Area of Safe Refuge

As Courtney and I meandered through the Las Vegas airport with nothing better to do, we stumbled across this crazy door. We pointed, we laughed, and we sat for some time wondering what what in the heck could possibly be in a room marked “Area of Safe Refuge”. Was it a safe room for refugees? Was it a place where one could meditate and regain one’s “center” after a long and disturbing flight? Was it a place where you could run to and be safe if the dreaded police were chasing you? We remained unsure about what the room was used for, but we were 100% sure that we had to have a look inside. We sneaked up to it, and gently and stealthily (at lease as stealthily as you can in an airport full of people) opened the door and looked inside…

A ladder! A lousy, stinking ladder and absolutely NOTHING else! Well, we thought, maybe the last person who needed safe refuge was a roofer and they put the ladder in there to make him feel more at home… Who knows.

Anyhow, once I got to a place where I could access google, I looked it up, and it turns out that an “Area of Safe Refuge” is a place where disabled people can go in the event of a fire of other type of disaster to wait for assistance. They are located in areas that are very structurally sound, fireproofed, and unlikely to be damaged easily or crumble.

The Area of Safe Refuge, according to BS5588: part 8 is: “an area that is enclosed with a fire resisting construction (other than any part that is an external wall of a building) and served directly by a safe route to a storey exit, evacuation lift or final exit, thus constituting a temporary safe space for disabled people to await assistance for their evacuation”.

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