Areas of rescue, also referred to as areas of refuge, are designed to provide a safe place for those who cannot leave a building during an emergency. When combined with Houston commercial fire alarm systems, areas of rescue can provide added help for those in need of added assistance in exiting a building during a fire or other emergency event. Understanding the reasons behind establishing areas of rescue inside your facility can help you stay on the right side of the International Building Code, the Americans With Disabilities Act and other federal regulations regarding these safety measures.
What Is an Area of Rescue?
Especially for hospitals, high-rises and public buildings, areas of refuge are intended to provide an alternative to stairs for floors that do not have a direct and accessible exit to the outside. These areas must be equipped with a two-way communication system that can communicate with a central control point inside the building. This can allow the people who are sheltering in these areas to speak with emergency services personnel and to receive instructions on how to proceed for optimal safety.
Your building’s area of rescue must be located close to an emergency exit. A fire barrier is required to prevent flames from spreading into this area. Fresh air intakes are also required to protect against smoke inhalation. The area of rescue must also be equipped with emergency lighting and adequate signage to let people know where these areas are located. Finally, the area of rescue must be capable of accommodating wheelchair-bound individuals and must offer enough room for these devices.
A Houston intercom installation is required for all areas of rescue on all floors that are required to have these safety features in place. These systems must typically include a call button for use by individuals who have sought refuge in these areas and a light that acknowledges that the message has been received and that help is on the way.
Emergency Staffing Requirements
For companies that do not have 24-hour staffing for the central control point in their buildings, the communications from the areas of rescue must be redirected to a staffed switchboard or control point during the hours in which the in-house central control point is unattended. This control point can be located within your building or in a remote location.
At Securecomm Technologies, we offer Houston video surveillance, fire detection and area of rescue solutions for businesses, medical and industrial facilities. Call us today at 281-290-8383 to schedule a consultation with our security and safety experts. We look forward to the opportunity to work with you.