An analysis of evacuation travel paths on stair landings by means of conditional probabilities

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This paper analyses data on occupants׳ movement on stair landings collected during an evacuation drill performed in a six-storey office building in the United States. A total of 215 occupant travel path trajectories were filmed and time on the stair landings and egress behaviours were analysed. Data were analysed using a probabilistic approach, i.e., the probability of different occupant travel paths were calculated in relation to two different factors: (1) crowding on the landings, and (2) the type of interactions between occupants (e.g., merging flows, deference/overtaking behaviours, etc.). Results showed that a higher number of occupants on stair landings caused an increase in the probability for (1) longer travel paths and (2) usage of the outer boundaries on the stair/landing connections. This paper highlights that data and modelling assumptions should be used after a careful evaluation of their field of applicability. In the case of a low occupant load and non-homogenous merging streams (a higher number of people entering the landing from the stairs than the door), floors tend to be emptied from the top to the bottom.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Building Technologies


  • Building evacuation, Merging flows, Pedestrian movement, Travel paths, Conditional probabilities
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-40
JournalFire Safety Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Publication categoryResearch