Ulster University Logo

Safe Evacuation for all - Fact or Fantasy? Past Experiences, current Understanding and future challenges

Boyce, Karen (2017) Safe Evacuation for all - Fact or Fantasy? Past Experiences, current Understanding and future challenges. Fire Safety Journal, 91 . pp. 28-40. [Journal article]

[img] Text - Accepted Version
[img] Text - Supplemental Material
Restricted to Repository staff only


URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0379711217302904

DOI: 10.1016/j.firesaf.2017.05.004


Statistics show that significant proportions of our global populations have a disability. Demographically we are an ageing and an increasingly obese society which, with increased accessibility, means that buildings are likely to be frequented by an ever increasing proportion of persons with reduced mobility. There is therefore a need to ensure that we can provide an accessible means of egress and a safe evacuation for all. Design guidance related to exit widths varies internationally but in the main has its origins in studies conducted with populations who were able bodied and fit. Furthermore the relationships between speed/density/flow used in hand calculations and computer models have been recognised as being outdated and not necessarily reflective of society today. This paper considers the evacuation of mixed ability populations in the context of increasing accessibility and changing demographics, reviews the basis for current design guidance and explores the design options for persons with reduced mobility. The current understanding of the evacuation capabilities of persons with reduced mobility is critically assessed and lessons from real evacuation experiences and other studies of mixed ability populations are drawn. In so doing, the sufficiency of current design guidance and challenges associated with implementing current approaches are considered and gaps in understanding and future research needs identified.

Item Type:Journal article
Keywords:disability, mobility impairment, evacuation, refuge, lifts/elevators, escape route design
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:37866
Deposited By: Dr Karen Boyce
Deposited On:15 May 2017 08:32
Last Modified:14 Sep 2017 13:51

Repository Staff Only: item control page