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Application of RFID and Video Imaging on Evacuation Observations in Offices and Public Buildings

Rinne, T., Hostikka, S., Paloposki, T., Korhonen, T., Saari, J. and Heliövaara, S., 2008. Application of RFID and Video Imaging on Evacuation Observations in Offices and Public Buildings. Fire Safety Science 9: 329-340. doi:10.3801/IAFSS.FSS.9-329


In this work, two different types of evacuation situations were studied in order to provide validation data for some aspects of the evacuation modeling. The first type was evacuation drills which are normally carried out as part of the safety training of the staff in public buildings and offices. The second type was actual evacuations which occur every now and then. The main techniques used for the observation of evacuation events were video cameras, Radio Frequency Identification (RFID), and surveillance cameras. A large amount of information was obtained and the problems in the application of the observation techniques were identified. In particular, the results show that when the RFID technique is used, the placement of the antennas and tags is very important. With careful placement of the antennas and tags, the reliability of the RFID technique as applied in the current work may be sufficient for scientific purposes. In the observation of an actual evacuation of a large shopping centre, the recordings of the surveillance cameras were used to measure the flow rates of people. The results are very promising and indicate that the collection of surveillance camera recordings from large evacuations should be started.

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