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Evaluating the effectiveness of an improved active dynamic signage system using full scale evacuation trials

Evaluating the effectiveness of an improved active dynamic signage system using full scale evacuation trials

Galea, Edwin R. ORCID: 0000-0002-0001-6665, Xie, Hui ORCID: 0000-0003-1019-2168, Deere, Steven ORCID: 0000-0001-5171-2014, Cooney, David ORCID: 0000-0002-2341-0315 and Filippidis, Lazaros ORCID: 0000-0002-1852-0042 (2017) Evaluating the effectiveness of an improved active dynamic signage system using full scale evacuation trials. Fire Safety Journal, 91. pp. 908-917. ISSN 0379-7112 (Print), 1873-7226 (Online) (doi:

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Emergency exit signs form an essential part of building wayfinding systems. However, in some emergency evacuation situations many people fail to see the emergency exit signs and in some cases, even if detected by the population, the signs have been ineffective in leading them to safety. These failings are primarily due to their inability to attract the immediate attention of the people they are there to assist and their lack of an ability to respond to a changing threat environment. The need for exit signs that attract attention when they need to be conspicuous, to redirect people to not just an exit route, but a viable and if possible an optimal exit route in an evolving emergency has driven the development of a new generation of advanced signage system, the Intelligent Active Dynamic Signage System (IADSS). The IADSS, developed as part of the European Commission FP7 funded GETAWAY project, attempts to meet these needs through the development of a novel Active Dynamic Signage System (ADSS) which can be controlled by an intelligent decision support system. This paper presents results that refine the effectiveness of the ADSS. When an exit route is considered non-viable, the adapted ADSS provides not only negative information i.e. that an exit is no longer available, but also positive information, i.e. directing the population to an alternative exit. In addition, in situations where a voice alarm system is used in conjunction with the ADSS, it is also important to ensure that the messaging does not potentially contradict the intent of the ADSS. The improved ADSS was tested in full-scale evacuation trials in a rail station. The trials suggest that the improved ADSS with voice alarm messaging that does not contradict the signage system successfully redirected 66% of the participants to the intended exit.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Human behaviour; Egress; Human factors; Signage; Dynamic signage; Wayfinding
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science > Centre for Numerical Modelling & Process Analysis (CNMPA) > Fire Safety Engineering Group (FSEG)
Faculty of Engineering & Science > School of Computing & Mathematical Sciences (CMS)
Faculty of Engineering & Science
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2022 13:07

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