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Refuge areas and vertical evacuation of multistorey buildings: the end users' perspectives

McConnell, Nigel and Boyce, Karen (2015) Refuge areas and vertical evacuation of multistorey buildings: the end users' perspectives. Fire and Materials, 39 (4). pp. 396-406. [Journal article]

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URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1002/(ISSN)1099-1018/earlyview

DOI: 10.1002/fam.2205


Refuge areas have been utilized for some time in multistorey buildings as an integral part of evacuation strategies for those with mobility impairments. Nevertheless, there has been little research on the level of understanding of what a refuge is, nor on the views or concerns of users in the event of an emergency. This paper reports on a study to determine the knowledge and concerns that people with reduced mobility have regarding refuges, and their willingness to use them. Results indicated that almost half of the sample who ‘could not’ or ‘would find it difficult’ to descend one storey had little or no knowledge of a refuge. Having been made aware of what a refuge was and how it might be used, over three-quarters of respondents said they would be prepared to use it. Nevertheless, 60% of respondents felt that they would not be comfortable remaining in a refuge for more than 10min without assistance. Major concerns were ‘being forgotten’, ‘lack of information/ communication on the waiting time prior to assistance arriving’, and ‘being left alone’. This paper also identifies how confidence to remain in a refuge may be increased and explores awareness and feelings regarding vertical evacuation options.

Item Type:Journal article
Keywords:refuge area; staging area; multi-storey building; evacuation; disability; end users' perspective; vertical evacuation
Faculties and Schools:Faculty of Art, Design and the Built Environment
Faculty of Art, Design and the Built Environment > School of the Built Environment
Research Institutes and Groups:Built Environment Research Institute
Built Environment Research Institute > Fire Safety and Engineering Research and Technology Centre (FireSERT)
ID Code:27207
Deposited By: Dr Karen Boyce
Deposited On:30 Sep 2013 10:16
Last Modified:29 Nov 2016 16:33

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