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Creating accessible environments ­for people with vision loss

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Areas of Safe Refuge

An area of safe refuge provides a safe space where people can wait to be rescued or where they can stay during an emergency. While the construction and location of safe refuges are set out in provincial, territorial and national building codes, these codes don’t specify how to ensure that people with vision loss can find them. Refer to the sections Emergency Alarms, Emergency Lighting and Signage, for more information on making safe refuge areas accessible.

As part of emergency procedures, the location of areas of safe refuge should be described in public address announcements during an emergency situation.

An area of safe refuge should have a telephone system to connect people to emergency rescue personnel. The operable parts of the telephone should be no higher than 1,200 mm from the finished floor. Visual, tactile (including braille) and auditory signs should identify the location of the telephone.