Article

Engineering egress data considering pedestrians with reduced mobility

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  • Movement Strategies
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Abstract

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 typically including increasing numbers of individuals: with impairments or who are otherwise elderly or generally less mobile. Thus, there will be an increasing proportion of building occupants with reduced ability to egress. For safe evacuation, there is therefore a need to provide valid engineering egress data considering pedestrians with disabilities. Gwynne and Boyce recently compiled a series of data sets related to the evacuation process to support practitioner activities in the chapter Engineering Data in the SFPE Handbook of Fire Protection Engineering. This paper supplements these data sets by providing information on and presenting data obtained from additional research related to the premovement and horizontal movement of participants with physical‐, cognitive‐, or age‐related disabilities. The aim is to provide an overview of currently available data sets related to, and key factors affecting the egress performance of, mixed ability populations which could be used to guide fire safety engineering decisions in the context of building design.

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... A classification of functional limitations can thus be instrumental to distinguish the issues people may experience in performing basic activities. Previous research efforts in evacuation have focused on quantifying the ability of people with mobility limitations to perform evacuation tasks, e.g., see a recent compilation of data available in [19]. These data provide useful inputs for evacuation models and allow inclusion of quantitative variables of evacuation performance [23]. ...
... This issue is particularly associated with physical exertion [33,63]. Obesity is common in developed countries, causing severe or complete loss of mobility [19,69]. ...
... In contrast, people may have multiple impairments, and public buildings can often be very crowded, thus adding another layer of complexity to the specific evacuation needs of people with functional limitations. In crowded places, the evacuation performance of heterogeneous groups, including people with several functional limitations and able-bodied populations, will highly depend on the interactions between these groups and the space they are surrounded by [14,19,22]. In a study on the movement of heterogeneous groups trough bottlenecks, it is shown that the higher mixing ratios of wheelchair users and pedestrians affect the moving efficiency and increase congestion. ...
Article
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This scoping review addresses the role of functional limitations on evacuation performance of adults in public buildings. Although this topic has been addressed in evacuation research, no linkage is currently available between functional limitations, the predominant activities affected by them and evacuation performance. This review strives to open a debate on the need to classify the impact of disability in terms of functional limitations on evacuation performance according to methods adopted in health science. This paper reviews literature concerning evacuation from public buildings with adults aged ≥ 60 years and/or adults aged ≥ 18 years with functional limitations. The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health has been used to identify predominant activities during an evacuation and to perform a structured classification at different levels of resolution to address self-evacuation possibilities. Results of the review are presented in a tabular form linking predominant activities in terms of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health and six categories of functional limitations with the engineering evacuation time-line. The suggested classification can facilitate the assessment of the evacuation-related issues in buildings in relation to the population under consideration. The main research gaps identified include the lack of studies concerning the impact of cognitive limitations on egress, and the need to add the temporal dimension to the methods adopted in accessibility research to allow for their use in the egress field.
... For instance, population characteristics may be different from both a physical perspective (i.e. physical ability to perform protective actions [16]) as well as from a behavioural perspective (i.e. factors influencing human response [17]- [20] for both the first responders and the evacuees. ...
... Sections 17 to 27 collect information on evacuation circumstances, and section 28 and 29 collect information on references and members who filled in the template. Member(s) gathered information from news outlets (e.g., [3][4][5][6][7]), online searches (e.g., [8][9][10][11][12][13]), academic publications (e.g., [2,[14][15][16][17][18][19]), and official reports (e.g., [20-25]). A detailed timeline for each fire is included (section 16 of each template) along with a general summary. ...
Technical Report
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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 deemed to be a useful starting point to build a large database of case studies and identify common trends and differences across such type of incidents. The case studies presented are useful for the identification of critical issues related to evacuation scenarios due to large outdoor fires and could be used to identify lessons learnt based on the events. Spatial and temporal scales of past events can be reviewed and an analysis of their consequences could inform policy makers in further developing safety guidance and recommendations for emergency management and evacuation planning.
... For example, to provide data for modelling studies (e.g. movement speeds) [9], to design alarm and notification systems [10,11], and to understand the influence of heterogeneous populations on evacuation [12][13][14]. Although the main focus of this paper is the fire threat, many of the concepts related to egressibility discussed here are applicable to other types of threats. ...
... The aim was achieved using the qualitative analysis method of inductive reflexive thematic analysis on a set of 28 transcripts of semi-structured interviews, resulting in three themes: Other people's difficulties in understanding, Strategies to cope with the limitation, and Uncertainty of evacuation. The use of a qualitative approach -compared to quantitative approaches investigating physiological characteristics such as walking speed etc. [9] -allows for a nuanced and complex understanding of the perspectives and concerns related to egressibility of older people with functional limitations. The results highlight aspects such as perceived risk and vulnerability, coping strategies, uncertainties about evacuation, etc. which may benefit from more in-depth studies. ...
Article
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Older people and people with functional limitations are recognized as vulnerable groups when it comes to evacuation. Previous studies have focused mostly on the quantitative aspects of their physical characteristics, such as movement speeds. This study explores the perspectives on egressibility of older people with functional limitations. This was achieved by reflexive thematic analysis of semi-structured interviews with 28 older people with functional limitations. Participants were recruited based on voluntary participation mainly from senior citizen organizations. Inspired by The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health, a questionnaire was developed to characterize the sample in terms of presence of functional limitations. The sample consisted of people with a wide variety of functional limitations. The findings are presented in the form of three themes constructed from the transcripts: Other people's difficulties in understanding, Strategies to cope with the limitation, and Uncertainty of evacuation. The findings highlight that older people may perceive a lack of reliance on the physical environment and other people's support in evacuation situations. Instead, they considered relying primarily on their own ability to mitigate issues caused by functional limitations. The findings may be used to inform future in depth-studies aimed at achieving an equal evacuation safety for all.
... 6 Geoerg et al had recently published an extended update on engineering egress data considering pedestrians with disabilites. 13 Findings regarding to unimpeded movement speed and empirical relations were discussed. Hashemi et al had published a survey of drill, simulations, and accesibility and provided data on different movement parameters and disabilities. ...
