The IBC states all specifications of an Area of Refuge in its Chapter 10 (Means of Egress). Particularly, Section 1009 specifies that accessible means of egress are required for accessible spaces. Further, it lists “Area of Refuge” as one of the components that can act as an accessible means of egress.
Following places can be made Area of Refuge -
All new buildings with barriers to exit must have an Area of Refuge to offer protection and communication.
As per IBC Section 1009.6.3, the size of an Area of Refuge shall accommodate one wheelchair of 30 x 52 inch for each 200 occupants that the means of egress serves or a portion thereof, based on the occupant load.
We recommend that you check with your local or state building codes to find out the exact requirements for the area of refuge in your building.
Area of Refuge Signs inform about location of “area of refuge” to the building occupants. Area of Refuge signage is required according to the International Building Code (IBC) 2009 to the current year of the code.
Signs for Outside Your Area of Refuge
Outside the area of refuge, directional signs are required indicating the location of the area of refuge. Additionally, a tactile sign may be required at the entrance to the refuge area to indicate the location for easy accessibility by the visually impaired.
Signs for Inside Your Area of Refuge
The inside of your area of refuge should include instructional signage. This is used to show individuals how to use emergency communication for help.
Existing buildings are not required to make alterations to comply with the International Building Code. Among the new construction, buildings are not required to have an area of refuge when both of these criteria are met:
It is also mentioned in the IBC Section 1009 that Area of Refuge is not required -
The Area of Refuge illuminated sign shall be mounted above 60-inches but below 80-inches from the floor to the top of the sign at the entrance to the Area of Refuge.
The Area of Refuge tactile signage shall be mounted between 48” - 60” from the floor to the lowest tactile characters at the entrance to the Area of Refuge.
The Area of Refuge instruction signage shall be mounted above or adjacent to each Call Box in the stairwell.
Yes. Area of refuge signage is required by building codes and Chapter 4 of the American with Disability Act (ADA). ADA sets requirements for tactile and visual characters for the area of refuge signs.
Tactile Braille signage is required at each door to an Area of Refuge and exterior area for assisted rescue, complying with ICC A117.1.