Disabled Refuge Alarm and Communication System
Disabled refuge alarms are designed for use in buildings that contain Refuge areas. This type of system allows emergency services to be in constant contact with the people in the refuge areas. The installation and equipment must be in compliance with British standard BS5588.
The refuge system will consist of a main panel to be used by the emergency services and a call unit in each of the refuge areas. This type of installation has become a legal requirement now in many new builds due to a change in legislation. As this is a safety system like a Fire Alarm, it will be required to be installed using Fire Alarm cable.
BS 5588-8-1999: Fire Precations in Design, Construction and use of buildings code of practice for means of escape for disabled people.
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Usage Of the Disabled Refuge System
In the event of a fire, or other emergency, staff evacuate wheelchair-restricted customers to a designated place of safety (Refuge Area). Staff then activate the Refuge Area Remote Unit, which lights a Refuge Occupied indicator on the main Control Panel. The Fire Officer (or Building Manager) is able to communicate with the occupants of the refuge areas, either on an individual basis or by using the ‘all-call’ option.
Each activated disabled refuge system has an auto listening facility to monitor activity in the Refuge Area. As each disabled person is moved to safety, the system can be reset via a key operated switch on the Refuge Area Remote Unit.
Master Alarm Panel
Up to sixteen remote disabled refuge units are on each ring with up to 200 metres between each unit as standard. It is possible to extend this distance between each remote unit by installing a repeater unit between the two remote units. It is necessary for the first and last remote units to be no more than 200 metres from the control panel. By utilising this ring method it is possible to save up to 75% on cabling costs when compared with typical star circuit systems. The intelligence of the system ensures that if the circuit were to be broken at any point on the loop, the system will still operate with no loss of communication.