Basic Concepts and Modelling Methods

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Try to imagine a fire emergency evacuation. What is the first image that you have in your mind? Here there are some guesses. Probably a parent running inside a house trying to rescue her children, but not managing since she is too scared? An old man stuck crying in a corner of a room with flames and smoke all around him? Or a group of people crushing aggressively against each other in order to get out of a building through a very small exit door? Almost surely you have thought about people shouting and screaming for help, without doing any constructive actions. Well, these scenarios represent a significant minority of what a fire evacuation generally is. When we think about a fire emergency, we often think about people losing their rationality, rushing irrationally in search of an exit or searching desperately for help. Nevertheless, researchers generally do not agree with this interpretation. This misconception comes from the public opinion, in which a fire emergency is often linked to the word “panic”. Human behaviour in fire emergencies used in media accounts and survivors’ statement is generally associated with panic behaviour. In contrast with this stereotype, the concept that a fire might cause panic has been abandoned by the scientific community [1]. The definition of panic itself has been largely questioned in several research studies [2, 3]. Feelings such as anxiety and stress may occur during a fire emergency, but they do not generally lead to irrational or anti-social behaviours [1]. Evacuees generally tend to behave rationally, with non-rational and anti-social behaviours occurring in very rare occasions, mostly in very extreme scenarios in which the probability of surviving perceived is extremely low [2]. In fact, most people do not develop shock reactions, and tend to act in accordance to what they think is in their best interest, given the limited understanding they have of the situation.


Enheter & grupper

Ämnesklassifikation (UKÄ) – OBLIGATORISK

  • Samhällsbyggnadsteknik
  • Tillämpad psykologi


Titel på värdpublikationEvacuation Modeling Trends
RedaktörerArturo Cuesta, Orlando Abreu, Daniel Alvear
Antal sidor24
ISBN (tryckt)978-3-319-20707-0
StatusPublished - 2016
Peer review utfördJa