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Evacuation Of Buildings - Practice Makes Safety

Hallberg, G., 1989. Evacuation Of Buildings - Practice Makes Safety. Fire Safety Science 2: 531-540. doi:10.3801/IAFSS.FSS.2-531


Swedish fire protection regulations are very strict and their application - especially when they require structural alteration - involves considerable costs. Despite that strictness, people are injured or lose their lives in buildings which comply with the regulations of the law. Can it be that these regulations are built on behavioral assumptions which don't agree with the actual acting of man? Fire protection regulations have grown out of usage and of experience with "disasters". They seldom use knowledge from behavioral science or building function analysis. Our aim is to provide such knowledge by observing peoples' actual behavior in evacuation exercises. Evacuation plans are drawn up for a lot of buildings. Underlying all such plans there are also assumptions as to how people will behave when danger threatens. By analyzing the course of events in evacuation drills we think that the possibility of judging whether the assumptions about behavior are correct will improve. An evacuation drill makes the participants aware of the fact that there are evacuation problems and that there may be obstacles for a safe evacuation. Documentation and evaluation of evacuation exercises is important so the experiences from the exercise can be servable to more than the participants.


Egress: drill, Egress: human behavior, Egress: people movement, Egress: psychology

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