Saturday, August 29, 2009

Hands-free call system aims to provide Britain's buildings with emergency evacuation for disabled people

From Safety and Health Practitioner in the UK:

PEL Services Ltd has launched its Refuge Call System to help building occupiers comply with British standards and the Disability Discrimination Act.

Under BS5588 part 8, all buildings over a single storey must provide a ‘refuge’ for disabled persons in an emergency situation, says PEL. Furthermore, under the DDA, service-providers that allow public access to their premises may have to make reasonable adjustments to their premises to overcome physical barriers to disabled people. 
However, undertaking major building work to make emergency escape routes accessible to everybody may be unnecessary because the Refuge Call System has been designed to enable the safe evacuation of those in need of special assistance.

A specialised intercom, the PEL Refuge Call System consists of a modular control panel, which is installed at a control point in the building, connected by an independent telephone link to remote slave units located at each refuge point. The slave units are available in handset-style or ‘hands-free’ operation, and can be surface or flush-mounted.

In its simplest configuration, lifting a handset or activating the ‘handsfree’ unit will cause the relevant button on the control panel to light up and the master telephone to ring. When the master telephone is answered, normal two-way conversation takes place, enabling the disabled person to alert the central station to their predicament and allow for appropriate action to be taken.