An Area-of-Refuge is a location in a building, designed to hold occupants during a fire or other emergency, when evacuation may not be safe or possible. These designated locations provide protection and safety until assistance or rescue is available. Code requirements state that proper signage must be visible to direct individuals to these safe locations.
Sign Requirements as specified by the IBC (International Building Codes):
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- 1007.9 Signage. Signage indicating special accessibility provisions shall be provided as shown:
1) Each door providing access to an area of refuge from the adjacent floor shall be identified by a sign stating: AREA OF REFUGE (Part #7044)
Signage shall comply with the ICC A117.1 requirements for visual characters and include the International Symbol of Accessibility. Where exit sign illumination is required by Section 1011.2, the signs shall be illuminated. (Part #7050) Additionally, tactile signage complying with ICC A117.1 shall be located at each door to an Area of Refuge. (Part #7044)
- 1007.11 Instructions. In areas of refuge and exterior areas for assisted rescue, instructions on the use of the area under emergency conditions shall be posted. The instructions shall include all of the following:
(Part # 7049)
1) Persons able to use the exit stairway do so as soon as possible, unless they are assisting others.
2) Information on planned availability of assistance in the use of stairs or supervised operation of elevators and how to summon such assistance.
3) Directions for use of the two-way communications system where provided.