Unannounced evacuation of large retail-stores - An evaluation of human behaviour and the computer model Simulex
Abstract: Two unannounced evacuations of Marks & Spencer stores were conducted in a large singlestory building at Sprucefield, Lisburn and in a three-storey building at Donegall Place, Belfast, Northern Ireland. The purpose of this report was to collect, compile and evaluate human information with respect to its ability viz. computer simulation modelling, fire regulations and Fire Safety Engineering application. The evacuations were recorded on video and the evacuees were invited to complete a survey to provide data for analysis. Before the evacuations only the Store manager, his Deputy and the Health & Safety manager in each store knew about the evacuations. The first part of the study provides results of pre-movement times, occupants familiarity within the building, exit choice and walking speeds. Most results agreed with earlier studies related in the same area. The results may force that the pre-movement times in BSI have to be discussed further. The evacuations were simulated in computer model Simulex with the results of the first part as input. The second part of the study provides modifications to computer model Simulex that is under development. It also gives suggestions for future improvements of the model. Almost the same results as the real evacuations were obtained in both stores.
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