The Equality Act & Disability Discrimination Act made it the responsibility of all companies, nationwide, to ensure that access to buildings & services are available to everyone - there must be no discrimination. Current Building Regulations insist that all new non-domestic buildings with more than one storey provide ‘refuge’ areas – relatively safe places where people who cannot easily use fire escapes and evacuation lifts can call for assistance & wait until help arrives.
The safe & efficient emergency evacuation of any structure like shopping centre's, cinema's, office's, school's & colleges has always been a challenge to the building operators & emergency services. Safety of disabled users who are unable to self-evacuate is of paramount importance. Manually handling disabled patrons, especially down stairwells, is problematic and dangerous.
The solution is refuge areas. The person in need of assistance is helped to the nearest refuge area to await safe evacuation. In the event of a fire, or other emergency are moved to a designated place of safety (Refuge Area). They then activate the Refuge Area Remote Unit, which indicates on the main Control Panel. The Fire Officer(or Building Operstor) is then able to communicate with the occupants of the refuge areas.
As each disabled person is moved to safety, the system can be reset via operated switch on the Refuge Area Remote Unit / Outstation.