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Perspectives of Occupants with Mobility Impairments on Fire Evacuation and Elevators



Kathryn M. Butler, Susanne M. Furman, Erica D. Kuligowski, Richard D. Peacock


The purpose of this report is to provide guidance for designers, building managers, and fire emergency personnel on how to improve communication, procedures, and elevator usage during fire emergencies, based on a study of the evacuation experiences of people with mobility impairments from medium- and high-rise office buildings. The work was conducted by NIST with support from the U.S. General Services Administration, Public Buildings Service (GSA/PBS). The focus of this research effort was twofold: 1) to gain an understanding of how building occupants with mobility impairments currently evacuate multi-story buildings in the United States during fire emergencies, and 2) to learn about the concerns of persons with mobility impairments with using elevators during fire evacuations.
Technical Note (NIST TN) - 1923
Report Number


fire evacuation, elevators, people with mobility impairments


Butler, K. , Furman, S. , Kuligowski, E. and Peacock, R. (2016), Perspectives of Occupants with Mobility Impairments on Fire Evacuation and Elevators, Technical Note (NIST TN), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed July 18, 2024)


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Created August 15, 2016, Updated November 10, 2018