Disabled Refuge Systems
What is a Disabled Refuge System?
A Disabled Refuge System is a form of EVCS (Emergency Voice Communication System) dedicated to the speedy and safe evacuation of mobility impaired people in buildings over one storey or where stairs are present by the final escape doorway.
When should a Disabled Refuge System be fitted?
Disabled Refuge Systems are required by the Equalities Act (formally the Disability Discrimination Act, or DDA) and requires all disabled people have equal right to evacuation during an emergency in the same way they have access.
A common misconception is that Disabled Refuge is just for wheel chair users, in fact it is for use by any person "who's egress would impede others" and is generally regarded as anyone who cannot walk 200m without a break or aid, this includes the elderly, those with sports injuries, over 7 months term pregnancy as well as wheelchair users.
The Equalities Act requires that all buildings are subject to an accessibility audit at a maximum of two year intervals and all reasonable measures implemented, this included the construction of ramps and addition of lifts to enter buildings, but also the provision of refuge areas to assist the safe evacuation of people with assistance needs.
What do you need to provide?
The drawing on the right shows a typical disabled refuge system on a protected stairwell, showing the green clear area on the staircase for evacuation of all able body people, with the wheelchair area outside the circulation area. the refuge area should contain a two way communication system to BS5839-pt9:2011, clear signage should be provided, and sounders in the stairwell should be replaced by VADS (to EN54-23).
Do you need more information?
Please email Vox Ignis if you require more details or would like to discuss Disabled Refuge Systems.
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All information is believed to be correct at the time of publishing E&OE. Vox Ignis Limited operates a policy of continuous improvement; always confirm specifications before purchase.