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  • Steve M.V. Gwynne
Steve M.V. Gwynne

Steve M.V. Gwynne
Movement Strategies · Consulting

PhD (Egress Modelling)

About

148
Publications
44,983
Reads
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3,299
Citations
Citations since 2016
47 Research Items
1932 Citations
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20162017201820192020202120220100200300
20162017201820192020202120220100200300
Additional affiliations
May 2014 - October 2018
National Research Council Canada
Position
  • Research Officer
May 2010 - May 2014
University of Greenwich
Position
  • Professor (Full)
March 2007 - present
University of Maryland, College Park
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
Education
November 1997 - January 2000
FSEG/UoG
Field of study
  • Mathematical Modelling of Egress Behaviour
October 1993 - June 1996

Publications

Publications (148)
Article
The hazards posed by a wildfire increase significantly when it approaches the wildland–urban interface. Evacuation of rural communities is frequently considered by local authorities and residents. In this context, evacuation triggers are locations that when reached by the wildfire indicate it is time to evacuate. Triggers are often arbitrarily defi...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The hydraulic model calculates the flow through a door constriction for a unidirectional flow of people primarily based on physical constraints. The method requires the physical door opening width to be reduced by a boundary layer adjustment to determine the effective width. However, the hydraulic model does not provide any guidance on what the flo...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Evacuation models are increasingly employed in the building design process and applied to ever more complex building designs. The models are becoming more sophisticated and including more functionality and sub-models – more inclusive in scope and more refined in representation. These factors combined can mean more user expertise, effort, and time i...
Article
Full-text available
Simulating evacuation behaviour in fire emergencies is an increasingly important method for assessing design to mitigate the likelihood of life losses. To date, several approaches have been used to predict the pre-evacuation time (i.e. time between the first alarm or other initial cue until the moment an evacuee starts moving toward a safe place) u...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This report presents a list of case studies concerning large outdoor fires involving evacuation. The report has been developed within the activities of the Emergency Management & Evacuation (EME) Subgroup of the Large Outdoor Fires & the Built Environment (LOF&BE) group of the International Association for Fire Safety Science (IAFSS). This work is...
Article
Planned egress drills are required by building codes around the world, and are commonly used to both train occupants and assess evacuation procedures. However, capturing the idea of a “successful” drill is often difficult. Data from both drills and unplanned evacuations are often incomplete and unreliable, which raises a key question: How well-matc...
Article
Full-text available
Evacuation models are key tools to assess the fire safety of complex buildings. Those tools and their results rely on the input values selected by users based on existing datasets and the way they are transformed into output. Several evacuation studies have been carried out to provide input values for evacuation models. However, those regarding hea...
Article
Full-text available
Evacuation drills are generally the main mechanism for improving or measuring occupant performance in emergency situations, but their effectiveness is often hard to measure, and there is limited evidence for sustained training benefits. However, innovations in technology (e.g., augmented/virtual reality, novel sensors and wearable tech) offer (when...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Human behavior in fire research, the number of evacuation models being developed, and the complexity of the models themselves has dramatically increased in recent years. This has led to a proliferation of evacuation model usage within the building design process. The vast majority of research within the evacuation modelling community is focused on...
Article
Full-text available
Wildfire occurrences is creating serious challenges for fire and emergency response services and a diverse range of communities around the world due to the increment of the occurrence of these disasters. As such, understanding the physical and social dynamics characterizing wildfires events is paramount to reduce the risk of these natural disasters...
Article
Full-text available
Post-incident studies provide direct and valuable information to further the scientific understanding of Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) fires. Most post-incident studies involve data collection in the field (i.e. a “research field deployment”). In this review, technical reports of post-incident studies for WUI fire and other natural disaster were a...
Article
The analysis of evacuee behaviour and performance requires data on human behaviour from actual fire incidents. Unfortunately, such data is rarely collected and, if available, is often provided in different formats and levels of refinement, and does not provide sufficient narrative understanding. The lack of a standardized approach to collecting and...
Article
Full-text available
The data that is currently used when designing egress systems for stadia and other high-occupancy buildings was collected decades ago and might not be applicable in today's society. A systematic analysis of crowd movement was performed to investigate egress flows at a large stadium in the UK following four different event types (i.e., a football ga...
