Response to Emergency Wayfinding Systems by People from Different Cultures

University essay from Lunds universitet/Avdelningen för Brandteknik

Abstract: Some colors might have different connotations depending on people’s cultural backgrounds. When talking about evacuation, the color employed for exit signs and flashing lights plays a significant role because it is in charge of transmitting a message to the evacuees, either danger or safety. The aims of this study are to evaluate the influence of red and green emergency wayfinding systems on people with different cultural backgrounds and to analyze the possible impact of the distance to the means of egress when having this kind of systems. Experiments in which sixty persons participated, namely from China and from different European countries, were performed in a virtual reality environment. The results of the experiments suggest that in case of an emergency situation red and green have similar connotations for both groups of participants. Chinese and Europeans make their choices in a comparable way, green being the color of choice even when the distance to travel to the means of egress is longer.

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