Important Updates to the International Building Code

Important Updates to the International Building Code

Dec 29, 2018 | Post by Katrina English

There have been important updates made to the fire and life safety 2018 International Building Code. Areas of refuge/rescue are not required at stairways in buildings that are equipped with an automatic sprinkler system. As long as the sprinkler system is installed in accordance with Section 903.3.1.1 or 903.3.1.2 of the IBC, an area of refuge is not mandatory. However, it is important to note that a two-way communication system is still required.

According to the IBC 1009.8, “Two-way communication systems shall be provided at the landing serving each elevator (or bank of elevators) on each accessible floor that is one or more stories above or below the exit level.” The International Building Code’s updated requirements state that a two-way communication system will provide the required communication between each location and the fire command center.

So, what does this mean for you?
Basically, having an automatic sprinkler system eliminates the requirement to have an AOR system. However, you are still required to provide some sort of two-way communication system. So if you do put an AOR solution in place, it not only meets the requirement for a two-way communication system, but you also have a code-compliant AOR System in your building.

Although there are certain exceptions for area of rescue requirements, all buildings that are one or more stories above or below the level of exit require a two-way communication system. Area of Refuge units not only fill this requirement but also provide an area where people who are unable to use stairs can safely wait for assistance during emergency evacuation.

Talkaphone Area of Refuge/Rescue Solutions:
Talkaphones’s area of refuge command units not only meet the two-way communication system requirement and are fully IBC and ADA-compliant. This integrated unit also is NFPA code-compliant and can be utilized in the following applications:

  • Medical Facilities
    Best practice requires that emergency communications be available throughout open areas, and particularly in the parking areas.
  • Educational Market 
    College campus emergency communication was originally driven by two Federal statutes: The Americans with Disabilities Act, or ADA, and the Cleary Act, Federal Education Act.
  • Mass Transit
    NFPA 130 Code compliance: Fixed Guideway Transit and Passenger Rail Systems

Would you like more information? Click here for details on Talkaphone’s AOR solutions.

TAP-In to Talkaphone and stay up-to-date with our latest news, case studies, white papers, and blogs. Click here to subscribe.