Being trapped in fire and being burnt alive is a misery that needs all sorts of protection and planning to deal with it in order to avoid any losses. The main characteristic of fire than makes it so frightful is its ability…
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Human beings respond to fire cues differently depending upon the situation and previous exposure. Most of the time the immediate response is failure to recognize the cue. Cues can come in different forms; visual, audio and olfactory cues. These cues instigate different behavioural response. There are also other cues in the form of surround energy, change in the atmospheric temperature and the like that also compete for human response.
Exploring human response in terms of visual cues shows that people underestimate the implication of visual cues like flashing of light through various visual notification appliances. The first reaction is ignorance and the second is confusion because in case of too much smoke the human movement is paralysed. ‘The importance of smoke as a serious cue to be attended and the menace to survival from which one has to stay out as much as possible needs to be reinforced in the general public.’ (Ploug, Hasle & Oinas-kukkonen, 2010)
In terms of the olfactory cues, the human response to the sense of smell is quicker in the case of fire. The olfactory cues include all smells associated with fire from smoke to the burning objects. However the audible cues take precedence over the visual and olfactory cues as in most part of the world people are familiarize with the alarm system to get them all hyped up to fight danger. Other cues also trigger human behaviour which includes the increased temperature of the surrounding and changes in the air pressure as the burning fire uses up oxygen leaving less for human consumption.
The pre-movement delays also know as the evacuation initiation delays are caused due to various factors. Poor fire drills and insufficient planning to fight fire are one of the major reasons causing delay. People are not aware of the fire exists and the buildings are not efficiently designed to minimize the chaos brought about by the fire thus increasing delay and damage. ‘Stairway geometry, another configuration
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