Human Behaviour in Fire 2012

09/19/2012 - 00:00
09/21/2012 - 23:59

Human Behaviour in Fire is the study of human response including; people’s awareness, beliefs, attitudes, motivations, decisions, behaviours and coping strategies in exposure to fire and other similar emergencies in buildings, structures and transportation systems. The study of human behaviour in fire is highly multidisciplinary, involving practitioners from the fields of engineering, architecture, computer science, mathematics, law, sociology, psychology, human factors, communications and ergonomics to mention just a few. The primary focus of human behaviour research and its translation into practice is to minimise the risk to people from fire. This is achieved by generating and collecting quantitative and qualitative data and information on human responses which can be used to develop human fire response theory for use in fire safety engineering design, performance based regulatory systems, computational models and fire safety management.

The theme of the 5th International Symposium will be “BUILDING ON A STRONG FOUNDATION”. 

Within this thematic umbrella there will be Panel Sessions addressing two specific areas:
1. Ensuring Evacuation Safety in Small Scale Care Homes, and
2. Fundamentals of Egress Calculations for Life Safety Assessments

There will also be a Workshop on the Ethics of Behavioural Studies which the Programme Committee under the Chairmanship of Prof Jim Shields, believes to be an issue of growing importance.

The Programme Committee invites papers and posters which seek to encourage and advance developments within the overall conference theme. State of the art research presentations are invited in the specific subject areas listed below. However relevant papers which fall outside those subject listed are encouraged as are submissions of work in progress, ie work yet to be completed but which is expected to have significant impact when finished.

Fire Safety Engineering Challenges: 
• Expressing human behaviour in fire in engineering language
• Collation, validation and standardisation of data used by fire safety engineers, 
• Transfer of human behaviour research into practice and fire safety regulation

Computer Modelling Challenges:
• The use of default settings in computer modelling of human behaviour and evacuations,
• Non-uniform evacuation flows
• Micro occupancies within buildings
• Different occupant characteristics, distributions and densities
• Dealing with transitioning from pedestrian to evacuee egress flows
• Validation studies of human behaviour/egress models currently in use

Models of Human Behaviour:
• Theoretical behavioural constructs
• Data supporting theoretical constructs
• Applying the concept of occupancy in fire safety design, regulation and code development

Data Collection from Real Fire Events:
• Methods to collect behavioural data
• New valid human behaviour data
• Use and advantages of investigative journalism in fire event research
• Sharing of data
• Efficient data collection

Global Strategies for Changing Human Behaviour Related to Fire:
• Governments’ fire policies and the role of research
• Community fire safety strategies and measuring their impact
• Strategies for high risk communities

Human Behaviour, Response and Crowd Management in Everyday and Unwanted Events:
• Crowd behaviour and management
• Managing Risk 
• Human behaviour in mega complexes
• Lessons from non-fire events? (oil spills, earthquakes, tsunami, climate change, flooding, The Love Parade
• Human behaviour and response in wild land fire events
• Frequent unwanted occurrences/events
• Influences of culture and hierarchical management systems

Human Behaviour and Evacuation within Transport Systems 
(Road, Rail, Aircraft, Maritime, Tunnels)

Real Time Emergency Information Transfer:
• Predictability and reliance on trained staff responses
• Building as an Information System
• Use of new technologies 
• Quality of Information for immediate occupant evacuation preparedness

Design Challenges for Buildings Commissioned Today and in Use in the Year/2030:
• Aged, infirm, impaired, disabled and other vulnerable populations
• Compatibility of access and emergency egress systems
• Designing for changing societies
• Designing for 2030 demographics
• Human behaviour performance based codes and building regulations for the year 2030

Research students are especially encouraged to submit their work for consideration. Special provision will also be made within the Symposium to facilitate poster sessions which are less formal and which will allow authors to exhibit and discuss their work with a wide audience.