Recollection, identification and perceived urgency of the temporal-three evacuation signal

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DOIResolve DOI: http://doi.org/10.1177/1042391503013001004
AuthorSearch for: ; Search for:
TypeArticle
Journal titleJournal of Fire Protection Engineering
Volume13
IssueFebruary 1
Pages6782; # of pages: 16
Subjectalarm, temporal, evacuation; Fire alarm response
AbstractIn North America, it is now required that buildings equipped with a fire alarm system sound the Temporal-Three (T-3) pattern as the evacuation signal. It is intended that the T-3 pattern will become the standardized alarm signal heard around the world that will unequivocally mean ?evacuate the building immediately?. Since new and refurbished buildings are now equipped with this new signal, we need to ascertain if the public recognizes this sound as an evacuation signal. The objectives of the study were to assess the public's recollection, identification and perceived urgency of the T-3. Data was collected through a field study in public buildings in the Ottawa area with 307 participants. Results showed that participants often reported that they had heard the T-3 before, although they could rarely correctly identify it as a fire alarm or evacuation signal. In fact, the T-3 was usually associated with domestic signals such as a busy phone signal or the sound of an alarm clock. Further, the T-3 was not judged as a signal conveying urgency. The findings suggest that considerable public education is necessary to improve the public's identification of the T-3 signal. It is also suggested that it is unrealistic to expect that occupants will immediately start evacuation upon hearing such a signal and that further information provided to the occupants will always be necessary to prompt evacuation movement.
Publication date
LanguageEnglish
AffiliationNRC Institute for Research in Construction; National Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedYes
NRC number45194
14259
NPARC number20386430
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Record identifierea4c8d29-791f-4620-a118-5de4a048534c
Record created2012-07-25
Record modified2016-05-09
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