Fire - Essay Example

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Different actions by human beings depict a way of interaction with their immediate surroundings and hence a relationship with environment. Therefore, environmental psychology includes the…
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Environmental Psychology Every social setting displays an opportunity for humanity to interact with environment. Different actions by human beings depict a way of interaction with their immediate surroundings and hence a relationship with environment. Therefore, environmental psychology includes the study of interaction between individuals and their physical settings, which makes people more humane and improve relationships with the natural environment (Stokols, 1997). This paper will examine the design of a large hospital setting and discuss important aspects of the hospital’s environment that relate to human behaviour and fires. These aspects will include appropriation, crowding, privacy, territoriality, and personal space.
A hospital setting needs to be spacious to allow patients to feel well accommodated and enhance visiting process by their friends and relatives. People in hospitals need personal space to feel at home. According to Sommer, personal space means an emotionally tinged zone around the human body that people feel they own it. The zone varies according to internal states, culture, and context (Sommer, 2002). There is need to design a cubical for each patient to give them enough personal space. In case of a fire originating form one of the cubicles, it is easier to contain it, control it, and put it off before it spreads to other cubicles. This is unlike a situation where many patients share same room.
A territory is another aspect of human interaction with the environment. According to Griffon, territoriality is a pattern of behaviour or attitudes held by a person attempting to control a physical space by marking, personalisation, defence, or physical occupation (Brown, 2005). In a hospital setting, persons will tend to defend their territories for a period of time they will be in the hospital. It will vary by characters of person’s gender, and age. Therefore, designing places that people of differing characters can call their own when in the hospital will allow nurses to give them care in a convenient setup. However, it is necessary to take care not to put lockable doors on the cubicles. In case of fire, it is easy to remove curtains on the doors and evacuate patients through it other than breaking in if there was a door.
Every human being needs privacy, which include access to self and one’s group. In a hospital setting, patients, nurses, and visitors need privacy as they attend to each other. Nurses need a quiet workplace with social places where they can connect to each other outside work. Additionally, visitors need to talk in private with their patients once they visit them. According to Griffin, privacy is connected to communication and a sense of control and autonomy (Griffin, 2001). Therefore, designing spacious social rooms will help he workers in the hospital connect to one another and installing emergency doors to exit in case of fire will help. In addition, installing fire extinguishers on the corridors will work well to control fire if it happens.
To avoid overcrowding when visitors are entering the cubicles, it is important to design spacious corridors. Overcrowding creates loss of personal control and overload. The theory of overloads explains that when there is too much pressure, people tend to escape or run away. According to Kirsh, today’s workplace is a complex knowledge environment where workers have to multitask (Kirsh, 2000). Therefore, nurses need spacious rooms and corridors to run their duties. Overcrowded places will make some staff run away and put off visitors or sick persons seeking medical attention. This is because it leads to stress and have adverse effects on one’s health. Overcrowding can hinder evacuation in case of fire. In conclusion, when designing a hospital one should consider strategic area to put emergency exits, build social halls, rooms that can give privacy and corridors that can accommodate people traffic.
Brown, G. (2005), “Territory by organisations: Theory and measurement,” Retrieved from,
Griffin, M. (2001) “The phenomenology of the alone condition: More evidence for the role of aloneness in social facilitation,” Journal of Psychology: Interdisciplinary & Applied, 135, 125-127.
Kirsh, D. (2000), “A few thoughts on cognitive overload” University of California, retrieved from,
Sommer, R. (2002), “From personal space to cyberspace,” University of Brasflia, Institute of psychology, retrieved from,
Stokols, D. (1977). “Perspectives on Environment and Behaviour: Theory, Research, and Applications,” New York: Plenum Press. Read More
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