Equal access – equal egress: Accounting for people with disabilities in emergency situations

Janne Gress Sørensen, Anne Dederichs

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Abstract

Accessibility to buildings for all persons independent of their (dis-)abilities is required by law in many countries (the Swedish BBR 3, the Danish BR10:3:2 ). However, accessible buildings are not automatically egressible in case of a fire. The fire safety design is based on escape routes, and numerical evacuation models are applied for the prediction of the evacuation process in the fire safety design. In many cases these models are best fit to describe a normative description of the population comprehending young abled bodied adults. It has been shown, that some models poorly describe populations, other than abled bodied adults (Ulriksen & Dederichs, 2012, Sørensen & Dederichs, 2012). Hence,
the safety level in buildings for the vulnerable groups might not be the same as for abled bodied adults. Furthermore, it has been shown that people with disabilities are more frequently hurt in fires (Papaioannou, 2006). It is essential to use models, enabling the prediction of the egress of a total population in a building. In the current quantitative and qualitative study evacuation times and -characteristics from a train in a tunnel are measured for a full-scale evacuation
exercise. The results are compared to times determined with a computer simulation of the exercises. The full-scale experiment involved 46 participants, where the composition of the test population corresponded to the demographic profile of Denmark, including children, able-bodied adults, elderly people and people with different types of impairments. Four different exercises were performed, altering the composition of the test population. The effect of the inclusion of different groups on evacuation times was investigated.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNNDR2013 – 12th Research Conference Nordic Network of Disability Research : Abstract Book
Publication date2013
Pages48
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Event12th Research Conference Nordic Network of Disability Research: Nordic Network of Disability Research - Turku, Finland
Duration: 30 May 201331 May 2013
Conference number: 12

Conference

Conference12th Research Conference Nordic Network of Disability Research
Number12
CountryFinland
CityTurku
Period30/05/201331/05/2013

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