... The influence of variably composed subpopulations and a varied passage width on the fundamental relationshipsv(̄) and J(̄) was analysed.The unimpeded movement speed of all participants was measured and analysed with respect to the individual abilities. Expected unimpeded movement speeds of 1.47 ± 0.17 ms -1 were observed with the nondisabled reference population which is consistent with the literature.13 Focusing on the unimpeded movement speed of the subpopulations with different disabilities, a slower, in case of the subpopulation consists of wheelchair users (Bot_whe: 0.96 ± 0.35 ms -1 ) or comparable (Bot_wal: 1.28 ± 0.12 ms -1 and Bot_mix: 1.33 ± 0.29 ms -1 ) average unimpeded movement speed was measured.Further on, the fundamental relationshipsv(̄) andJ(̄) were studied. ...
Article
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The importance of empirical relations to quantify the movement of pedestrians through a facility has increased during the last decades since performance-based design methods became more common. Bottlenecks are of special interest because of their importance for egress routes and as they result in a reduced capacity. The empirical relations as the density-dependent movement speed or flow rate were derived by studies under laboratory conditions, which were usually conducted with populations of homogeneous characteristics for better control of influencing variables. If individual characteristics of a crowd become more heterogeneous, individuals were forced to adapt their individual movement and control individual manoeuvring. These unintended interactions lead to a different shape of the fundamental empirical relations. Here, we present results from a movement study under well-controlled boundary conditions in which participants with and without different characteristics of disabilities participated. To consider the effect of different heterogeneities on the capacity of a facility, fundamental diagrams are generated using the Voronoi method. If participants with visible disabilities (such as using assistive devices) are part of a crowd, significant differences relating to the shape of the empirical relations and the capacities are found. This indicates that the heterogeneity of a population leads to an increased interpersonal interaction which results in influenced movement characteristics.
... There exist various fundamental diagrams determined by many factors, including demographics (Chattaraj et al. 2009), which have the same basic feature (Gwynne and Rosenbaum 2016;Kholshevnikov et al. 2008;Kretz 2019;Vanumu et al. 2017;Weidmann 1992). There are papers (Geoerg et al. 2019;Spearpoint and MacLennan 2012) stating that fundamental diagrams should be reconsidered according to the current physical features of the society (middle age, middle weight). ...
Article
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Time-continuous models need to set a value of time-step to simulate a process using a computer. The assumed size of a time-step influences the computational performance. But not only a quick calculations is a criterion. The other one is the reliability of the simulation results. The discretization of time in computer simulation of pedestrian movement is considered in the paper. We consider a discrete-continuous approach which is becoming popular nowadays. Both aspects are investigated for the time-continuous SigmaEva pedestrian dynamics model. We use fundamental diagrams as a measure to estimate the simulation quality. It is shown that short and long time-steps are not reasonable.
... For the approximately 15.6 % of the world's population who are living with disabilities 1 , safely navigating within crowds can pose unique challenges. The quantity and quality of controlled laboratory and field studies on pedestrian movement dynamics has increased dramatically in the last decades [2][3][4][5] , so that it is increasingly possible to generate performance benchmarks related to occupant movement 6 . While these studies have improved our understanding of pedestrian dynamics, individual differences in mobility have only rarely been considered 7 . ...
Article
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Despite considerable research efforts, most controlled empirical studies on crowd movement usually rely on homogeneous crowds, i.e., research participants are typically young adults without disabilities. Consequently, relatively little is known about pedestrian movement in more diverse and heterogeneous crowd conditions, e.g., when persons with reduced mobility are present. This gap may be particularly relevant at bottlenecks, along the path of a moving crowd, that limit the capacity of pedestrian flow. Here, we present results from 12 studies in which participants (total N = 252) with and without visible disabilities moved together in a crowd. In each study, groups of participants walked together in a hallway with a bottleneck at the end. The point of speed adoption, distances between neighbours, and behavioural activities were analysed. We found (1) that participants with disabilities reduced their speed further away from the bottleneck than participants without disabilities; (2) participants without disabilities stayed closer to neighbors with disabilities than to neighbors without disabilities; and (3) participants interacted and communicated with each other to organise in front of the bottleneck. These results underline the importance of studying representative and heterogeneous samples in crowd dynamics. We also argue that more interdisciplinary research is needed to better understand the dynamics of interactions between neighbors in a crowd. A more nuanced understanding of pedestrian dynamics holds the promise of improving the validity of simulation tools such as movement and evacuation models.
... This system input data is generally based on young and healthy populations and often does not take into account indisposed people. Yet, the current composition of the population and demographic trends confirm the growing number of handicapped individuals and older or generally less mobile people [55]. In addition to the effects of aging, these people suffer from impaired perception, reduced information processing and reduced mobility [56]. ...
Article
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Current crisis management approaches to protect soft targets make assumptions about average visitors/listeners/viewers or passengers. They do not give much consideration to impacts of diversity of potentially evacuated persons with regard to socio-psychological parameters/factors that may lead to practical problems and complications during the evacuation itself. At the same time, the soft target operators have various means of machine vision tools at their disposal, but do not use these records for more thorough analysis of evacuation planning needs. Based on this observation, the article identifies and analyzes the socio-psychological aspects that may significantly affect behavior and decisions of persons during the evacuation and thus total evacuation time.
... (visualisation according toDuives et al. 2015 [9]). The system model of movement is based on an extended review on human behaviour in egress, egress components and strategies and model comparison[8].Evacuation process is a multi-attribute influenced system, process can be defined as a complex problem: cross-linked, non-transparent and dynamic[10]. In order to reduce reduction of parameter space, we present a logical concept of skills and boundaries (Fig. 2). ...
Conference Paper
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The capabilities of pedestrians for evacuation have a significant impact on the time required to reach a safe place. Usually, the evacuation is split into two main stages: pre-movement-phase and movement-phase. For both a large number of studies investigate different representations of behaviour and impacts. But the influence of impairments is usually not taken into account. In addition, most of the scientific researches focus the investigation of the movement phase. This publication presents a novel approach to score the need for assistance and to estimate the effect on evacuation performance. The proposed score considers characteristic impairments in three dimensions of behaviour: reception, perception and realisation. In an unannounced evacuation training in a sheltered workshop, the evacuation behaviour and pre-movement phase were analysed. The analysis indicates that the pre-movement time depends on the kind of impairment as well as on organisational boundaries. Despite the special needs for assistance, the evacuation process in a sheltered workshop is quite similar to other sub-populations.
