Evacuation of children - movement on stairs and on Horizontal Plane

Aldis Run Larusdottir, Anne Dederichs

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    Little is known on the evacuation characteristics of children. Current literature on evacuation is based mostly on studies on adults. The aim of this study is to investigate the movement of children during evacuation, focusing on flow, densities and walking. Ten Danish daycare centers participated in full scale evacuation experiments where two age groups 0-2 years and 3-6 years were analyzed separately. It was found that flow through doors, walking speeds and densities were age-dependent and differed strongly from the data in existing literature. The results showed higher walking speeds in spiral stairs when the children were familiar with the evacuation path. Higher person densities and faster flow through doors were obtained among the children than found in the current literature on adults. Children in the younger age group were generally slower than the older children. The children walked slower in horizontal plane than adults, however they were keen to run during the evacuations, in the latter case their travel speed increased and exceeded the adults’. Since the evacuation characteristics of children differ in many ways from those of adults, nowadays models badly comprehend the evacuation behavior of children.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalFire Technology
    Issue number1
    Pages (from-to)43-53
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


    • Flow
    • Daycare center
    • Evacuation
    • Movement speed
    • Person density
    • Children


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