A delay in the pre-evacuation reaction may be one of the reasons causing occupants to be ‘trapped’ in a dangerous zone. Under fire situations, people are found to behave differently in that some may start evacuation immediately, some may ignore the fire alarms and engage in their activities and some others may participate in fighting the fire. These behavioral reaction patterns are influenced by some factors, such as occupant characteristics, building characteristics and fire characteristics. The purpose of this study is to investigate the pre-evacuation behavior of occupants under fire and explore the associations between these factors and the human behavior. To obtain the human behavioral information in real fire, a post-fire survey for a multi-storey office building fire in a major city in Mainland China was carried out with the assistance of local fire professionals. Some of the possible factors that might influence the occupants’ actions at recognitions and response stage were examined. It was reckoned that the behavioral reaction at recognition and response stage was mainly dependent on the human characteristics and building characteristics except the fire characteristics. The results also implied that pre-evacuation time was typically influenced by the occupant characteristics.
pre-evacuation human behavior post-fire survey pre-evacuation time