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Staircase evacuation is the major means of fire evacuation for current high-rise residential buildings. However, its feasibility may be questioned as the increasing aging population and many recent constructions of elderly community estates comprising high-rise apartment buildings. The weakness in physical strength and mobility impairment of older people may impede the successful implementation of staircase evacuation. Therefore, it is reasonable to consider facilitating older people's evacuation with elevators, shorted as elevator-aided evacuation (EAE). In order to find the most appropriate EAE strategy for high-rise elderly housing evacuation, three strategy modes for EAE are proposed: horizontally rationed EAE (S1), vertically rationed EAE (S2), and refuge floor gathered EAE (S3). Using evacuation simulation to examine evacuation efficiencies of these proposed strategy modes varying in different evacuation scenarios, we find that S2 is appropriate for middle high-rise building (12 & 24 stories) evacuation; S3 is suitable for ultra high-rise building (36 & 48 stories) evacuation with a low occupants' density per floor; S1 is the most preferable for evacuation of ultra high-rise buildings (36 & 48 stories) with a high occupants' density per floor. More importantly, the ratio of occupants assigned to use elevators and stairs for evacuation needs to be regulated according to the occupancy information. Thus, a smart elevator-aided building fire evacuation scheme is suggested, which can determine the optimal EAE strategy according to the real-time on-site situation.
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Background Egressibility has been defined as a person-environment fit issue and describes accessibility to means of evacuation. Although egressibility concerns everyone, it has become a useful concept particularly in relation to safety and accessibility for people with functional limitations, commonly highlighted as a vulnerable group in egress scenarios. Egressibility is an important safety factor, but there has been limited efforts trying to quantify it. Objective The aim has been to develop an instrument to measure egressibility in public buildings, as well as conducting initial psychometric testing of the instrument. Methods The Egress Enabler is based on the previously developed Housing Enabler instrument. The Egress Enabler was developed in several steps by an interdisciplinary team, incorporating an expert panel and a case study. Results Evaluation of content validity was in line with previous similar efforts, inter-rater reliability was considered “good” to “excellent” by means of intraclass correlation, and qualitative assessment of construct validity showed theoretically sound results. Conclusions It is suggested that an instrument like the Egress Enabler is needed for a systematic evaluation of egressibility during design. construction or operation. This is needed for ensuring equal access to egress for people with functional limitations.
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Introduction. According to statistics, the greatest loss of life from fires in Russia occurs in residential buildings with a height up to 28 m. At the same time, most fire protection systems are not provided in such type of buildings. In particular, in residential buildings of mentioned above height fire alarm system maybe not. That is why the real values of the pre-evacuation time (PET) in the buildings are not known, because domestic research still has not been conducted. Goals and objectives . The aim of the work was to establish the values of the PET of people in a residential building that is not equipped with a fire alarm system. The main tasks were to study the time to warn building occupants about a fire and to research the time of people’s reaction to a fire warning. Methods . The method of scientific research in this work is a full-scale experiment. In the first set of experiments focus were on warning time — it was investigated how much time it took to warn all building occupants by 1, 2 and 3 notifiers. The second set of experiments were aimed to study of people’s reaction time to a fire alarm — it was determined how long it took to start evacuating from their apartments. Results and their discussion . Studies have shown that the value of the alert time of a nine-storey building by one, two and three notifiers averaged was 20.0, 11.6 and 7.2 min, respectively. Based on the data obtained, a mathematical model was built that allows predicting the optimal number of notifiers depending on the number of storeys in the building. Studies of people’s reaction time to a fire alarm have shown that during the daytime, on average, people need less time to realize and prepare for evacuation (72 s) than at night (112 s). Combining the results obtained allowed us to determine the optimal number of notifiers to warn all people in residential building. Conclusion . Comparison of the experimental values of the PET with the data of the current Methodology of fire risk calculation for a nine-storey house showed a discrepancy of 2.6 times.
Chapter
This chapter presents an overview on the role of functional limitations on self-evacuation possibilities in case of fires in residential buildings. This is performed highlighting the links between functional limitations, predominant activities, and fire evacuation. This study makes use of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) by the World Health Organization with application to the activities performed during a fire evacuation scenario and how those can be affected by functional limitations. Quantitative and qualitative data concerning the egress of people with functional limitations are also discussed. The findings are presented making use of the engineering egress timeline commonly adopted in fire safety engineering applications and attempting to translate consolidated concepts of the research in the field of accessibility to the fire evacuation field. This chapter highlights that most researches on the evacuation of people with functional limitations have so far focused on addressing mobility limitations, particularly on the movement phase. Current knowledge gaps concern the impact of cognitive limitations, the ability to smell smoke, and how speech impairments can affect communication during an evacuation scenario.KeywordsEgressDisabilityICFfunctional limitationsEvacuationAgeing
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The dimensionality of pedestrian infrastructure facilities have a great influence on pedestrian movements and a considerable impact on natural environment of the facility. Understanding the pedestrian movements are crucial to estimate the capacity of the system accurately, especially in the transportation terminals such as railway stations, bus terminals, airports and so forth, where large crowd gathers and transfers. To have a safe and comfortable movement in normal situation and also a quick evacuation in emergency situation, pedestrian movement patterns should be analysed and modelled properly.
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The capabilities of pedestrians for evacuation have a significant impact on the time required to reach a safe place. Usually, the evacuation is split into two main stages: pre-movement-phase and movement-phase. For both a large number of studies investigate different representations of behaviour and impacts. But the influence of impairments is usually not taken into account. In addition, most of the scientific researches focus the investigation of the movement phase. This publication presents a novel approach to score the need for assistance and to estimate the effect on evacuation performance. The proposed score considers characteristic impairments in three dimensions of behaviour: reception, perception and realisation. In an unannounced evacuation training in a sheltered workshop, the evacuation behaviour and pre-movement phase were analysed. The analysis indicates that the pre-movement time depends on the kind of impairment as well as on organisational boundaries. Despite the special needs for assistance, the evacuation process in a sheltered workshop is quite similar to other sub-populations.
