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Timing Human Response In Real Fires

Brennan, P., 1997. Timing Human Response In Real Fires. Fire Safety Science 5: 807-818. doi:10.3801/IAFSS.FSS.5-807


Reliable data on time use by occupants in real fire incidents, particularly for the period prior to the initiation of evacuation, is required to support time-dependent risk assessment models. However, such data is difficult to obtain. The times for occupants to start and complete evacuation in two fire incidents in high-rise buildings (an office and a residential building) are presented to demonstrate that time use can be estimated post incident by re-constructing information from occupants and combining it with the few precise times that are available in a fire incident. These times are compared with times from simulated emergencies. The contrasting incidents show marked differences in time to start evacuation with long delays occurring in the apartment building.


human behavior in fires, response time, evacuation

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