Area of Refuge Requirements in Virginia
Does your Virginia Building Meet Local Area of Refuge Requirements?
Knowing local area of refuge requirements can save your firm tens of thousands of dollars in fines. The state of Virginia's Uniform Building Code is largely based on the 2012 International Building Code (IBC), though there are some differences. Be sure to check local codes before building in Virginia. Cornell Communications is the expert on area of refuge requirements in Virginia and guarantees your facility will meet all local building codes.
- When is an area of refuge required in Virginia
- Area of refuge communication requirements in Virginia
- Area of refuge signage requirements in Virginia
When is an Area of Refuge Required in Virginia?
According to IBC Section 1007.2, accessible means of egress require an area of refuge. Areas of refuge are required in all multi-story:
- 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
The state of Virginia does not require areas of refuge in buildings with automatic sprinkler systems throughout, at stairways serving open parking garages or smoke protected seating areas in compliance with Section 1028.6.2.
Area of Refuge Communication Requirements in Virginia
The state of Virginia requires all areas of refuge that are one or more stories above or below the level of exit discharge are equipped with a two-way communication system like Cornell’s 4800 Series Area of Rescue Assistance system (IBC 1009.6.5). According to IBC 1009.8.1 two-way communication systems at areas of refuge must:
- Provide communication between each required location and the fire command center or a central control location
- The fire department must approve the central control location
- Have a timed automatic telephone dial-out capability to a monitoring location or to 9-1-1
- Include both audible and visible signals
A two-way communication system is not required in areas with ramps, and areas where a two-way communication system is provided within areas of refuge.
Cornell’s 4800 Series Area of Refuge assistance system meets all of Virginia’s building code requirements.
Area of Refuge Signage Requirements in Virginia
Virginia building code requires areas of refuge are clearly marked with appropriate signage. IBC 1011.1 states:
- Each door providing access to an area of refuge from an adjacent floor area shall be identified by a sign stating: AREA OF REFUGE
- Each door providing access to an exterior area for assisted rescue shall be identified by a sign stating: EXTERIOR AREA FOR ASSISTED RESCUE
- Signage must comply with ICC A117.1 requirements
- Signage must be illuminated where exit sign illumination is required by IBC 1011.3
Design an Area of Refuge System for Virginia Buildings
Still have questions? Don’t worry, we’re here to help. Cornell Communications is an industry leader in area of rescue systems, nurse call systems and more. Get a quote on a 4800 series area of rescue system or contact a Cornell representative for more information on area of refuge requirements in Virginia.