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Title: Escape behaviour in fires : 'panic' or affiliation?
Author: Sime, Jonathan D.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3411 8486
Awarding Body: University of Surrey
Current Institution: University of Surrey
Date of Award: 1984
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Fire regulations for buildings and architectural designs aimed at providing escape routes in case of fire,rest on unexamined assumptions These are, briefly, that people 'panic' in fire and smoke and are therefore best kept in ignorance until the danger has been established that providing a variety of escape routes for use only in emergency will avert the surge to one entrance and the fight to escape through it. For shorthand this is called the panic concept or scenario. Evidence of real behaviour in fires does not support it. As will be shown, people appear to behave rationally in the light of the information they have. They also show marked preference for familiar routes and exits and concern for the safety of their family members. This is called the 'affiliation' model. Chapter 1 outlines the aims and structure of the thesis. Chapter 2 discusses the concept of panic and affiliative model. Chapter 3 reviews the existing research on escape behaviour in fires. Chapter 4 outlines the research strategy adopted: based on multivariate statistical analyses of categorical (frequency) data derived from interview accounts collected from fire survivors: Act sequence transitions, Multi-variate and Partial-Order Scalogram Analyses (MSA-1, POSA), Causal Loglinear Analysis (CLA). The analyses focus on Recognition of the fire threat, Role, Location, Group membership and Location, Direction of Movement. Chapter. 5 analyses the sequence of acts of 41 individuals in 14 domestic fires. Chapter 6 analyses the pattern and distance moved by 33 survivors of an hotel fire. Chapter 7 examines the exit choice behaviour by 75 people in the Marquee Showbar (MSB) (Summer-land Fire). Chapter 8 examines the pattern of affiliative behaviour of 128 people in the Solarium (Summerland). Chapter 9 analyses the outcome of escape behaviour for groups and individuals in the MSB and Solarium. In general, the affiliative model fits the results much more closely than the panic concept. Chapter 10 outlines the implications of the research, in particular the weakness in assuming people will use conventionally unfamiliar emergency escape routes.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Psychology