Predicting the human response to an emergency

Lawson, Glyn and Sharples, Sarah and Cobb, Sue and Clarke, David (2009) Predicting the human response to an emergency. In: Contemporary Ergonomics 2009, 22-23 April 2009, London.

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This paper presents a case study of an approach for predicting the human response to a domestic fire, using a combination of a talk-through technique (Kirwan and Ainsworth, 1992) and sequential analysis (Bakeman and Gottman, 1986). 20 participants were asked what actions they would take upon hearing a strange noise in their house, which they were later told was a fire. Each act was recorded and the results were compared to previous research in which people involved in real fires had been interviewed (Canter et al, 1980). A significant relationship was found between the frequency (Spearman’s rho: 0.694, p<0.01) and sequence (Spearman’s rho: 0.441, p<0.05) of acts in this study and those from the interviews with people involved in real fires. More work is needed to develop the approach, but this case study indicates that it might have use as a low-cost method which can be used to predict behaviour in an emergency.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Additional Information: This is an Author's Original Manuscript of an article whose final and definitive form, the Version of Record, has been published in Contemporary Ergonomics, 2009, [Copyright Taylor & Francis], doi: 10.1201/9780203872512.ch54, available online at:
Schools/Departments: University of Nottingham UK Campus > Faculty of Engineering > Department of Mechanical, Materials and Manufacturing Engineering
Depositing User: Lawson, Dr Glyn
Date Deposited: 15 Feb 2014 16:48
Last Modified: 14 Sep 2016 00:18

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