Evacuation response behaviour in unannounced evacuation of licensed premises

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An understanding of the behaviour of individuals and groups during evacuation is key to the development of evacuation scenarios as part of an engineering design solution. Furthermore, it is important that engineers have reliable and accurate data on pre-evacuation times and movement for use in time based evacuation analysis. This paper presents, for the first time in the published literature, a detailed analysis of an unannounced evacuation of licensed premises and provides important data and understanding regarding behaviour for use in fire safety engineering design and evacuation modelling. Findings on recognition times, response behaviours, pre-evacuation times and final exit flows for a function room and lounge bar in the licensed property are provided. The results suggest that the evacuation time in the lounge bar was characterised by generally longer pre-evacuation times and relatively shorter movement times, whereas the evacuation time in the more densely populated function room was characterised by shorter pre-evacuation times but extended flow times. The paper highlights important design and management issues with respect to the evacuation of persons under the influence of alcohol and considers the impact of staff intervention through directed voice communications. The variation in response behaviours between the two separate areas of the premises are highlighted and discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)454-466
Number of pages13
JournalFire and Materials
Issue number5
Early online date6 Jun 2017
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 22 Aug 2017

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2017 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


  • evacuation
  • nightclub
  • alcohol
  • response behaviour
  • bar/nightclub
  • engineering data


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