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  • Jason Maurice

What is a refuge area?

A disabled refuge area is generally an area within a fire protected staircase enclosure (can be another location) that is deemed a place of relative safety where a mobility impaired person / user of a wheelchair can wait to be assisted up or downstairs and out of a building to a place of complete safety by the management of the building.

They are not a place where a mobility impaired person / user of a wheelchair should wait to be rescued by the Fire Service.

The location and use of a refuge area should form part of a buildings fire strategy, emergency procedures and Personal/Generic Emergency Evacuation Plans (PEEPs/GEEPs).

All to often refuge areas could also be considered a refuse areas and additional space where rubbish and storage is left. Refuge areas must be considered as essential parts of a building fire safety and evacuation system and managed accordingly.

Some refuges may also have a communication system, again another part of a buildings fire safety and evacuation systems that must be understood and managed, we have experienced situations where the call system is operated and there is no-one at the receiving end of the system as everyone has evacuated the building, so again clear procedures are essential.

For any advice about evacuation solutions please contact

refuge area sign
What is a refuge area?

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