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An analysis of evacuation travel paths on stair landings by means of conditional probabilities



Enrico Ronchi, Paul A. Reneke, Erica D. Kuligowski, Richard D. Peacock


This paper provides the analysis of a data-set about people movement on stair landings collected during an evacuation drill performed in a six-storey office building in the United States. The evacuation drill was filmed and occupant’s behaviours on stair landings were analysed. 215 individual travel path trajectories and the corresponding time spent in the landings were collected. Data are presented using a probabilistic approach, i.e. the probability of different occupant travel paths are calculated in relation to different conditions. Two conditions have been analysed: 1) crowding conditions on the landings, and 2) the type of interactions between occupants (e.g., merging flows, deference/overtaking behaviours, etc.). Results show that a higher number of people on stair landings causes an increase in the probability for 1) longer travel paths and 2) usage of the outer boundaries on the stair/landing connections. In the case of a low occupant load and non-homogenous merging streams (a higher number of people entering the landing from the stairs than the door), floors tend to be emptied from the top to the bottom.
Fire Safety Journal


building evacuation, merging flows, pedestrian movement, travel paths, conditional probabilities


Ronchi, E. , Reneke, P. , Kuligowski, E. and Peacock, R. (2014), An analysis of evacuation travel paths on stair landings by means of conditional probabilities, Fire Safety Journal, [online], (Accessed May 24, 2024)


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Created February 20, 2014, Updated November 10, 2018