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Expedited evacuation of commercial and residential structures in the event of an emergency may be more difficult for persons with physical movement disorders. There is a need to better characterize the impact of such disorders and provide movement data to improve evacuee and responder safety. We undertook a pilot, feasibility study that investigated the ability of persons with multiple sclerosis (MS) and controls without MS to walk along a 48 m long path that included five different door configurations with various opening hardware and closure mechanisms, both before and after a six-minute walk, simulating a long evacuation path. Persons with MS took longer to complete the evacuation circuit (102 vs. 31 s) and to pass through each door (average 4.8 vs. 1.4 s) compared to controls. During the six-minute walk, persons with MS had decreased walking speed (0.7 vs. 1.9 m/s). The MS population demonstrated more conservative gait biomechanics throughout the simulation, i.e., wider, shorter and slower steps. Timing and biomechanical differences between populations and the potential fatigue induced through an extended evacuation can be used to improve understanding of movement in populations with disabilities, and incorporate these data into estimation of flow rates during evacuation.
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The traditional social science disciplines can provide many benefits to the field of human behavior in fire (HBiF). First, the social sciences delve further into insights only marginally examined by HBiF researchers, in turn, expanding the depth of HBiF research. In this paper, I present examples of studies from the fields of social psychology and sociology that would expand HBiF research into non-engineering or ‘unobservable’ aspects of behavior during a fire event. Second, the social sciences can provide insight into new areas of research; in turn, expanding the scope of HBiF research. In this section, I introduce pre and post-fire studies and explore potential research questions that fall outside of the response period of a fire, the phase upon which, most focus is currently placed. Third, the social sciences elucidate the value of research methods available to study human behavior. Qualitative research methods are specifically highlighted. These three benefits will allow HBiF researchers to collect a wider range of data, further develop and expand current behavioral knowledge, and increase the impact of this research for both social and engineering applications. Finally, I end with a discussion on possible ways to better integrate the social sciences within human behavior in fire. Published 2016. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA.
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Walking facilities such as walkways and stairs are important infrastructure that must be designed to accommodate pedestrian behavior to be effective. Heterogeneity in pedestrian composition is one important factor generally overlooked in guidelines and handbooks for walking facility design. Specifically, individuals with different types of disabilities are often overlooked because of the lack of available data. In response, a controlled large-scale research project was conducted at Utah State University to study the performance of various walking environments under heterogeneous pedestrian streams involving individuals with visual and mobility impairments. These environments included a passage-way, types of angles (right and oblique), bottlenecks, queuing areas, and stairs. The goals of this study were (a) to investigate macroscopic characteristics of heterogeneous pedestrian streams in various walking environments by using traffic flow fundamental diagrams and (b) to analyze the walking speeds of different pedestrian groups with consideration of congestion. The performance of facilities was evaluated by using macroscopic parameters estimated from calibrated traffic flow models. Speed analyses showed similarities and differences between the behaviors of pedestrian groups. Exploring traffic flow characteristics of a heterogeneous pedestrian stream in various walking facilities may improve the planning and design of such facilities.
Article
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Out of total trips made, the share of walking is considerable enough to warrant giving more emphasis to pedestrian flow studies in order to incorporate them in integrated design of urban areas. Analyses of pedestrian flow characteristics constitute one of the foundations of urban traffic planning and this includes analyzing walking speed, flow, density and space required by the pedestrians. As pedestrian flow characteristics are a location-based phenomenon, various researchers have studied these locally. An extensive review of literature is undertaken for various existing studies on pedestrian flow characteristics under different traffic conditions and on different pedestrian facilities in urban areas. These studies are focused on various parameters of pedestrian movement that are of fundamental importance in any pedestrian modeling approach. These parameters are pedestrian speeds and pedestrian speed-flow-density relationships. These studies aim to cast light on the need to provide exclusive pedestrian facilities and to correct any deficiency in facilities provided to the pedestrians. The review highlights the lack of a global and detailed consideration of pedestrian behavior along entire trips in urban areas. A set of studies of pedestrian flow characteristics are discussed thoroughly and general suggestions for further research in the field are presented at the end.
Article
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An important part the world's population is neglected in today's fire safety design - children. The vast amounts of data as well as the empirical models applied describe adults. This paper embraces the fact that there is a difference between children and adults, regarding evacuation and that children's movement parameters are age dependent. On the basis of 16 full-scale evacuation experiments made in 10 Danish daycare centers the present paper gives input data applicable in fire safety design on flow through doors, walking speed in horizontal plane and spiral stairs. Parameters distinguish small children in the age of 0-2 years from older ones in the age 3-6 years. An empirical model of children's flow through doors is introduced. The effect of using alarm/warning system on pre-evacuation time is briefly discussed. Behavioral aspects are also considered where possible. It is found that there is a higher need of physical assistance during evacuation for children in the age of 0-2 years, than for children aged 3-6. Children aged 3-6 years are keen to run during evacuations. Furthermore it was observed that children are used to following rules and routines which they continue doing during the evacuation. At last the effect of affiliation during the evacuation was seen among the children.
Article
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We present a gap analysis that maps the current problem classes being addressed by the pedestrian modelling community to the current classes of problem faced by pedestrian mobility consultants in industry. A review of the PED2010 proceedings and the TGF2013 book of abstracts was performed to generate a snapshot of the state-of-the-art with respect to: problem classes; and metrics of interest. These were mapped onto the findings of interviews with industrial experts. Our research suggests that the state-of-the-art is not addressing a significant class of practical problem related to master-planning and ‘holistic’ built environment simulation with respect to route choice and process driven movement.
Article
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Being able to move around in the community including using different modes of transport is a prerequisite for being able to participate in activities outside home. This can be particular challenging for people with cognitive impairments. Still, research regarding public transport for people with cognitive impairments is scarce. In this narrative review scientific literature focusing on people with cognitive impairments and their needs in public transport, was identified and summarised. All aspects in the travel chain perspective were of interest. Literature search engines Scirus, Elin and Cinahl were used during the search.
