Why building occupants ignore fire alarms

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DOIResolve DOI: http://doi.org/10.4224/20326216
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Series titleConstruction Technology Update; no. 42
Physical description4 p.
SubjectFire alarm response
AbstractOne would expect that building occupants would respond readily when the fire alarm signal sounds. After all, their very safety could be at stake. But, surprisingly, studies have shown that occupants often continue with their normal activities, blissfully ignoring the alarm. There are three main reasons for this unusual behaviour. One is occupants' failure to recognize the signal as the fire alarm signal. Another is the recurring problem of nuisance alarms, which can cause people to "tune out." A third reason is that the alarm signal may be inaudible; this can happen in apartment buildings where corridor alarm signals cannot be heard inside the dwelling units.
Publication date
PublisherInstitute for Research in Construction. National Research Council Canada
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AffiliationNRC Institute for Research in Construction; National Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedNo
NRC number10251
NPARC number20326216
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Record identifierfff17388-a26d-4d7f-b307-d8030d1a6b4a
Record created2012-07-18
Record modified2016-08-05
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