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Exterior Stairwells

Exterior Stairwells

Area of Refuge Two-Way Communication System
The "Area of Refuge" or "Area of Rescue Assistance" concept was established to provide a location for building occupants who cannot traverse the stairs without assistance to assemble and await for help or instructions by first responders.

RATH® Area of Refuge Two-Way Communication System components included required Call Boxes and Signage mounted in the Exterior Stairwells for communicating with emergency assistancePerson in the Exterior Stairwell
(Call Box)
  • Andrea is in the exterior stairwell and pushes the emergency button on the Call Box
  • The call first rings at the Central Control Point (Base Station) and, if not answered, will transfer to a location staffed 24 hours a day by emergency personnel
  • Andrea will hear audible dialing and a location message (plays when the call is answered) along with a visual indicator confirming that the call has been received
  • Once the location message has played, two-way communication will occur
  • The calling party in the exterior stairwell cannot stop the call once the button has been pressed; only the called party can terminate the communication

Exterior Stairwell required signs state 'Area of Rescue Assistance'
Exterior Stairwell required Signage will state Area of Rescue Assistance, see our website RATH® Signs for options


RATH® Area of Refuge Two-Way Communication System components included required central control points (Base Stations) to communicate with the Call Boxes in the Exterior Stairwells

Person at the Central Control Point
(Base Station)
  • Kelly hears an audible signal that a Call Box is activated
  • When she looks at the Base Station, she can see that the Call Box on the first floor is activated. She can lift the handset and press the lighted button to speak to Andrea
RATH® Area of Refuge Two-Way Communication System central control points include surface, flush and desk mount Base Stations to communicate with the Call Boxes
  • Kelly has several options at this time:
    • Speak to the calling party for as long as is required
    • Put the call on hold, call for additional help, then reconnect with the calling party when she is ready to talk again
    • Speak to all Call Boxes to ask if anyone else is trapped
    • The call can only be terminated by Kelly




Learn More about RATH® Area of Refuge Two-Way Communication Systems
Sign up for our AIA Certified Lunch & Learn Program, Training Webinars, Watch the How it Works Animation or Read Applicable NFPA & IBC Code
Exterior Stairwells