Conference Paper
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Evacuation research shows growing interest in human factors and psychology. Before, humans were mostly modelled as homo-geneous, without individual emotion, motivation or physical needs. Human factors had mainly been taken into account as physi-cal characteristics or space requirements. In this paper, we give examples of relevant human factors from the literature and our own field research. Human factors include physical, cognitive, motivational and social variables. As yet, there is no validated set of variables most relevant for safe and fast evacuation. Models for classifying human factors from other domains are introduced for use in future research. © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. Peer-review under responsibility of PED2014.
Technical Report
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The time that it takes an occupant population to reach safety when descending a stair during building evacuations is typically estimated by measureable engineering variables such as stair geometry, speed, stair density, and pre-observation delay. In turn, engineering models of building evacuation use these variables to predict the performance of egress systems for building design, emergency planning, or event reconstruction. As part of a program to better understand occupant movement and behavior during building emergencies, the Engineering Laboratory at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has been collecting stair movement data during fire drill evacuations of office and residential buildings. These data collections are intended to provide a better understanding of this principal building egress feature and develop a technical foundation for future codes and standards requirements. NIST has collected fire drill evacuation data in 14 buildings (11 office buildings and 3 residential buildings) ranging from six to 62 stories in height that have included a range of stair widths and occupant densities. A total of more than 22000 individual measurements are included in the data set. This report provides details of the data collected, an analysis of the data, and examples of the use of the data. The intention is to better understand movement during stair evacuations and provide data to test the predictive capability of building egress models. While mean movement speeds in the current study of 0.44 m/s ± 0.19 m/s are observed to be quite similar to the range of values in previous studies, mean local movement speeds as occupants traverse down the stairs are seen to vary widely within a given stair, ranging from 0.10 m/s ± 0.008 m/s to 1.7 m/s ± 0.13 m/s. These data provide confirmation of the adequacy of existing literature values typically used for occupant movement speeds and provide updated data for use in egress modeling or other engineering calculations.
Article
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This paper deals with research into the evacuation of children from pre-school educational institutions. The research was designed to determine possible values for their pre-movement time and to thoroughly investigate the parameters of their movement along the emergency escape routes. All the stages of the research conducted are described including the preparation and arrangements for the actual observation studies and the collection of basic empirical data and their statistical treatment. This includes the analysis of the pre-movement time for pre-school educational institutions, a theoretical analysis for establishing the relationships between speed and density of flows of children of different age groups during their upward and downward movement on stairs, through door openings, along horizontal routes at a normal walking speed, and while running. It also includes the categorization of movement by a degree of emotional state and psychological abilities of those people involved. The use of the results obtained for evacuation planning under various conditions in pre-school educational institutions is also discussed. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Article
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Cross-sectional studies show that older people with better cognition tend to walk faster. Whether this association reflects an influence of fluid cognition upon walking speed, vice versa, a bidirectional relationship or the effect of common causes is unclear. We used linear mixed effects models to examine the dynamic relationship between usual walking speed and fluid cognition, as measured by executive function, verbal memory and processing speed, in 2,654 men and women aged 60 to over 90 years from the English Longitudinal Study of Ageing. There was a bidirectional relationship between walking speed and fluid cognition. After adjusting for age and sex, better performance on executive function, memory and processing speed was associated with less yearly decline in walking speed over the 6-year follow-up period; faster walking speed was associated with less yearly decline in each cognitive domain; and less yearly decline in each cognitive domain was associated with less yearly decline in walking speed. Effect sizes were small. After further adjustment for other covariates, effect sizes were attenuated but most remained statistically significant. We found some evidence that walking speed and the fluid cognitive domains of executive function and processing speed may change in parallel with increasing age. Investigation of the association between walking speed and cognition earlier in life is needed to better understand the origins of this relation and inform the development and timing of interventions.
Article
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As a typical crowded public place, fatal deaths are caused by ineffective evacuation action in large hospital on account of the special characteristics of occupants in hospital building, i.e., pathological, physiological and psychological behaviour, etc. Large amount of observation by camera and videos, as well as questionnaires were carried out in a SJ Hospital, which is the one of biggest hospitals in Shenyang. Based on that, correlation analysis was carried out between special behavioural characteristics of occupants in hospital and pedestrian walk velocity, as well as the correlation with their evacuation decision behaviour. Furthermore, evacuation simulation in the hospital building was done on the base of the fire dynamics simulation software FDS+Evac developed by NIST, USA. The investigation results illustrate that occupant walks slowly in hospital buildings at a ratio of 70%∼90% comparing with the healthy people in common public buildings. Occupants in hospital building tend to ask help to staffs of the hospital in wayfinding in the case of emergent situations. More than 1/3rd of the occupants are more likely inclined to lose their idea once emergent situation occurs. The evacuation simulation illustrates that egress width and efficient evacuation instructions are the most important strategies in the efficient evacuation in hospital buildings.
Article
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Practical data of human movement characteristics in different visibility conditions is necessary for the fire performance-based designs and evacuation calculation models. In this study, an evacuation experiment was conducted in a classroom and the evacuation processes were recorded by video cameras. The impacts of visibility and gender on walking speed were analyzed. The walking speed of young female pedestrians in good visibility conditions measured in our experiment is 0.92 m/s and in conditions without visibility the mean velocity is 0.42 m/s . Besides, the mean velocity of males in conditions with good visibility is 0.91 m/s and in zero visibility conditions the value is 0.69 m/s . Additionally, the distributions of velocities obtained in different visibility conditions in this study obey the Gaussian distribution. The results are similar to that of previous study. The research is helpful for devising evacuation schemes of theater, stadiums, gymnasiums etc. and also can be used in guiding regional evacuation processes, such as evacuation processes of chemical industrial parks whose building layouts and exit arrangements are similar to the classroom.
