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Area of Refuge/Rescue

Area of Rescue Assistance Systems

Area of Refuge

Cornell’s 4200 Analog and 4800 IP Series area of refuge systems (area of rescue) provide emergency communication between call stations and Central Control Panels. When combined with appropriate ARA signage, area of refuge assistance systems from Cornell meet ADA, IBC, and NFPA regulations in all 50 states.

Area of refuge & rescue assistance signs

4200 Series Analog Area of Rescue Assistance System

The 4200 Series Analog Area of Refuge System offers TWO-WAY communication from the control station to the caller and ONE-WAY Communication to offsite personnel.

  • Sized from 4 to 20 zones in multiples of 4 zones
  • Has only 1 Master Control Panel
  • Only communicates to the remote 911 center via pre-recorded voice messages
  • Two-way communication from the Control Panel to the call station is available

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Two-way communication system for area of refuge

4800 IP Series Area of Rescue Assistance System

The 4800 IP System helps those with disabilities communicate with first responders during an emergency through TWO-WAY communication in the building and with the Central Monitoring Location.

  • Perfect for large or small buildings
  • Supports up to 500 call stations and 2 master panels

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What is an Area of Refuge?

An area of refuge (aka an area of rescue assistance) is a location in a building designed to safely hold individuals during a disaster or emergency. These areas are created for situations when normal evacuation is unsafe or impossible (typically for handicapped people with limited mobility).

For example, during a fire, non-mobile residents may be unable to use a stairwell. These individuals are able to wait in an area of refuge until first responders or other rescue personnel are available.

Area of Refuge Two-Way Communication System

  • Voice Communication System
  • Call Station
  • Confidence light to indicate an active call button
  • Acknowledgment light to show someone has received the call for help

Buildings around the globe use Cornell’s time-proven area of rescue intercom systems to:

  1. Ensure individuals with limited mobility are safe in emergency situations
  2. Ensure schools and other public venues have a system for individuals to call for help
  3. Alert first responders to individuals in distress
  4. Offer rapid communication with first responders
Area of refuge system and sign

Area of Refuge System Design & Configuration

Cornell Communications helps design area of refuge systems for businesses across the country. We make sure you have the correct area of refuge system features and functions required by law so your building remains safe.

If you are interested in pricing for your community, feel free to use our area of refuge quoting tool or give our experts a toll-free call for more information at 1-800-558-8957.

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Area of Refuge Signs

Area of refuge signage is required by building codes, as well as ADA and NFPA 101 regulations, to ensure the call stations and safe refuge areas can be readily found. Signs also include instructions to call for assistance. Cornell offers the appropriate Area of Refuge/Rescue signs in all three ADA-compliant forms:

Directional Signs - Wall Mounted in the Hallways

Signs show the direction to the alarm station and safe refuge area

  • SN-P42L - Area of Rescue Sign, Left Arrow
  • SN-P42R - Area of Rescue Sign, Right Arrow

Lighted Room Location Signs - Outside of the Entrance

Signs outside of a refuge area to identify the entrance

  • SN-B42S - One-Sided Rescue Assistance Sign w/ Battery Backup
  • SN-B42D - Two-Sided Rescue Assistance Sign w/ Battery Backup
  • SN-P42F - Wall Mounted Area of Rescue Sign
  • SN-P48SL - Luminescent Braille Area of Rescue Sign

Instructional Signs - at the Call Stations

Signs indicating how to operate the alarm station and call for assistance

  • SN-C48 - Luminescent Braille Push for Help Sign

ADA Area of Refuge Requirements

The Americans with Disabilities Act in 1993 began requiring areas of rescue assistance or places of refuge where people can wait for emergency personnel to arrive, and requirements have since expanded.

Now, there is additional ADA area of refuge requirements:

  • Signs must clearly read “Area of Rescue Assistance”
  • There must be instructions for using the two-way communication system
  • The system must be usable for people with hearing impairments and speech impairments

If you are interested to learn more about what ADA requirements your building must meet, feel free to contact us!

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Area of Rescue Assistance Requirements by State

The IBC code now requires two-way communication between the offsite 911 center and the person calling for assistance. While most states follow the International Building Code (IBC), some states might follow a different version of the IBC. Not sure if your new or existing facility requires an area of refuge system? Cornell breaks down the area of refuge requirements by state, making it easy to understand state and local codes.

Contact Cornell, the leading area of refuge system manufacturer, for help designing, installing, or repairing an area of refuge system.