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Formed in 2010, Student Castle focuses exclusively on the provision of student accommodation. Studen... view more >

It is refreshing to work with such a knowledgeable and solution orientated company who demonstrate t... view more >

In early 2011 CDS Security installed, and have since maintained, the SALTO Access Control systems at... view more >

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Intruder Alarm Systems - EN50131

From 1st October 2005 New European Standards for Intruder Alarms repla... view more >

Disabled Refuge

The safe and efficient emergency evacuation of any structure, be it a large shopping centre, a cinema, office, school or college has always been a challenge to the building management and emergency services. Safety of disabled users who are unable to self-evacuate has always been of paramount importance. Manually handling disabled patrons, especially down stairwells, has always been problematic.

A solution comes in the form of temporary areas of safety - ‘refuge areas’. The person in need of assistance is helped to the nearest refuge area to await safe evacuation.

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 then able to communicate with the occupants of the refuge areas.

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 / Outstation.

The Equality Act and Disability Discrimination Act made it the responsibility of all companies, nationwide, to ensure that access to buildings and services is available to everyone - there must be no discrimination.

With access provided for all, provision must be made for safe evacuation in the event of an emergency. In some circumstances, those with physical impairments can be assisted by others - but in many  situations this is not suitable or safe.

An EVC (emergency voice communication) system (commonly known as a Disabled Refuge System) allows firefighters and staff to communicate with one another, and persons awaiting safe evacuation in Refuge Areas, during emergency situations. An EVC or Disabled Refuge System is a “System that allows voice communication in either direction between a central control point and a number of other points throughout a building or building complex, particularly in a fire emergency situation.” (BS5839-9:2011 3.4).

A refuge area can be defined as;

  • A safe place for disabled to await assistance for their evacuation.
  • An enclosed area of fire-resisting construction.
  • Must be served directly by a safe route of exit.
  • Minimum size = 900mm x 1400mm – sufficient space for  wheelchair to manoeuvre.
  • Minimum of 30 minutes fire-resisting separation.
  • Wheelchair space should not reduce the width of escape route.
  • Wheelchair space must not obstruct flow of persons escaping

CDS Security & Fire provide Disabled Refuge and EVC Systems in the Durham, Newcastle, Tyne & Wear, Cleveland and North Yorkshire areas ensuring compliance with:

  • BS5839 (Part 9) Fire detection and fire alarm systems for buildings – Code of practice for emergency voice communication systems.
  • BS5588 (Part 8) Fire precautions in the design, construction and use of buildings - Code of practice for the means of escape for disabled people.
  • Assists with compliance to the Equality Act 2010 which replaced most of the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) 1995. 

All CDS Security & Fire Disabled Refuge and Voice Evacuation Systems are designed, installed, commissioned and maintained to relevant British and European Standards.

All Disabled Refuge and Voice Evacuation Systems service and maintenance visits are carried out as per our ISO 9001:2008 procedures covering 24-hour call out service, and emergency 4 hour response (out of hours) with a full diagnostic check carried out during a maintenance visit, and copy report issued to the client.

For advice, assistance or a free quotation, please Contact Us on 0191 384 0079.

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CDS Security & Fire, Units 8-10, Dragonville Industrial Park, Gilesgate, Durham, DH1 2XH, | Company No.: 2621153 | VAT No.: 92757458

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