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.

Occupant Behavior in a High-rise Office Building Fire



Erica D. Kuligowski, Bryan L. Hoskins


Survey responses from occupants involved in a 32-story high-rise building evacuation during an actual fire were collected and analyzed to study the pre-evacuation period. Multiple regression models were used to test whether specific occupant, building, and environmental factors predicted pre-evacuation times. This study found that the main influential factors of pre-evacuation times were actions taken during this period, especially by certain groups of occupants, and floor (mostly likely due to the information that occupants received on these floors). This study also quantified the relationships between factors and pre-evacuation time, showing how much pre-evacuation time was required for each factor.
Technical Note (NIST TN) - 1664
Report Number


pre-evacuation, response delay, human behavior, high-rise, occupant behavior


Kuligowski, E. and Hoskins, B. (2010), Occupant Behavior in a High-rise Office Building Fire, Technical Note (NIST TN), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed July 16, 2024)


If you have any questions about this publication or are having problems accessing it, please contact

Created June 10, 2010, Updated February 19, 2017