Article
Data from 1,947 pedestrian crossing events measured at 11 intersections in Madison and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, were analyzed to determine the effect of subject age and disability, intersection traffic control condition, group size, and sex on walking speed. A multifactor analysis of variance indicated that pedestrian walking speed depended on age and disability, traffic control condition, and group size. Pedestrians older than 65 (n = 326) were the slowest of all age groups, with mean and 15th percentile walking speeds of 3.81 and 3.02 ft/s, respectively, and typically would not be accommodated by pedestrian clearance intervals based on the commonly used 4.0-ft/s walking speed. Adult-assisted children and physically disabled persons had crossing speeds similar to those of persons older than 65. Groups of pedestrians crossed 0.4 to 0.6 ft/s slower than individuals. On the basis of data reported here, a 3.8-ft/s walking speed is recommended for timing pedestrian clearance intervals (flashing don't walk indication) at locations with normal pedestrian demo-graphics (downtown areas, shopping areas, most neighborhoods, school areas) and locations where the age or physical disability status of the pedestrian population is unknown. When the proportion of pedestrians over the age of 65 is equal to or exceeds 20%, 30%, 40%, 50%, and 100% of the total pedestrians at a location, walking speeds of 3.6, 3.5, 3.4, 3.3, and 2.9 ft/s, respectively, are recommended for pedestrian clearance timings. Walking speeds of 4.0 ft/s are appropriate only for locations with very few older pedestrians, assisted children, and disabled persons, such as college campuses.
Article
Children are a vulnerable group in society and less is known about their characteristics during evacuation than that of adults. This may lead to fire safety design of child centric buildings that fail to account for or acknowledge accurately the characteristics of children. Previous studies have indicated a distinction between adults and children in response to fire cues, however, the existing child specific literature lacks the depth required to provide certainty in design assumptions. This paper focuses on the human behaviour of children during evacuation. The key aim is to contribute to the limited existing data on the pedestrian dynamics and behavioural actions of children during an evacuation. Data from twelve full scale evacuations of four primary schools (educating children aged 4–12) is analysed. As might be expected, longer pre-evacuation times were obtained for classes accommodating younger children. A reduction in pre- evacuation times was observed through repetition of evacuation drills. The movement characteristics of children on the horizontal plane and on stairways were found to be influenced by age, and variances in travel speeds within each class group were observed. On stairways children in the lower classes moved slower and were more cautious than older children. Interestingly, it was more common for groups to be led by a pupil, resulting in faster movement speeds than those led by an adult. Observations and analysis are further discussed along with directions for further research.
Article
Statistics show that significant proportions of our global populations have a disability. Demographically we are an ageing and an increasingly obese society which, with increased accessibility, means that buildings are likely to be frequented by an ever increasing proportion of persons with reduced mobility. There is therefore a need to ensure that we can provide an accessible means of egress and a safe evacuation for all. Design guidance related to exit widths varies internationally but in the main has its origins in studies conducted with populations who were able bodied and fit. Furthermore the relationships between speed/density/flow used in hand calculations and computer models have been recognised as being outdated and not necessarily reflective of society today. This paper considers the evacuation of mixed ability populations in the context of increasing accessibility and changing demographics, reviews the basis for current design guidance and explores the design options for persons with reduced mobility. The current understanding of the evacuation capabilities of persons with reduced mobility is critically assessed and lessons from real evacuation experiences and other studies of mixed ability populations are drawn. In so doing, the sufficiency of current design guidance and challenges associated with implementing current approaches are considered and gaps in understanding and future research needs identified.
Article
It is imperative to design walking facility infrastructures to accommodate the needs of all pedestrian, including individuals with disabilities. Unfortunately, individuals with disabilities are often overlooked due to the lack of available data. The purpose of this study was to measure the individual pedestrian walking behaviors of individuals with disabilities through controlled video tracking experiments of heterogeneous crowds in various walking facilities; including passageways, right and oblique corners, doorways, bottlenecks, and stairs. The goal of this paper is to provide an overview of conducting experimental research on pedestrian walking behavior involving individuals with and without disabilities, including automated video tracking methods, data collection, logistical issues, processing methods, and lessons learned from conducting a large-scale study. The findings support future large-scale experiments related to the pedestrian walking behavior of individuals with disabilities. The results can be used to calibrate and validate pedestrian traffic flow models capturing the behaviors and interactions of crowds which include different types of individuals with disabilities.
Book
Revised and significantly expanded, the fifth edition of this classic work offers both new and substantially updated information. As the definitive reference on fire protection engineering, this book provides thorough treatment of the current best practices in fire protection engineering and performance-based fire safety. Over 130 eminent fire engineers andresearchers contributed chapters to the book, representing universities and professional organizations around the world. It remains the indispensible source for reliable coverage of fire safety engineering fundamentals, fire dynamics, hazard calculations, fire risk analysis, modeling and more. With seventeen new chapters and over 1,800 figures, the this new editioncontains: • Step-by-step equations that explain engineering calculations • Comprehensive revision of the coverage of human behavior in fire, including several new chapters on egress system design, occupant evacuation scenarios, combustion toxicity and data for human behavior analysis • Revised fundamental chapters for a stronger sense of context • Added chapters on fire protection system selection and design, including selection of fire safety systems, system activation and controls and CO2 extinguishing systems • Recent advances in fire resistance design • Addition of new chapters on industrial fire protection, including vapor clouds, effects of thermal radiation on people, BLEVEs, dust explosions and gas and vapor explosions • New chapters on fire load density, curtain walls, wildland fires and vehicle tunnels • Essential reference appendices on conversion factors, thermophysical property data, fuel properties and combustion data, configuration factors and piping properties.
Article
In this paper, the impact of vision on the uni- and bi-directional flow has been investigated via experiment and modeling. In the experiments, pedestrians are asked to walk clockwise/anti-clockwise in a ring-shaped corridor under view-limited condition and normal view condition. As expected, the flow rate under the view-limited condition decreases comparing with that under the normal view condition, no matter in uni- or bi-directional flow. In bidirectional flow, pedestrians segregate into two opposite moving streams very quickly under the normal view condition, and clockwise/anti-clockwise walking pedestrians are always in the inner/outer ring due to right-walking preference. In the first set of experiment, spontaneous lane formation has not occurred under the view-limited condition. Pedestrian flow does not evolve into stationary state. Local congestion occurs and dissipates from time to time. However, in the later sets of experiments, spontaneous lane formation has re-occurred. This is because participants learned from the experience and adapted right-walking preference to avoid collision. To model the flow dynamics, an improved force-based model has been proposed. The driving force has been modified. The right-walking preference has been taken into account. The fact that pedestrians cannot judge the moving direction accurately under limited-view condition has been considered. Simulation results are in good agreement with the experimental ones.
