Case Studies: Real-life Fire Incidents And Home Insurance Outcomes

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Case Studies: Real-life Fire Incidents And Home Insurance Outcomes

Case Studies: Real-life Fire Incidents And Home Insurance Outcomes

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By Aysu Sagun Aysu Sagun Scilit Google Scholar 1, * , Chimay J. Anumba Chimay J. Anumba Scilit Google Scholar 2 and Dino Bouchlaghem Dino Bouchlaghem Scilit Google Scholar 3

Received: 12 April 2013 / Revised: 30 May 2013 / Accepted: 5 June 2013 / Published: 18 June 2013

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Static information found in current building design guidance documents is not adequate to achieve effective safety and security in public buildings during emergencies. There is a need to consider space characteristics and dynamic information related to building use, behavior and movement of users in various circumstances, as well as their interactions with each other and with their immediate environment. This paper explores the building design issues associated with safety and security and focuses on the exit preferences of building occupants during emergency evacuations. Exit preferences of users in public buildings were investigated using two types of case studies: observation case studies (OCS) and simulation case studies (SCS). Findings from the associated questionnaire and logistic analysis of the OCS data showed that “distance” and “familiarity” with the building were the two most important factors for exit preference in office buildings. It was also found that unbalanced use of exit doors significantly increases the evacuation time. Finally, further research study opportunities are discussed. SCS highlighted the difference between evacuation assumptions in current building guidance compared to the results of real life experiments.

The consequences of recent extreme events such as natural disasters and terrorist attacks have raised awareness of the importance of building design related to safety and security. It has become clear that building design needs to broaden its focus on improving building occupant safety during extreme events in addition to construction system design, material use; Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) design, and layout and circulation design [1]. Minimizing the impacts of emergencies is not limited to minimizing the damage to the physical structure of the buildings. The safety of building occupants is the most vital point. The safe building design must consider needs, requirements and the cognitive abilities of occupants related to vision, sound, heat and haptic senses because it is highly dependent on characteristics of the users and their interaction with the building. Even the occupants with special needs should be considered during building and evacuation planning [2, 3]. In this context, the management of building occupants, shelter and evacuation during emergency events are important. It is important to consider the design process as a whole to ensure a safe and secure building that:

These design aspects need to be investigated and considered carefully with appropriate design information and guidelines to improve safety in the built environment. Considering and identifying risk resistance methods for various natural and human-induced events should be an integral part of the design projects [4]. Evacuation modeling software simulate circulation and evacuation under different conditions and different behaviors of evacuations. Different design or environmental conditions can be created with evacuation modeling software (such as different building designs with different number of doors in different locations or simulation of fire in various locations). The latest developments in evacuation modeling software also enable the integration of various behaviors of people with changing characteristics or awareness, such as simulation of populations with different/similar age groups, physical abilities and sex. The properties of the people, environmental factors and doors are modified to simulate the conditions and characteristics for the building simulations.

Case Studies: Real-life Fire Incidents And Home Insurance Outcomes

Previous research conducted at Loughborough University was focused on the modeling of crowd movement to improve the design of sports stadiums and schools, and demonstrated the importance of capturing dynamic information related to crowd movement on the design of such spaces [5, 6]. The research on which this paper is based is concerned with the design of buildings for the safety of users in emergency events and builds on the above work to establish the scope for enhancing safety through the improved design of the built environment to better cope with extreme events . . It also seeks to study evacuations in order to develop new design guidelines to enhance occupant safety. The focus of the research presented here was on the exit preferences of building occupants. This paper summarizes the methodology and presents the findings of two case studies – observation case studies (OCS) and simulation case studies (SCS) – conducted on three office buildings. The use of computer assisted evacuation modeling to identify the differences between the assumptions in current building guidance and real life circumstances is highlighted by SCS.

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Inadequate built environment design and crowd management can lead to loss of life and injury in public spaces [7]. However, it is not possible to define the boundaries in building design because it depends on the context and the purpose of the design [8]. Human behaviors during building evacuation such as congestion, herding, panic, ignorance of guidance or variations in route and exit preferences based on the level of familiarity with the building are challenges to design a fixed guidance system for safe building design and they are effective issues to Improve safety in buildings [9].

Furthermore, it is not possible to consider and satisfy safety and security requirements of all types of extreme events for building design. However, as Glover [10] claimed, protection against an abnormal set of events can often provide a level of protection against some other set of abnormal events. Fulfillment of building code requirements in the design process is not an assurance to effective functioning in real life daily use and emergency situations [11]. In addition, the building design guidance (codes, standards, etc.) includes false assumptions on the behavior of people and presents static information about building that highlights only some safety issues. As such, they need to be revised to include The dynamic information that can guide designers in their design process by reflecting the real life circumstances. Observations of crowd dynamics during extreme events can provide clues about the failures found both in the design of the built environment and the management of venues and social events. Observation Occupant behavior during fire escape and application of fire safety measures can facilitate the safety of building occupants during an extreme event. For example dividing the building into compartments of manageable risks by isolating and limiting fire as a design strategy for fire safety Can provide safe areas, routes and exits [4]. A logical and systematic way of defining possible safety problems and how to avoid them can improve building design to prevent catastrophes with severe consequences. Building occupants can have a significant influence on the design definition as those who use and interact with the space. In this context, building design requires a user-centered approach, where user needs and safety issues are considered together with ergonomics and dimensional requirements.

Each person perceives the space, behaves, interacts and makes decisions for wayfinding, navigation or evacuation in his/her own perspective. Nguyen et al. [12] Define behavior as the response to environmental stimulation of the individual, group or crowd. Understanding the behavior of people is essential before investigating and defining factors that affect crowd behavior and movement. A person’s behavior is characterized by his or her actions and reactions under specific circumstances. The behavior of groups may show different characteristics according to the interactions with the site and other people. In crowded public spaces, people are highly affected by one another’s behavior. Moreover, the behavior of people during emergencies is different from that under normal conditions because new and unique situations arise in case of an emergency where previous actions and interactions will no longer work with other people and the physical environment [13, 14]. Crowd management, as a systematic approach to control the behavior of large groups of people for safety

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