The Process of Human Behavior in Fires

Report Date: May 2009

Evacuation models are used to calculate the time required to evacuate a building. Due to a lack of data and theory on occupant behavior for use in evacuation models, evacuation models make assumption and simplifications about occupant behavior that inappropriately characterize the evacuation times required. A solution is to generate theory on human behavior during evacuations from building fires that can be incorporated into evacuation models.


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  • National Institute of Standards and Technology

    The NIST Fire Research Division develops, verifies, and utilizes measurements and predictive methods to quantify the behavior of fire and means to reduce the impact of fire on people, property, and the environment. This work involves integration of laboratory measurements, verified methods of prediction, and large-scale fire experiments to demonstrate the use and value of the research products.

    Through its programs in measurement, prediction, systems integration, and the dynamics of fire and its interactions with the built and natural environment, the division provides leadership for advancing the theory and practice of fire safety engineering, fire fighting, fire investigation, fire testing, fire data management, and intentional burning.

Kuligowski, Erica. The Process of Human Behavior in Fires. Gaithersburg, MD: National Institute for Standards and Technology, 2009. NIST Technical Note 1632, Print.

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