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Enhancing Egress Drills: Preparation and Assessment of Evacuee Performance



Steve Gwynne, Erica D. Kuligowski, Karen E. Boyce, Daniel Nilsson, Amanda Robbins, Ruggiero Lovreglio, J.R. Thomas, A. Roy-Poirier


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 performance well characterized. In addition, the manner in which they are conducted varies both between and within regulatory jurisdictions. By investigating their strengths and limitations, this article suggests opportunities for their enhancement possibly through the use of other egress models to support and expand upon the benefits provided. It is by no means suggested that drills are not important to evacuation safety - only that their inconsistent use and the interpretation of the results produced may mean we (as researchers, practitioners, regulators and stakeholders) are not getting the maximum benefit out of this important tool.
Fire and Materials


evacuation, drills, training, egress model, codes, standards


Gwynne, S. , Kuligowski, E. , Boyce, K. , Nilsson, D. , Robbins, A. , Lovreglio, R. , Thomas, J. and Roy-Poirier, A. (2017), Enhancing Egress Drills: Preparation and Assessment of Evacuee Performance, Fire and Materials, [online], (Accessed May 18, 2024)


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Created July 10, 2017, Updated October 12, 2021