Human Behavior and Egress in Fires

The co-author of a textbook and author of several papers on human behavior and egress system design, this aspect of Professor Meacham’s research focuses on the response of people to fire, including perception of risk, situation awareness, decision-making, societal and cultural influences, building technology and design factors, and egress analysis.

Protecting people during fires is perhaps the most important goal of regulation and design against fire. Understanding how people recognize that they are in a fire situation, choose a course of action, and find their way to safety – on their own or with the help of others - is extremely important, especially as we look to model behaviors and movement using computational tools.

Brian Meacham

Associate Professor

Social & Cultural Influences on Building Evacuation During Fire

Research into human behavior and evacuation in fires has been ongoing since the 1950s. In recent years, numerous computational models have been developed.

Horizontal Evacuation in Healthcare Facilities

It is not practicable to think that all patients can evacuate down a set of stairs in a fire. As a result, the concept of horizontal evacuation is often used.