How to Evacuate from a Fire

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In a fire there are many environmental factors that can influence the behavior of the occupants within the space. This reaction will determine if other occupants will find themselves in danger or if their choice will put other people at risk. The way an occupant is alerted to the presence of a fire can determine the degree of threat perceived. Once the threat is perceived a course of action will be decided and carried out. In many studies one key element remains a constant in the observation of behavior through a fire modeling program. The programs are used to predict foot traffic of the occupants but will never be able to determine the actual decision and various obstacles that can develop during the event. It allows the fire protection designer to consider what building features need to be updated to allow for better flow of traffic. There is only so much information that can be input and manipulated to get a realistic result. In order to expand predictive theory of human behavior in fires, the factors that will influence a person to take certain actions must be identified. Examples of actions taken during an evacuation include information seeking, passing on the information to others, and preparing for evacuation. It is through audio and live cues where the best outcome has been observed.
Before individuals perform an action, they perceive certain cues, interpret the situation risk based on those cues, and then make a decision about what to do based on these interpretations. There are also certain factors that influence each phase of the process. These factors influence whether the individual perceives the cue or not, influences what type of interpretation the individual forms about the situation and the risk based on that cu...

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... safe. Plans and alternate approaches should be discussed with both middle and line management to ensure understanding and cooperation.

Behavior during a building fire evacuation is understood as a logical attempt to cope and deal with a complex situation. We can see the change in behavior as the result of a behavioral process. Each behavioral aspect will begin with a new cue and information from the social and physical environment. The cues need to be acknowledged, interpreted, and then a decision is made as to what action is required to preserve life. The process a person will undergo will be repeated various times, such as in a model to see what the best outcome is. By identifying the factors above, it can help influence each phase in the behavioral process, predictive certain possibilities and aid in forming a behavioral model for a building fire evacuation.

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