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Forensic virtual reality : Investigating individual behavior in the MGM Grand fire

Arias, Silvia LU ; Fahy, Rita LU ; Ronchi, Enrico LU ; Nilsson, Daniel LU ; Frantzich, Håkan LU and Wahlqvist, Jonathan LU (2019) In Fire Safety Journal 109.
Abstract

The forensic investigation of human behavior in fires can benefit from a first-hand perspective of what happened during the fire. Complementing the on-site investigation and the witnesses’ accounts with a virtual reality replication of the real fire, forensic investigators could gather valuable data from having non-victims experiencing it. This paper aims to introduce and develop the forensic virtual reality method as a tool to provide a better understanding of the behavior of the building occupants. To assess the method, a virtual reality scenario based on the conditions in a hotel room during the MGM Grand fire in 1980 was created, and 55 naïve participants were exposed to it. Their behavior was later compared to that of the survivors... (More)

The forensic investigation of human behavior in fires can benefit from a first-hand perspective of what happened during the fire. Complementing the on-site investigation and the witnesses’ accounts with a virtual reality replication of the real fire, forensic investigators could gather valuable data from having non-victims experiencing it. This paper aims to introduce and develop the forensic virtual reality method as a tool to provide a better understanding of the behavior of the building occupants. To assess the method, a virtual reality scenario based on the conditions in a hotel room during the MGM Grand fire in 1980 was created, and 55 naïve participants were exposed to it. Their behavior was later compared to that of the survivors of the real fire. The results show that the virtual environment made approximately 50% of the participants feel urgency due to the emergency and act on it. A comparison to the data from the MGM Grand fire confirmed that real life behavior can be observed in the virtual environment, although the frequencies of actions performed were lower in the virtual reality experiments.

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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Egress, Evacuation, Fire, Forensic, Hotel fire, Human behavior, Safety, Virtual reality
in
Fire Safety Journal
volume
109
publisher
Elsevier
external identifiers
  • scopus:85071543842
ISSN
0379-7112
DOI
10.1016/j.firesaf.2019.102861
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
9f95a2be-c644-4ff7-b64f-a2f595a80294
date added to LUP
2019-09-16 13:46:56
date last changed
2019-11-13 05:40:42
@article{9f95a2be-c644-4ff7-b64f-a2f595a80294,
  abstract     = {<p>The forensic investigation of human behavior in fires can benefit from a first-hand perspective of what happened during the fire. Complementing the on-site investigation and the witnesses’ accounts with a virtual reality replication of the real fire, forensic investigators could gather valuable data from having non-victims experiencing it. This paper aims to introduce and develop the forensic virtual reality method as a tool to provide a better understanding of the behavior of the building occupants. To assess the method, a virtual reality scenario based on the conditions in a hotel room during the MGM Grand fire in 1980 was created, and 55 naïve participants were exposed to it. Their behavior was later compared to that of the survivors of the real fire. The results show that the virtual environment made approximately 50% of the participants feel urgency due to the emergency and act on it. A comparison to the data from the MGM Grand fire confirmed that real life behavior can be observed in the virtual environment, although the frequencies of actions performed were lower in the virtual reality experiments.</p>},
  articleno    = {102861},
  author       = {Arias, Silvia and Fahy, Rita and Ronchi, Enrico and Nilsson, Daniel and Frantzich, Håkan and Wahlqvist, Jonathan},
  issn         = {0379-7112},
  keyword      = {Egress,Evacuation,Fire,Forensic,Hotel fire,Human behavior,Safety,Virtual reality},
  language     = {eng},
  publisher    = {Elsevier},
  series       = {Fire Safety Journal},
  title        = {Forensic virtual reality : Investigating individual behavior in the MGM Grand fire},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.firesaf.2019.102861},
  volume       = {109},
  year         = {2019},
}