Wayfinding Behavior within Buildings – An International Survey

Report Date: January 2011

Wayfinding describes the process by which an individual inside a building chooses a route to safety. In most evacuation modeling tools, wayfinding is mostly ignored and occupants are assumed to choose the shortest path to safety. This study involved participants from 36 countries and the results showed that handedness and the side of the road on which people drive influence path choice. Path selection criteria for wayfinding are suggested for use with evacuation models. The details were published in the International Association for Fire Safety Science symposium proceedings.


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  • International Association for Fire Safety Science

    IAFSS was founded with the primary objective of encouraging research into the science of preventing and mitigating the adverse effects of fires and of providing a forum for presenting the results of such research.The International Association for Fire Safety Science perceives its role to lie in the scientific bases for achieving progress in unsolved fire problems. It will seek cooperation with other organizations, be they concerned with application or with the sciences that are fundamental to our interests in fire. It will seek to promote high standards, to encourage and stimulate scientists to address fire problems, to provide the necessary scientific foundations and means to facilitate applications aimed at reducing life and property loss. Since its inaugural meeting, the IAFSS has grown to more than four hundred members. Current members come from Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Denmark, Germany, Finland, France, Holland, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Kingdom and United States of America. The Association is legally established as a charitable organization in England and Wales.

  • University of Greenwich Fire Safety Engineering Group

    The Fire Safety Engineering Group (FSEG), winner of the Queen's Anniversary Prize 2002 and ranked one of the top research groups in the UK by RAE2008, is the UK's largest University based fire/evacuation modelling research team. The group specialises in computational fire engineering, including fire and evacuation modelling and non-emergency pedestrian dynamics. FSEG expertise and modelling tools are used all over the world to help solve fire safety, security and pedestrian dynamics problems.

Veeraswamy, Anand, Edwin R. Galea, and Peter J. Lawrence. Wayfinding Behavior within Buildings – An International Survey. Fire Safety Science – Proceedings of the Tenth International Symposium, pp. 735-748, 2011.

© 2011 International Association for Fire Safety Science.  

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