Article
Full-text available
Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) fires, a worldwide problem, are gaining more importance over time due to climate change and increased urbanization in WUI areas. Some jurisdictions have provided standards, codes and guidelines, which may greatly help planning, prevention and protection against wildfires. This work presents a wide systematic review of...
Article
Full-text available
The occurrence of wildfire threats has increased in the last few decades creating serious challenges for thousands of communities around the world. Understanding the physical and social dynamics imposed by wildfires is fundamental to assessing and reducing the ensuing risk to different communities. Although, several studies investigating household...
Article
To quantify the evacuation process, evacuation practitioners use engineering egress data describing the occupant movement characteristics. These data are typically based to young and fit populations. However, the movement abilities of occupants who might be involved in evacuations are becoming more variable—with the building populations of today ty...
Conference Paper
The analysis of evacuee behaviour and performance requires data from actual fire incidents. Unfortunately, such data is rarely collected and, if available, is often provided in an array of formats and levels of refinement. The lack of a standardized approach at collecting and reporting such data hinders our understanding of human behaviour in fire,...
Article
Fire evacuations at wildland-urban interfaces (WUI) pose a serious challenge to the emergency services, and are a global issue affecting thousands of communities around the world. This paper presents a multi-physics framework for the simulation of evacuation in WUI wildfire incidents, including three main modelling layers: wildfire, pedestrians, an...
Article
Wildland‐urban interface (WUI) fire incidents are likely to become more severe and will affect more and more people. Given their scale and complexity, WUI incidents require a multidomain approach to assess their impact and the effectiveness of any mitigation efforts. The authors recently produced a specification for a simulation framework that quan...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Fire engineering has developed from a niche subject into a mainstream engineering discipline employed within the building design process. Building fire codes are increasingly complex, commonly comprising thousands of requirements regarding a wide range of topics that must be considered. In general, fire engineers are required to possess increasingl...
Article
Full-text available
Quantifying the pre-evacuation time (i.e., the time between first awareness and deliberate evacuation movement), is a key task for evacuation model users and fire safety engineers. The identification and employment of pre-evacuation data given an incident scenario is not a simple task for evacuation model users and fire safety engineers since data...
Article
Full-text available
This article presents a glossary of terms that are frequently used in research on human crowds. This topic is inherently multidisciplinary as it includes work in and across computer science, engineering, mathematics, physics, psychology and social science, for example. We do not view the glossary presented here as a collection of finalised and form...
Article
With more frequent and destructive wildfires occurring in the growing wildland-urban interface (WUI), the ability to ensure the safe evacuation of potentially large groups of people is of increasing importance. This is a challenging task made only more difficult by the fact that there is often little warning and that evacuations often need to take...
Article
Several traffic modeling tools are currently available for evacuation planning and real-time decision support during emergencies. This paper reviews potential traffic-modeling approaches in the context of wildland-urban interface (WUI) fire-evacuation applications. Existing modeling approaches and features are evaluated pertaining to fire-related,...
Article
The Publisher regrets an error in the original version of this article. In Section 5, under PADM (protective action decision model) classification, “Pre-decision stage” was erroneously listed twice. © 2018 Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature
Article
The purpose of this article is to outline the theoretical and practical benefits of representing the evacuee decision-making process within an agent-based simulation tool. This rationale is important as the development of a comprehensive representation of evacuee decision-making will be expensive, requiring a great deal of time, expertise and effor...
Article
Full-text available
During a fire evacuation, once an individual perceives cues from a fire event, they must interpret them to assess the new situation and determine whether action is required. It is proposed that this assessment and action selection can employ either an automatic or reflective processing system depending on the nature of the situation and the experie...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The present work describes a novel framework for modelling wildfire urban evacuations. The framework is based on multi-physics simulations that can quantify the evacuation performance. The work argues that an integrated approached requires considering and integrating all three important components of WUI evacuation, namely: fire spread, pedestrian...
Conference Paper
The negative consequences of fires in case of evacuation in wildland-urban interfaces (WUI) are a global issue that affect many communities around the world. To date, there is a lack of a comprehensive tool able to aid decision making in case of WUI fire evacuation. To address this issue, this paper presents a design specification for a simulation...
Article
Full-text available
This article explores how egress drills – specifically those related to fire incidents - are currently employed, their impact on safety levels, and the insights gained from them. It is suggested that neither the merits of egress drills are well understood, nor the impact on egress performance well characterized. In addition, the manner in which the...
