Refuge areas are such areas in a building where people can take shelter in case of a fire. As per the building and construction norms these areas are clearly demarcated in building plans itself. Refuge area provisions applies to both commercial and residential buildings which fall under the high rise category for fire safety regulations.

The Refuge Area shall have a door which shall be painted or fixed with a sign in luminous paint mentioning “REFUGE AREA”. The lift/s shall not be permitted to open into the refuge areas.

The rules further states that refuge areas will be designated exclusively for the use of occupants as temporary shelter and for the use of Fire Brigade Department or any other Organization dealing with fire or other emergencies and also for exercises/drills if conducted by the Fire Brigade Department.

The proposed ‘refuge area’ shall be planned on the area facing the main road to allow access for Fire Engine.

Refuge area guideline in Maharashtra

1. As per rule it is mandatory to have a Refuge Area at every 7th habitable floor after the first 24 meters of the high      rise building.
2. In case the height of the building is more than 30 meters, the first refuge area must be located at 24 meter mark or at the 1st habitable floor which is higher.
3. For buildings having height up to 70 meters (about 24 floors), as an alternate, Refuge Areas can be provided as reinforced cement concrete (RCC) cantilever projections at the alternate mid-landing level of staircase free of FSI.
4. Each Refuge Area at mid-landing shall have a minimum width of 3 meters and minimum area of 10 sq. meters for residential and 15 sq. meters for non-residential buildings.
5. The guidelines stipulates that a Refuge Area will now be restricted to just 4% of the habitable floor area it serves and will be free of Floor Space Index. If it exceeds 4%, the excess area shall be counted in the FSI.

The Refuge area should be kept vacant at times and should not be used for any other purposes in the building.


Refuge area bylaw in Delhi & Noida

Refuge Area-For all buildings exceeding 15 m in height, refuge area shall be provided as follows:

a. For floors above 15 m and upto 24 m -one refuge area on the floor immediately above 18m.
b. For floors above 24 m and upto 36 m-one refuge area on the floor immediately above 24m.
c. For floors above 36 m-one refuge area per every five floors above 36m
Refuge area shall be provided on the external walls as cantilever projections or in any other manner (which will not be covered in FAR) with a minimum area of 15 sq. mts. and to be calculated based on the population on each floor at the rate of 1 sq. m. per person