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The Time Delay To Start Evacuation: Review Of Five Case Studies

Proulx, G. and Fahy, R.F., 1997. The Time Delay To Start Evacuation: Review Of Five Case Studies. Fire Safety Science 5: 783-794. doi:10.3801/IAFSS.FSS.5-783


Models to predict occupant response and evacuation will be an essential part of the move throughout the world toward performance-based codes and standards, as they are necessary for calculating the time required for occupants to reach safety, given a proposed design. To obtain realistic evacuation time predictions, it is essential to be able to accurately calculate the delay times occupants take before beginning evacuation. This paper reviews the findings from five evacuation studies. These studies include evacuation drills in mid-rise and high rise apartment buildings and mid-rise office buildings. Findings from two fire incidents - a six-fatality high rise apartment building fire in Canada and the World Trade Center bombing in New York City - are also discussed. The findings of particular interest are those related to problems in alerting occupants, delays reported or observed during evacuations, and the reasons behind those delays.


human behavior, evacuation times, delay times, mid-rise buildings, high-rise buildings

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