Multi-storey residential buildings and occupant's behaviour during fire evacuation in the UK: factors relevant to the development of evacuation strategies.
Moore, David R.
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GERGES, M., PENN, S., MOORE, D., BOOTHMAN, C. and LIYANAGE, C. 2018. Multi-storey residential buildings and occupant's behaviour during fire evacuation in the UK: factors relevant to the development of evacuation strategies. International journal of building pathology and adaptation [online], 36(3), pages 234-253. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1108/IJBPA-08-2017-0033
Purpose – The paper aims to investigate human behaviour during fire evacuations in multistorey residential buildings through a focus on the challenges and obstacles that occupants face. Any variations in response behaviours that are relevant to the evacuation strategies/plans in the UK context of occupancy typical of multi-storey buildings in large cities. Design/methodology/approach – A literature review was conducted to identify the factors occupants face and also the decision-making of occupants regarding methods of egress. A mixed research method was adopted using interviews and a questionnaire survey. The findings from the interviews and survey are benchmarked against the information gathered from the literature review. Findings – The paper identifies various challenges that occupants face when evacuating a multi-storey residential building. In terms of the decision-making process, the research results evidence that occupants could be given more information on the evacuation procedures within their specific building. The paper also finds that occupants remain reluctant to use a lift during evacuation in fire event, irrespective of any signage clearly stating that is appropriate to do so in the context of modern lift technology. Originality/Value – This paper contributes to the body of knowledge available on the evacuation of multi-storey buildings located in large cities within the UK, outlining potential areas for future research, focused on providing an insight of the behavioural decisions made by the occupants make when evacuating a building in the event of a fire.