Modeling People's Pre-evacuation Process in Building Fires by System Dynamics Approach

Project: Research

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A performance approach for fire safety design is permitted in Hong Kong’s legislative context provided that the safety of occupants inside a building can be demonstrated by assessing the fire-smoke development and people’s evacuation, which is nowadays performed by computer models. However, modelling the pre-evacuation process in the assessment still requires improvement. Many studies have revealed that the pre-evacuation process accounts for over two-thirds of the overall evacuation time, and it is therefore significant in fire safety performance assessment.Previous research on pre-evacuation human behaviour is mainly context dependent. The decision-making processes involved in the behavioural responses have not been quantitatively explored, and the data collected are not adequate to establish effective predictive models. This project proposes to adopt a system approach to establish a dynamic model to account for the interrelationship of various pre-evacuation decision-making stages and simulate the behavioural changes for studying people’s reaction pattern in fires. It will involve establishing a system dynamics model, collecting post-fire data for calibrating the model, and integrating the model into an evacuation model for fire safety engineering assessment. The model can serve to provide insights for property and facilities management to assure fire safety in buildings.


Project number9041248
Grant typeGRF
Effective start/end date1/10/0711/01/10