An Experimental Data-Set on Pre-school Children Evacuation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This study presents an experimental data-set describing movement and behaviours of pre-school children. Data is presented together with detailed information about the evacuation procedure and the data collection methods, in order to enable a comprehensive interpretation of the results and to enhance the understanding of pre-school children evacuation. Data was collected during two semi-announced evacuation drills conducted in the same pre-school institution in Prague, Czech Republic, in 2013. The experiments involved a total of 188 children aged from 3 to 6 years; two age groups of children are distinguished: Junior children (aged 3–4 years) and Senior children (aged 5–6 years). The presented data-set consists of travel speeds on horizontal and vertical escape routes (stairs), pre-evacuation times, and total evacuation times. The travel speeds of Junior children on a horizontal plane ranged from 0.69 m/s to 1.33 m/s. Higher speeds of Junior children were observed on an internal straight staircase (mean 0.57 m/s) than on an external straight staircase (mean 0.34 m/s). For Senior children, a mean travel speed equal to 0.56 m/s was found on external spiral staircases. Good agreement is observed between the observed travel speeds and the results reported in the literature. This corroborates that the main variables impacting the movement and the self-rescue abilities of children are age and the configuration of the escape route. The observed pre-evacuation times were longer in classrooms with Junior children (mean value 46 s) than in classrooms with Senior children (mean value 20 s). The total evacuation times ranged from 81 s to 186 s, depending on the location of the classroom and the evacuation route.


External organisations
  • Czech Technical University in Prague
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Engineering and Technology


  • Fire safety, Evacuation, Children, Pre-school, Drill, Data-set
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1509-1533
JournalFire Technology
Issue number4
Early online date2017 Jan 16
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jul
Publication categoryResearch