Evacuation Timing in Apartment Buildings

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DOIResolve DOI: http://doi.org/10.4224/20375563
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TypeTechnical Report
Series titleInternal Report, Institute for Research in Construction, National Research Council Canada; Volume 660
Physical description20 p.
SubjectFire; Human behaviour; Fire alarm response
AbstractA joint research project was undertaken by the National Research Council of Canada and Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation to study evacuation drills in midrise apartment buildings with mixed abilities occupants. The study collected real data on time and movement during evacuation drills in four buildings. Video cameras, located in hallways and stairwells, recorded the movement of occupants. A series of statistical analyses was conducted on the data gathered. The time to start the evacuation, to move to safety and to totally evacuate the building were studied. Analysis of variance is used to compare buildings and to assess the impact of gender, age, and physical limitation. The speed of movement on stairs is also analyzed. Results show that the time to start the evacuation is highly dependent on the ability of occupants to hear the alarm. The time to move to safety appears similar for buildings of comparable architectural design, while the overall evacuation time is dependent on the time at which occupants start to evacuate. The characteristics of gender, age and limitation presented little impact on the timing and movement during evacuations. Older occupants tended to move more slowly than other adults. Such occupants, however, did not impede the evacuation of others since the hallways and stairwells were never crowded and faster occupants were able to overtake slower ones. Occupants with limitation also did not impede the evacuation of others since they usually stayed in their apartments to be rescued by firefighters.
Publication date
AffiliationNRC Institute for Research in Construction; National Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedNo
NRC number5317
NPARC number20375563
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Record identifier6a8690e8-bbed-4dc6-872b-887d567c7643
Record created2012-07-23
Record modified2016-10-03
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