Article
The time that it takes an occupant population to reach safety when descending a stairwell during building evacuations is typically estimated by measureable engineering variables such as stair geometry, speed, density, and pre-observation delay. In turn, engineering models of building evacuation use these variables to predict the performance of egress systems for building design, emergency planning, or event reconstruction. As part of a program to better understand occupant movement and behavior during building emergencies, the Engineering Laboratory at the National Institute of Standards and Technology has collected stair movement data during fire drill evacuations of office and residential buildings. These data collections are intended to provide a better understanding of this principal building egress feature and develop a technical foundation for future codes and standards requirements. Fire drill evacuation data has been collected in 14 buildings (11 office buildings and 3 residential buildings) ranging from six to 62 stories in height that included a range of stair widths and occupant densities. A total of more than 22,000 individual measurements are included in the data set. This paper provides details of the data collected and an analysis of the data. The intention is to better understand movement during stairwell evacuations and provide data to test the predictive capability of building egress models. While mean and standard deviation of the distribution of movement speeds in the current study of 0.44 m/s ± 0.19 m/s are observed to be quite similar to the range of values in previous studies, mean local movement speeds as occupants traverse down the stairs are seen to vary widely within a given stairwell, ranging from 0.10 m/s ± 0.008 m/s to 1.7 m/s ± 0.13 m/s. These data provide confirmation of the adequacy of existing literature values typically used for occupant movement speeds and provide updated data for use in egress modeling or other engineering calculations.
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 degree of safety provided. This article focuses on the RSET side of the equation, for which a fire protection or fire safety engineer would use some type of egress modelling approach to estimate evacuation performance. Often, simple engineering equations are applied to estimate the RSET value. Over time, more sophisticated computational tools have appeared—that go beyond basic flow calculations; e.g. simulating individual agent movement. Irrespective of the approach adopted, appropriate and accurate representation of human behavior in response to fire within these approaches is limited, mainly due to the lack of a comprehensive conceptual model of evacuee decision-making and behavior during fire emergencies. This article initially presents the set of behavioral statements, or mini-theories, currently available from various fire and disaster studies, organized using the overarching theory of decision-making and human behavior in disasters. Once presented, guidance is provided on how these behavioral statements might be incorporated into an evacuation model, in order to better represent human behavior in fire within the safety analysis being performed. The intent here is to improve the accuracy of the results produced by performance-based calculations and analyses.
Chapter
The purpose of this study is to deliver new data and to bring attention to the subject of evacuation of children. Evacuation characteristics such as flow, densities and walking speeds are in focus. Current literature on evacuation is based mostly on studies on adults. Ten Danish daycare centers participated in full scale evacuation experiments where two age groups 0-2 years and 3-6 years were analyzed separately. The overall findings were as follows. Flow through doors, walking speeds and densities were age-dependent and differed strongly from the data in existing literature. The results showed higher walking speeds in spiral stairs when the children were familiar with the evacuation path. Higher person densities and faster flow through doors were obtained among the children than found in the current literature on adults. Children in the younger age group were generally slower than the older children. The children walked slower in horizontal plane than adults, however they were keen to run during the evacuations, in the latter case their travel speed increased and exceeded the adults’. Since the evacuation characteristics of children differ in many ways from those of adults, nowadays models badly comprehend the evacuation behavior children.
Chapter
Even before Louis Sullivan coined the phrase `Form Follows Function,' architectural researchers have sought, to no avail, a causal relationship between these two primary constituents of the building enterprise. This paper attempts to explain why this quest has been futile, and proposes a performance-based design paradigm, instead of the prevailing process-based paradigms. It suggests that the driving force behind any design activity is the desire to achieve a qualitative solution for a particular combination of form and function in a specific context. Furthermore, it suggests that quality can only be determined by a multi-criteria, multi-disciplinary performance evaluation, which comprises a weighted sum of several satisfaction/behavior functions. The paper develops a performance-based design methodology and demonstrates its application in an experimental, knowledge-based CAD system. © Society of Fire Protection Engineers 2016. All rights reserved.
Chapter
Human behavior in fire is at the core of all life safety projects completed by fire safety or fire protection engineers. A better understanding of how people respond to building emergencies can aid in safer building design; improved use or development of calculation tools used to ensure the level of safety afforded by these designs; and more effective emergency procedures, emergency communication systems, and pre-event emergency training for buildings and communities. The purpose of this chapter is to provide a basic understanding of human behavior in fire concepts and theory for use by engineers. The chapter contains the following aspects of human behavior in fire and other emergencies: a definition of human behavior in fire, including a discussion of the types of disciplines employed in the study of people in fires; a presentation on what human behavior in fire is not, including examples of disaster myths; an overview of the disaster-based decision-making process in fires and other emergencies; a discussion relating theory to practice (highlighting studies from fire events that support the decision-making theory); the identification of important factors that influence the decision-making process; and a conclusion highlighting what is missing in the field of human behavior in fire. Each section of this chapter will include an implications section that outlines the reasons why these ideas or theories are important for engineers to understand and incorporate. © Society of Fire Protection Engineers 2016. All rights reserved.
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 of data-sets. It is hoped that this approach provides a useful reference resource for readers © Society of Fire Protection Engineers 2016. All rights reserved.
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 are presented to clarify the application of these tools, along with a description of how the use of these tools fits in with other fire engineering calculations. This chapter will, therefore, allow the engineer to assess egress performance in a responsible and informed manner. © Society of Fire Protection Engineers 2016. All rights reserved.
Article
Early identification of individuals at risk for cognitive decline may facilitate the selection of those who benefit most from interventions. Current models predicting cognitive decline include neuropsychological and/or biological markers. Additional markers based on walking ability might improve accuracy and specificity of these models because motor and cognitive functions share neuroanatomical structures and psychological processes. We reviewed the relationship between walking ability at one point of (mid)life and cognitive decline at follow-up. A systematic literature search identified 20 longitudinal studies. The average follow-up time was 4.5 years. Gait speed quantified walking ability in most studies (n=18). Additional gait measures (n=4) were step frequency, variability and step-length. Despite methodological weaknesses, results revealed that gait slowing (0.68-1.1 m/sec) preceded cognitive decline and the presence of dementia syndromes (maximal odds and hazard ratios of 10.4 and 11.1, respectively). The results indicate that measures of walking ability could serve as additional markers to predict cognitive decline. However, gait speed alone might lack specificity. We recommend gait analysis, including dynamic gait parameters, in clinical evaluations of patients with suspected cognitive decline. Future studies should focus on examining the specificity and accuracy of various gait characteristics to predict future cognitive decline.
