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Modelling and Influencing Human Behaviour in Fire



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


The purpose of this article is to present a conceptual model of human behaviour in fire and its impact on evacuation modelling, life safety analyses, and evacuation procedures. This model is based on a theoretical framework of individual decision-making and response to emergencies. From this foundation, the conceptual model is populated with behavioural statements or mini-theories distilled from articles and authoritative reports describing emergency incidents, observations from within the field of evacuation analysis, and studies of human behaviour in fire and other emergencies. The conceptual model is used to guide the model developer, model user, and practitioner to better account for human behaviour in their respective roles. It is contended that a more credible representation of the evacuee response, that incorporates the behavioural statements described, provides both theoretical and practical advantages.
Fire and Materials


Model, Evacuee Behaviour, Developer, User, Practitioner.


Gwynne, S. , Kuligowski, E. , Kinsey, M. and Hulse, L. (2017), Modelling and Influencing Human Behaviour in Fire, Fire and Materials, [online], (Accessed July 17, 2024)


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Created August 21, 2017, Updated October 12, 2021