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Evacuating Schools On Fire

Von Bogaert, A.F., 1986. Evacuating Schools On Fire. Fire Safety Science 1: 551-560. doi:10.3801/IAFSS.FSS.1-551


Starting from the statement that time is the overruling factor in fire circumstances, this study dissects the egress operation in the - physical domain: threats of untenable conditions and cut off exit ways. - Mathematical domain: users' velocity and egress flow rates as factors of the evacuation time; pre-calculation of the evacuation time in the building design stage; prediction of place and duration of traffic congestions : potential sources of panic; remedial measures in building outlay. - Psychological domain: importance of self-control and adaptation ability in the phases of discovering the fire, the shock moment and decision-making reaction. There is a complaint about the nowadays poor character-building school education. - Practical domain: special school risks versus specific advantages expected to further smooth egress operations; evacuation strategy and tactics; the importance to inform and direct the evacuees (e.g. by megaphone) and to organize the evacuation in priority order according to local threats. The paper considers the problems in special institutions attended by ambulatory and non-ambulatory impaired pupils. It motivates a drastic raise of night staff to pupils ratio and proposes a specific evacuation scheme, concentrated on the rescue of non-ambulatory users by accurate organization of thoroughly trained staff teams.


ambulatory user, boarding schools, congestion, design, discovery, escape routes, evacuation, fire drill, flow rate, human behavior, layout, nervous stress, passage unit, personnel-pupils ratio, reaction, rescue, schools, shock moment, special school, time

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