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Evacuation response behaviour of occupants in a large theatre during a live performance

Evacuation response behaviour of occupants in a large theatre during a live performance

Galea, E. R., Deere, S. J., Hopkin, C. G. and Xie, H. (2017) Evacuation response behaviour of occupants in a large theatre during a live performance. Fire and Materials, 41 (5). pp. 467-492. ISSN 0308-0501 (Print), 1099-1018 (Online) (doi:10.1002/fam.2424)

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Abstract

This paper presents the results of an unannounced theatre evacuation involving 1200 occupants. The evacuation took place towards the end of a live theatre performance in the Marlowe Theatre in Kent, UK. In particular, Response Phase behaviours are discussed, and response time data is presented. A significant finding of this work which is different to other reported work is that the occupant response time distribution, while following the typical log-normal distribution is related to the geometrical positioning of the occupants relative to proximity to exit aisles and exits. Response time is found to increase relative to seat distance from the exit aisles and distance of the seat row to an exit. The identified trends in response time distribution will have a profound impact on the analysis of evacuation times and congestion levels determined using agent based evacuation models and so should be represented within these models. Based on these findings, a generalised methodology is proposed to distribute response time within a theatre for use in evacuation simulation applications. Further experimental analysis is required to determine whether these observations can be generalised and applied to other seated venues such as cinemas, music venues and sports arenas.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Evacuation; Simulation; Response time; Human behaviour; Theatre; Unannounced evacuation
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Architecture, Computing & Humanities
Faculty of Architecture, Computing & Humanities > Centre for Numerical Modelling & Process Analysis (CNMPA)
Faculty of Architecture, Computing & Humanities > Centre for Numerical Modelling & Process Analysis (CNMPA) > Fire Safety Engineering Group (FSEG)
Faculty of Architecture, Computing & Humanities > Department of Mathematical Sciences
Last Modified: 05 Feb 2018 01:38
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: GREAT a
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/16311

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