Human Behaviour and Response Issues in High-Rise Residential Buildings

By Yahya Mohamad Yatim and Douglas J. Harris.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Integration of human behaviour and structural design in high-rise residential buildings has become an interesting topic for study. Although there has been growing research on human behaviour and awareness of fire safety in public and commercial buildings using response-based techniques, in residential buildings few studies have been done. In residential buildings, tenants come from various backgrounds and education levels from the lowest to the highest. Some may have proper training or may have attended fire safety courses and some may have not. If fire broke out in their building, what should they do? Do they know where to go and which route should they take to evacuate the building? This is because there does not appear to be any likelihood of significant reduction in cases of fire in Malaysia and other part of the world in the near future. Threat of fire is still high as the number of fire cases and fire casualty reported annually is overwhelming. There are hundreds of thousands of fires in buildings, hundreds of people have lost their lives, and thousands more have suffered injury, most likely from burns or smoke inhalation annually. In this paper we will discuss the perception and the action that the occupants of high-rise residential buildings are likely to take when they have seen fire cues or heard the fire alarm, motivation factors to trigger them to evacuate the building, choice of exit and evacuation behaviour and factors that most influent them during evacuation process.

Keywords: Fire Safety, Human Behaviour, Escape Route, Evacuation

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 2, Issue 3, pp.277-290. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.643MB).

Yahya Mohamad Yatim

Ph.D. Researcher, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Edinburgh, Malaysia

Yahya Mohamad Yatim is a Senior Lecturer at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), Malaysia. Involving in higher education as a lecturer for more than 17 years teaching specialise area, i.e. Building Services Engineering and Fire Safety in Buildings, has research interest in Integrating of Human Behavior and Structural Design particularly escape route design and specification for high-rise buildings. He has quite a lot of experience not only in teaching and supervising undergraduate and postgraduate projects and dissertations but also administrative works and conducting professional short courses for Mechanical and Electrical contractors too. He graduated in Mechanical Engineering from UTM and obtained his M.Sc. in Building Services Engineering and Management from Heriot-Watt University, United Kingdom, currently undertaking Ph.D. in Construction, at Heriot-Watt University. His Ph.D. research project is attempting to model the fire safety for high-rise residential buildings by investigating the relationship between the human behavior and structural design that escape route and internal circulation in high-rise residential buildings, evacuation risk index, fire risk assessment in building and casualty assessment in escape route.

Douglas J. Harris

Senior Lecturer, SBE, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK


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