Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Guidance for the Model User on Representing Human Behavior in Egress Models

Published

Author(s)

Erica D. Kuligowski, Steve Gwynne, Michael Kinsey, Lynn Hulse

Abstract

Structures are currently designed and constructed in accordance with prescriptive and performance-based (PBD) methodologies to ensure a certain level of safety. 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 an 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. Irrespective of the approach adopted, appropriate and accurate representation of human behavior in 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 current overarching theory of human behavior in disasters, as well as a set of behavioral statements, or mini-theories, from various fire studies. Once presented, guidance is provided on how these behavioral statements might be incorporated by the engineer into an evacuation model, in order to represent human behavior in fire within his/her life safety analysis. The intent here is to improve the accuracy of the results produced by performance-based calculations and analyses, via better representation of human behavior in fire.
Citation
Fire Technology

Keywords

human behavior, fire, egress modeling, performance-based design

Citation

Kuligowski, E. , Gwynne, S. , Kinsey, M. and Hulse, L. (2016), Guidance for the Model User on Representing Human Behavior in Egress Models, Fire Technology, [online], https://doi.org/10.1007/s10694-016-0586-2 (Accessed April 24, 2024)
Created May 24, 2016, Updated June 2, 2021