just one component of an overall emergency evacuation plan in buildings. They work in conjunction with other safety measures like accessible exits, evacuation procedures, and staff training to ensure the safe evacuation of all occupants during emergencies.

Communication Devices

Intercom systems or emergency telephones are installed in the refuge areas, allowing individuals to communicate with building management or emergency services. This ensures that people with disabilities can inform others of their location and any specific assistance they may require.

Fire Protection and Ventilation

The refuge areas are constructed with fire-resistant materials and designed to provide protection against smoke and fire. They are equipped with ventilation systems to maintain a safe environment for individuals awaiting rescue.

Signage and Accessibility

Clear signage throughout the building directs people to the designated refuge areas. These areas are designed to be accessible to individuals using mobility aids, such as wheelchairs, and may include features like ramps or widened doorways.

Monitoring and Coordination

Building management or security personnel can monitor the refuge areas to ensure they are properly maintained and to coordinate rescue efforts during an emergency evacuation.

Emergency Evacuation

During an evacuation, individuals with disabilities can make their way to the nearest designated refuge area and use the communication devices to alert authorities of their presence. Emergency responders can then prioritize their rescue and evacuation, ensuring their safety.

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