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Investigation Of A Behavioural Response Model For Fire Emergency Situations In Secondary Schools

Horasan, M. and Bruck, D., 1994. Investigation Of A Behavioural Response Model For Fire Emergency Situations In Secondary Schools. Fire Safety Science 4: 715-726. doi:10.3801/IAFSS.FSS.4-715


Though a large number of studies have been carried out in emergency movement and egress only few have considered evacuation of schools. A model to investigate and simulate the probable behavioral responses during fire related emergency situations has been developed for primary (elementary) and secondary (junior and senior high) schools. As part of this broader research program, a more limited study has been undertaken. The aim of this study is to determine the likelihood of responses by secondary school students to fire alarms and cues. A questionnaire was used and the behaviors were considered in terms of how they changed as a function of a number of variables such as different fire cues and social environment, grade level, gender, previous fire and drill experience. Responses to the questionnaire were analyzed to determine the most likely and unlikely behaviors from the model. The results indicate that for adolescents social environment can be the most pertinent variable influencing the decision to initiate risk reducing behavior. Therefore fire safety training for this age group must include presentation of psychological and social factors (such as the concepts of "pluralistic ignorance" and "diffusion of responsibility") that could influence an individual's behavior during an emergency.


evacuation, egress, behavioral response modeling, fires at schools, fire-safety training

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