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The “Areas of Refuge” or “Areas of Rescue Assistance” concept was established to provide a location for building occupants, who cannot traverse the stairs without assistance, to be able to assemble by an exit and await assistance or instructions by the first responders.
These areas are required on each floor above and below the “ground” floor and must be clearly marked and provide a two way communication system to a central control point (base station) within the building.
If the central control point is not staffed 24 hours a day, the communication from each Area of Refuge must be on a timed redirection to a location that is staffed 24 hours a day.
The Area of Refuge communication system (call box) shall provide for hands-free, two-way communication, provide an audible and visible signal to indicate communication has occurred and indicate to the receiver the location sending the signal.