What is an Area of Refuge (AOR)?

An Area of Refuge (AOR) is a designated location or room within a building that is specifically designed or designated to hold people safely during a crisis or emergency situation. These areas provide a secure place during evacuation procedures. They are especially necessary when circumstances do not allow for safe evacuation of peope within a building.

For example, hospital patients and staff may not be able to utilize the elevators or stairs to exit a building during a fire. In this case, they would need to find the nearest Area of Refuge until firefighters and/or emergency rescue crews arrive to assist them out of the building. These rooms are also necessary for those, such as the elderly or disabled, who require assistance or are unable to use the stairs on their own during an emergency evacuation.

It is vitally important to not only provide an Area of Refuge or Area of Rescue in emergency situations, it is crucial that these areas have proper functioning communication systems to ensure that evacuees are able to communicate with the rescue teams.

These systems include:

  • A two-way voice communication system
  • A call button for those awaiting rescue in an area of refuge
  • An audible and visible signal that clearly indicates an active call button
  • A light to notify someone at the central control point that a call for help has been made

As with any emergency procedures, there are specific requirements to ensure optimal safety. Knowing these local codes can save you and your business tens or thousands or dollars in costly fines. The State of Texas requires that all Areas of Refuge are equipped with a two-way communication system with both visible and audible signals. They also require automatic dial-out capabilities that direct connect to 9-1-1 or an approved emergency montioring center.

Teksys has over 10 years of experience working with local municipalities and businesses. Our goal is provide peace of mind by offering a wide variety of security and connectivity solutions to keep you and your people safe. Our team will work with you to determine the best Area of Refuge solutions. We will also ensure that the AOR systems meet your local Building Code requirements.

PSA and Area of Refuge Systems

The International Building Code (IBC) requires that a two-way communication system is installed in all new constructions regardless of whether they have a sprinkler system or not. According to the IBC 1009.8, “Two-way communication systems shall be provided at the landing serving each elevator (or bank of elevators) on each accessible floor that is one or more stories above or below the exit level.”

Let the expert safety and security experts at Teksys work with you to evaluate and determine the best systems for your Area of Refuge. We provide:

  • Two-way voice communication systems
  • Texas code compliant signs and signals
  • Control point system for fire command center

State Code Building Compliance

According to the IBC Section 1007, Areas of Refuge or Areas of Rescue Assistance locations are required in all multi-story buildings and complexes. This includes:

  • Buildings without automatic sprinkler systems throughout
  • Assisted living facilities
  • Healthcare facilities
  • Hotels & Motels (Transient)
  • Group I-2 Buildings
  • Group I-3 Buildings
  • Group M Buildings

Call us today for a Free Assessment to determine the best AOR System for you.

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