Article
The purpose of this article is to provide guidance on enhancing human response to emergency communication. This guidance can, in turn, help engineers improve the design of emergency notification and messaging systems, which, as a result, can help inform occupant response, reduce occupant evacuation time, and increase occupant safety. The article be...
Article
The purpose of this article is to present a conceptual model of human behaviour in fire and its impact on egress modelling, life safety analyses and evacuation procedures. This model is based on a theoretical framework of individual decision-making and response to emergencies. From this foundation, the conceptual model is populated with behavioural...
Article
Data were collected between 2011 and 2014 from five evacuations involving the same school buildings located in Spain. Children from 6 to 16 years of age were observed during the evacuation exercises. Background information was collected on key factors deemed to influence evacuation performance: a description of the geometry, the population involved...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
In response to an aging population and an increasing number of fires in homes designed for the care of the elderly, this research project looks at the role that human behaviour plays in the fire safety of long term care (LTC) and retirement homes. Through reaching out to care homes in Ottawa, Canada, interviewing senior staff members, and observing...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This article explores how egress drills are currently employed, their impact, and the insights gained from them. By investigating their strengths and limitations, this article suggests opportunities for enhancement through the use of other egress models to support and expand upon the benefits provided. It is by no means suggested that drills are no...
Article
Structures are currently designed and constructed in accordance with prescriptive and performance-based (PBD) methodologies to ensure a certain level of occupant safety during fire emergencies. The performance-based approach requires the quantification of both ASET (Available Safe Egress Time) and RSET (Required Safe Egress Time) to determine the d...
Article
Numerous evacuation models are now able to represent populations with different movement abilities. However, this representation is not always supported by empirical data; i.e. the functionality can occasionally overreach the empirical support for it. The goals of this work are: (1) to provide data that adds to the understanding and quantification...
Chapter
This chapter provides the engineer with a model to quantify egress performance. This model is formed from a set of numerical tools that vary in their scope and sophistication. Guidance is provided on the capabilities of these tools and on when they should be employed, making reference to the data on which these tools are based. Detailed examples ar...
Chapter
This chapter is an updated version of the previous chapter �Evacuation Timing� that appeared in thefourth edition of the SFPE Handbook. This new version of the chapter represents a significant change to previous versions, moving from a narrative description of important case studies that include data to a tabular representation of a broader range o...
Chapter
This chapter addresses the information available to current practitioners regarding how people typically behave during an evacuation, the tools used to represent this performance and how these tools might be properly implemented. The focus is on individual evacuee performance—what we know about it and how it might be represented. This chapter is th...
Conference Paper
Data was collected from five evacuations from the same school building, conducted in Spain between 2011 and 2014. Children from 6 to 16 years old were observed during the evacuation exercises. Four of the evacuations were unannounced, while one was semi-announced: the staff being aware that the drill would be conducted on a particular day, while th...
Article
Structures are currently designed and typically constructed in accordance with prescriptive and performance-based methodologies to ensure a certain level of safety. The performance-based approach requires the quantification of both available safe egress time (ASET) and required safe egress time (RSET) to determine the degree of safety provided. Thi...
Technical Report
This article explores how egress drills are currently employed, their impact, and the insights gained from them. By investigating their strengths and limitations, this article suggests enhancements to future egress drills including the use of other egress models to support and expand upon the benefits provided.
Article
SUMMARY Given the amount of data publically available relating to the incident at the Duisburg Love Parade of 2010, this event is a valuable case study for the development and management of large-scale crowd circulation and emergency incidents. Here, we study the crowd dynamics associated with a large crowd event similar to that of the Love Parade...
Article
Egress model developers are in a difficult position. It is in their interest to develop models that are simplified representations of reality and at the same time reduce inadvertent misuse. While default values enable immediate (i.e. out-of-the-box) use of models without in-depth familiarization with modelling assumptions, defaults often represent...
Conference Paper
Simulation tools are often used to establish pedestrian and evacuee performance. The accuracy and reliability of such tools are dependent upon their ability to qualitatively and quantitatively capture the outcome of this performance. This paper investigates the relationship between the representation of low-level agent actions and the generation of...
