The Area of Refuge Two-Way Communication System

What to Know About Refuge Requirements

Area of Refuge

As you may be aware, with few exceptions, all buildings are mandated to have an area of refuge according to the International Building Code. Beyond being a code prerequisite, areas of refuge play a crucial role in emergency preparedness and ensuring the safety of tenants. These designated areas are intended to provide a secure space during a fire or other emergencies when evacuation may be unsafe or impractical.

A critical element of this designated space is the area of refuge two-way communication system, which is also mandated and regulated by NFPA standards.

Communication Requirements for Area of Refuge

area of refuge phone

Two-way communication system
The communication system within your designated refuge area must adhere to the applicable local building codes. In essence, the specifications that your communication system needs to satisfy include:

ADA Accessible, Connection to a command center that is approved by local fire department, Call cycling that can automatically connect to 911 or emergency phone monitoring service. Complying with Sections 1009.8.1 and 1009.8.2.

Tip: “For multifamily or commercial property managers dealing with recurrent false 911 calls, numerous municipalities impose fines for such incidents. If you choose to program your area of refuge phone to your local 911 authority, we recommend obtaining written permission to ensure that you will not incur charges for false or nuisance calls.”

Why choose MyLinkLine to oversee your refuge communication systems and provide rescue assistance

Enhanced Safety and Security for Your Building:

With over 26 years of experience, our cutting-edge 24-hour monitoring service is dedicated to providing the finest emergency phone monitoring solutions. Our highly trained monitoring staff, based in the United States, possesses extensive technical expertise and interpersonal skills to effectively handle both emergency and non-emergency situations.

Minimized Liability Exposure:

Our monitoring service is meticulously designed to meet the requirements outlined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). It ensures easy access and usability for individuals who are physically, visually, hearing, or speech impaired. Additionally, we comply with ADA, ASME, and IBC codes, guaranteeing adherence to relevant regulations. Furthermore, our computer servers maintain comprehensive records of call time, call duration, and call activity information.

Area of Refuge
Phone Monitoring Data Sheet

aor monitoring
aor cellular

Cellular Connect™

Area of Refuge Cellular Landlines— Cellular Connect™

Tip: Save 35% or month by switching to cellular! MyLinkLine offers a cost-effective solution that will save you money while providing reliable service.

Our fixed cellular phone line is not only easy to install, but it also seamlessly integrates with all emergency telephones and monitoring services.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an area of refuge?

An area of refuge serves as a designated space for individuals with mobility challenges to await assistance during emergencies. Buildings with obstacles to exit are mandated to have these areas to provide protection and facilitate communication.

What is the difference between an Area of Refuge and Area of Rescue?

The terms “area of refuge” and “area of rescue assistance” are synonymous in the industry. Both phrases refer to the same concept, and they can be used interchangeably to describe a designated space for individuals with mobility challenges to seek assistance during emergencies.

Who utilizes an area of refuge?

An area of refuge, also known as an area of rescue assistance, is designed for individuals with mobility challenges who may require assistance in emergencies. This includes persons with disabilities, the elderly, the visually impaired, individuals with illnesses, people with very young children or infants, and anyone who may face difficulties accessing an emergency exit.

Do you need two way communication to comply with code?

MyLinkLine provides a comprehensive solution for Area of Refuge Communication Systems. This includes a designated area of refuge equipped with two-way emergency communication capabilities, all backed by top-tier emergency monitoring services. Our solution not only features 24/7/365 emergency monitoring but also offers cost-effective cellular phone lines for dial tone, ensuring a reliable and efficient communication system.

Why is area of Refuge phone monitoring necessary?

The effectiveness of your rescue systems is paramount in providing essential assistance to tenants during critical situations when alternative help is unavailable. According to code specifications, the area of the rescue call system initiates communication with the onsite Base Station initially. In the event of an unanswered call, the system automatically forwards it to a third-party station monitoring center. This center is equipped to dispatch the necessary rescue personnel and remains engaged on the line until on-site assistance is secured.

We have already purchased emergency telephones from another company. Can MyLinkLine monitor these phones?

Certainly! MyLinkLine can monitor and reprogram emergency telephones from any manufacturer, including those that are integrated into existing car operating panels. No additional equipment is required for us to provide monitoring services for these telephones.

Is it possible to program emergency telephones to call 911?

While it may be possible to program an emergency telephone to dial 911 for emergency dispatch, it is generally discouraged. Most 911 dispatch centers prefer that these types of telephones do not tie up emergency lines with non-emergency or prank calls. Additionally, fines may be imposed for dispatching emergency personnel to non-emergency situations. Therefore, we do not recommend relying solely on 911 for emergency phone handling emergency phone calls.

When are areas of refuge required?

Typically, new buildings are mandated to include an area of refuge unless specific criteria are satisfied. One such exception is if the building is equipped with a supervised automated sprinkler system and has an ADA-compliant wheelchair-accessible route for exiting the building.

Do you need an area of refuge if the building protected throughout by sprinklers?

If a building is equipped with sprinklers, it’s possible for an entire story within the building to function as an area of refuge, provided certain conditions are met. These conditions include the presence of a two-way communication system at each elevator landing, equipped with both audible and visible signals. Additionally, the story must have at least two accessible rooms or spaces, separated by smoke-resisting partitions. It’s worth noting that specific occupancies, such as new and existing businesses, may exempt the requirement for a minimum of two accessible rooms. In such cases, only one accessible room or space is necessary. It is crucial to adhere to local and state building codes when constructing your area of refuge for your project.

Do you monitor and provide cellular phone lines for other types of emergency phones?

Yes, we monitor and provide cellular phone lines for: Elevator Phones, Wheelchair Lifts Phones, Area of Refuge Phones, Parking Lot Phones, Campus Phones, Emergency Phones, Swimming Pool Phones, SOS Phones, Blue Light Phones, Call Box Phones, Intercom Phone Lines, Alarm Phone Lines.