Fire Technology

, Volume 52, Issue 3, pp 775–800 | Cite as

Guidance for the Model Developer on Representing Human Behavior in Egress Models

  • S. M. V. GwynneEmail author
  • L. M. Hulse
  • M. J. Kinsey


Structures are currently designed and typically constructed in accordance with prescriptive and performance-based methodologies to ensure a certain level of safety. The performance-based approach requires the quantification of both available safe egress time (ASET) and required safe egress time (RSET) to determine the degree of safety provided. This article focuses on the RSET side of the equation, for which an engineer would use some type of egress modelling approach to estimate evacuation performance. Often, simple engineering equations are applied to estimate the RSET value; however, over time, more sophisticated computational tools have appeared. Irrespective of the approach adopted, appropriate and accurate representation of human behavior in fire within these approaches is limited, mainly due to the lack of a comprehensive conceptual model of evacuee decision-making and behavior during fire emergencies. This article initially presents a set of behavioral statements that represent the primary elements of current understanding regarding evacuee behavior. Once presented, guidance is provided on how these behavioral statements might be incorporated by the model developer into an egress model. The intent here is to assist in the advancement of current egress models by outlining the model structures required to represent the current understanding of egress behavior.


Egress models Evacuee behavior Model development human behavior in fire 



The authors would like to thank Dr. Erica Kuligowski (NIST) for her input throughout the development of this article and for use of her original concepts. Gwynne would like to thank Aoife Hunt (University of Greenwich) for feedback during the development and review of this article. Gwynne would also like to thank Sefton Hyde-Clarke, Lisette Seguin, Ahmed Kashef (NRC); and Andrew Waite, Jason Driscoll and Inderjeet Ghataora (unaffiliated) for their input during the review process.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York (Outside USA) 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. M. V. Gwynne
    • 1
    Email author
  • L. M. Hulse
    • 2
  • M. J. Kinsey
    • 3
  1. 1.NRC Construction – Fire SafetyNational Research Council CanadaOttawaCanada
  2. 2.University of Greenwich, Old Royal Naval College, Queen Mary BuildingGreenwichUK
  3. 3.ArupLondonUK

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