Article
This work presents the results of a survey aimed at identification of key issues concerning the provision of fire safety of people with visual impairments). The questionnaires were passed to All Russian Association of the Blind and distributed by them to places of labour application (plant for the production of electrical appliances) of this group of disabled people. A methodology for field observations of flows movement consisting of blind and visually impaired people has been developed based on the results of this survey. This methodology takes into account not only the type of route (horizontal, inclined or door), but also the level of people awareness about the features on this route. Statistical processing of data and the regularities identified on its basis enabled us to describe the parameters of flows movement. It was found, that the familiarity with egress route is a key factor for the safety of visually impaired people: if familiar route is blocked and number of abled-body stuff is insufficient, evacuation would be failed.
Article
The representation of crowd movement in existing evacuation models is typically based on data collected in the 1950s to 1980s, i.e., data that are more than 40 years old. Since the 1970s, population characteristics have changed dramatically around the world. Reports show that the percentage of elderly and obesity rates have increased significantly and this trend is predicted to continue into the future. Recent research [1–3] illustrates the magnitude by which different age cohorts of a population group can reduce the general speed and flow rates. In addition, well established studies have quantified the impact of body dimensions on speed and flow [4]. However, many existing evacuation models fail to take the changing characteristics of populations into account. This paper aims to review existing knowledge of population demographics and crowd dynamics, derive an indicative flow reduction factor for future populations, and consider the implications for computer models and building design in the future.
Article
Objectives: To identify and critically appraise potential participation measurement tools for children aged 18 months to 17 years with power mobility (PM) needs. Data Sources: Searches in 9 electronic databases identified peer-reviewed publications in English to January 2015, along with hand-searching included bibliographies. Study Selection: The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses statement was followed with inclusion criteria set a priori. Keywords and subject headings included participation and measurement terms with descriptors of young people who are potential PM candidates. Publications describing measurement properties of English-language tools were included if the items included ≥85% content related to participation and described at least 2 participation dimensions. Data Extraction: Two reviewers reached consensus after independently screening titles and abstracts, identifying full-text articles meeting criteria, extracting data, and conducting quality ratings. Tool descriptions, clinical utility, and measurement properties were extracted. Study quality and measurement properties were evaluated using the COnsensus-based Standards for the selection of health Measurement INstruments checklist and the McMaster Outcome Measures Rating Form. Data Synthesis: Of 1330 titles identified, 138 peer-reviewed publications met study inclusion criteria. Fifty tools were identified, of which 20 met inclusion criteria. Evidence supporting reliability and validity varied considerably. Two tools had responsiveness evidence, an important measurement property when evaluating change. Quality ratings were strongest for internal consistency and content validity. Ratings were downgraded because of small sample sizes and a limited description of missing data or study conditions. Conclusions: While potential tools emerged (Assessment of Preschool Children's Participation, Preferences for Activities of Children, Child and Adolescent Scale of Participation, Child Engagement in Daily Life, Canadian Occupational Performance Measure, Questionnaire of Young People's Participation), none were judged best suited for use with children having PM needs. Further empirical studies with this population are needed before recommending use for PM applications.
Article
Walking facilities are important infrastructures in communities. These facilities should be designed to accommodate the needs of all types of pedestrians. Unfortunately, existing design guidelines fail to offer adequate consideration for individuals with disabilities owing to a lack of empirical data. To address this knowledge gap, a controlled large-scale research project was conducted at Utah State University (USU) to study the walking behavior of people with various types of disabilities in various indoor walking facilities. These facilities included a passageway, different types of angles (right and oblique), bottleneck, and stairwells. The purpose of this paper is twofold: to examine the impacts of individuals with disabilities on crowd walking speed, and to study the impacts of different indoor walking facilities on the movements of various pedestrian groups. Results show that the presence of individuals with disabilities in a crowd significantly reduces the overall crowd speed. Statistical analysis also reveals similarities and differences between the walking speeds of various pedestrian groups. A regression model is calibrated to predict the speed of various types of individuals with disabilities in different indoor walking facilities. The findings of this paper may help urban planners and walking facility designers consider the needs of people with disabilities.
Article
A panel discussion considered life safety options for people with disabilities and their evacuation challenges, with a particular focus on buildings, such as small care facilities, group homes and nursing homes. Questions to be discussed included consideration of how well occupants in those types of facilities have fared in actual fires, and how well current regulations protect them. The panelists focused on three specific areas – the implications of changing demographics on code development; the factors important in fire safety in small care facilities; and real experiences and future implications for mixed-ability evacuation. This paper details the presentations and the open discussion that followed. Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Article
In studying evacuation, different components of evacuation time have to be well understood. These include evacuation time, Required Safe Egress Time (RSET), Available Safe Egress Time (ASET) and Total Evacuation Time (TET). In this paper, definitions and calculation methods for those time components will be reviewed. A time line of fire development and evacuation process with all those components reported in the literature is presented.
Article
To date there is no International standard on the verification and validation (V&V) of building fire evacuation models, i.e., model testers adopt inconsistent procedures or tests designed for other model uses. For instance, the tests presented within the MSC/Circ.1238 Guidelines for evacuation analysis for new and existing passenger ships provided by the International Maritime Organization are often employed for the V&V of models outside their original context of use (building fires instead of maritime applications). This paper presents a list of verification tests for component testing and the analysis of emergent behaviours together with examples of experimental data-sets suitable for the analysis of different core components. The capabilities of building fire evacuation models are evaluated by studying their five main core components, namely (1) pre-evacuation time, (2) movement and navigation, (3) exit usage, (4) route availability and (5) flow constraints. This paper discusses the tests which are included in a freely available Technical Note developed at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. This work is intended to open a discussion on the main issues associated with the definition of a standard procedure for the V&V of building fire evacuation models, including the definition of the acceptance criteria of a standard V&V protocol.