Unformatted text preview: er evacuation is Often, areas of refuge are designed into enclosed stairways or other areas. Other areas of
refuge include fire rated corridors or vestibules adjacent to exit stairs, and pressurized
elevator lobbies. Taking a position in a rated corridor next to the stair is a good alternative to
a small stair landing crowded with the other building occupants who are using the stairway for
their own evacuation. The Building Coordinator should be consulted as to the possible
location of areas of refuge in each building, and the Fire Prevention Bureau at (616) 456-3900
can also assist in identifying areas of refuge.
Prior planning and practicing of emergency evacuation routes are important in assuring a safe
• Mobility Impaired—Wheelchair: Persons using wheelchairs should move to a predetermined area of refuge with their evacuation assistant when the alarm sounds. The
evacuation assistant should then proceed to the evacuation assembly point outside the
building and tell the responding emergency officials the location of the person with a disability.
If the person with a disability is alone, they should telephone emergency services at 911 with
their present location and the area of refuge they are headed to, or use the communication
equipment installed for that purpose in most newer buildings.
If the stair landing is chosen as the area of refuge, please note that many buildings have
relatively small stair landings, and wheelchair users are advised to wait until the heavy traffic
has passed before entering the stairway, if it is safe to do so.
Stairway evacuation of wheelchair users should be conducted by trained professionals (i.e.
the fire department or other trained emergency responders). Only in situations of extreme
danger should untrained people attempt to evacuate wheelchair users. Moving a wheelchair
down stairs is never safe. • Mobility Impaired—Non-Wheelchair: Persons with mobility impairments who are able to
walk independently may be able to negotiate stairs in an emergency with minor assistance. If
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- Fall '13