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The impact of smoke on walking speed

Fridolf, Karl LU ; Andrée, Kristin LU ; Nilsson, Daniel LU and Frantzich, Håkan LU (2014) In Fire and Materials 38(7). p.744-759
Abstract
In fire safety engineering, information about the expected walking speed of occupants through smoke is often one factor that is of interest to the designer. However, despite the fact that research already in the 1970s demonstrated that people tend to evacuate through smoke, little research has been performed on the topic since, and evidently, there is a lack of data on walking speed in smoke. This has created a situation where fire safety engineering assessments of the required safe escape time may be intimately associated with high uncertainties, especially for buildings in which people can be expected to evacuate long distances through smoke, for example, underground transportation systems. In order to address the lack of data on... (More)
In fire safety engineering, information about the expected walking speed of occupants through smoke is often one factor that is of interest to the designer. However, despite the fact that research already in the 1970s demonstrated that people tend to evacuate through smoke, little research has been performed on the topic since, and evidently, there is a lack of data on walking speed in smoke. This has created a situation where fire safety engineering assessments of the required safe escape time may be intimately associated with high uncertainties, especially for buildings in which people can be expected to evacuate long distances through smoke, for example, underground transportation systems. In order to address the lack of data on movement through smoke, 133 data points on individual walking speed in smoke are presented in this paper. The data lie within an extinction coefficient range of 1.2–7.5 m−1. In line with previous studies, it is demonstrated that the level of smoke density has a negative impact on the walking speed, whereas no significant effects of inclination, type of floor material, gender, age and height could be found in the data. In this paper, recommendations are also provided on how designers should treat the data in their fire safety risk assessments, depending on the type of risk analysis method, that is, if the designer is performing a deterministic analysis or a quantitative risk analysis. It is argued that this information can be used to reduce the uncertainty in future risk analyses involving egress calculations. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
evacuation, human behaviour in fire, smoke, fire safety risk assessment, risk analysis, underground transportation systems, buildings, tunnels
in
Fire and Materials
volume
38
issue
7
pages
744 - 759
publisher
John Wiley & Sons
external identifiers
  • wos:000343998800004
  • scopus:84912530700
ISSN
1099-1018
DOI
10.1002/fam.2217
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
f614dea8-147d-4043-8dbf-5de229d45f72 (old id 4249321)
date added to LUP
2014-01-17 13:56:27
date last changed
2017-08-13 03:58:14
@article{f614dea8-147d-4043-8dbf-5de229d45f72,
  abstract     = {In fire safety engineering, information about the expected walking speed of occupants through smoke is often one factor that is of interest to the designer. However, despite the fact that research already in the 1970s demonstrated that people tend to evacuate through smoke, little research has been performed on the topic since, and evidently, there is a lack of data on walking speed in smoke. This has created a situation where fire safety engineering assessments of the required safe escape time may be intimately associated with high uncertainties, especially for buildings in which people can be expected to evacuate long distances through smoke, for example, underground transportation systems. In order to address the lack of data on movement through smoke, 133 data points on individual walking speed in smoke are presented in this paper. The data lie within an extinction coefficient range of 1.2–7.5 m−1. In line with previous studies, it is demonstrated that the level of smoke density has a negative impact on the walking speed, whereas no significant effects of inclination, type of floor material, gender, age and height could be found in the data. In this paper, recommendations are also provided on how designers should treat the data in their fire safety risk assessments, depending on the type of risk analysis method, that is, if the designer is performing a deterministic analysis or a quantitative risk analysis. It is argued that this information can be used to reduce the uncertainty in future risk analyses involving egress calculations.},
  author       = {Fridolf, Karl and Andrée, Kristin and Nilsson, Daniel and Frantzich, Håkan},
  issn         = {1099-1018},
  keyword      = {evacuation,human behaviour in fire,smoke,fire safety risk assessment,risk analysis,underground transportation systems,buildings,tunnels},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {7},
  pages        = {744--759},
  publisher    = {John Wiley & Sons},
  series       = {Fire and Materials},
  title        = {The impact of smoke on walking speed},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/fam.2217},
  volume       = {38},
  year         = {2014},
}