The response of sleeping adults to smoke alarm signals in the Evacuation Decision Model

M. Spearpoint, R. Lovreglio, S. Gwynne

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (SciVal)


Simulating evacuation behaviour in fire emergencies is an increasingly important method for assessing design to mitigate the likelihood of life losses. To date, several approaches have been used to predict the pre-evacuation time (i.e. time between the first alarm or other initial cue until the moment an evacuee starts moving toward a safe place) using distribution functions or evacuation decision models. In this work a modified version of the Evacuation Decision Model (EDM) is developed and incorporated into an agent-based egress simulation tool. The paper identifies input distributions for the characteristic time to reach an investigating state when an agent receives an alarm alert using waking time measurements from the literature. The results from EDM simulations are compared to the New Zealand verification method (C/VM2) pre-travel activity times. Exceedance probabilities are identified for scenarios in which occupants are sleeping in a familiar building and exposed to a ‘standard’ alarm or sleeping in an unfamiliar building and exposed to a ‘standard’ or voice alarm. A corresponding pre-evacuation time for a scenario in which occupants are sleeping, familiar with the building and exposed to a voice alarm signal is forecast using EDM.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103379
JournalFire Safety Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jul 1

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Other Civil Engineering


  • Decision model
  • Pre-evacuation
  • Sleeping
  • Smoke alarm


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