Experimental studies on the effects of merging and deference behaviour on stair- floor landings
Melly , Marie
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This study provides an investigation into egress behaviour via stairways to increase understanding and further investigate the factors, which impede safe occupant movement. Fire evacuation drills of three different buildings were monitored by video cameras positioned throughout the stairwells. The purpose of the evacuation drills was to enable the analysis of the behaviour of the occupants, the merging process and the speed of movement. Studies in Human Egress Behaviour have become increasingly important in fire safety engineering research. The focus of the study is the merging process of the occupants and their behaviour at the stair-floor interface (landing). An investigation was made into the merging and deference behaviour that occurred on the stair-floor landings. Results demonstrated that occupants on higher floors are at an increased risk due to stoppage because of merging and deference behaviour. An investigation of the stair floor geometry and entrances onto landings was undertaken. In addition, further research is required to investigate the capabilities of advanced computer egress models to accurately predict merging and deference behavior.
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