Article
This paper addresses the problem of representing the impact of different emergency exit signs during the evacuation of a tunnel when using two different evacuation models (i.e. FDS+Evac and buildingEXODUS). Both models allow the user to represent the impact of smoke upon the evacuee. The models are calibrated (1) considering the nature of the model...
Article
SUMMARY Data are essential to the understanding of human behaviour in fire. Human egress data-sets are scarce, and those currently available are relatively narrow in scope, from varied sources, inconsistently described and frequently several decades old. This paper describes a framework for the storage and presentation of human egress data. This wo...
Article
In this article, the staff pre-warning delay concept is developed: the time between staff becoming aware of an incident by receiving a pre-alarm, or as a result of other cues, and the raising of a general alarm. This represents the potential delay in staff response as they interpret the cues received and engage in various response behaviors before...
Article
In performance-based analyses, engineers evaluate whether a building design and/or evacuation procedure allows occupants sufficient time to evacuate before fire conditions become untenable. Guidance exists for the calculation of the time until conditions become untenable in areas of the structure (known as the available safe egress time) during fir...
Article
This paper addresses the problem of reproducing the effect of different visibility conditions on people’s walking speed when using evacuation models. In particular, different strategies regarding the use of default settings and embedded data-sets are investigated. Currently, the correlation between smoke and walking speed is typically based on two...
Article
Full-text available
Fatal crush conditions occur in crowds with tragic frequency. Event organizers and architects are often criticised for failing to consider the causes and implications of crush, but the reality is that both the prediction and prevention of such conditions offer a significant technical challenge. Full treatment of physical force within crowd simulati...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper aims to analyze the impact of different strategies regarding the use of default model settings and embedded data-sets. Initially, the consequences of these different strategies on the results produced are discussed. This is followed by a detailed case-study focusing on the qualitative and quantitative impact that selecting different stra...
Article
The analysis of human behavior in fire is a relatively young field, only existing for a matter of decades. For much of this time it was used to support the related engineering process, rather than as a significant pursuit in its own right—to provide support for the assumptions used by engineers, designers and by regulators. Prior to this point, the...
Article
The availability of credible, accurate and comprehensive human egress data is critical for responsible engineering. However, human egress data is particularly complex and susceptible to omissions and severe limitations. Currently, much of the data available is incompletely described, inconsistently represented or difficult to access, making the mis...
Article
Full-text available
In this article, the Pre-Warning (warning time) concept is developed: the time between an incident being noted by a member of staff (either directly or indirectly) and the raising of a general alarm. This represents the potential delay in staff response as they interpret their provision of cues and respond; a delay that may be procedural and/or cog...
Article
Simulation tools are often used to establish pedestrian and evacuee performance. The accuracy and reliability of such tools are dependent upon their ability to qualitatively and quantitatively capture the outcome of this performance; i.e. whether the simulated agents perform the expected acts and take the expected amount of time to complete them. T...
Chapter
This paper posits the need for a complete, comprehensive conceptual model about human behavior in fire evacuations. This would be of intrinsic value to improve training, education, and future data collection efforts, but would also allow for a complete behavioral representation to be embedded within simulation tools. This paper begins by discussing...
Chapter
Full-text available
Egress models are being used more frequently to simulate people movement; i.e.how people enter, use and leave a building. However, little has been written on the different aspects of people movement that can be examined and how these models may achieve this. This paper outlines six modes in which an egress model can be applied: Naïve; Operational;...
Article
Full-text available
Fatal crush conditions occur in crowds with tragic frequency. Event organisers and architects are often criticised for failing to consider the causes and implications of crush, but the reality is that the prediction and mitigation of such conditions offers a significant technical challenge. Full treatment of physical force within crowd simulations...
Conference Paper
This paper describes the application of Mutual Information to the detection of crush in a well-established model of pedestrian evacuation. We show that Mutual Information offers a computationally low-cost alternative to "expensive" physical force calculations for the detection of crush in evacuation simulations.
Chapter
A fire incident is just one event in the life of a building. The procedures employed to address a fire exist in an environment with other procedures. Given these facts, and the complexity of evacuee response, simulation tools must have the ability to simulate the building under a number of conditions and the interaction of the procedures in place....
Article
Egress models are being used more frequently to simulate people movement; i.e., how people enter, use, and leave a building. However, little has been written on the different phases of people movement over the lifecycle of the building that can be examined and how these models may achieve this. In addition, little has been written on how these phas...
Article