Improving the Waking Effectiveness of Fire Alarms in Residential Areas (1997)
Type of ContentReports
PublisherUniversity of Canterbury. Civil Engineering
AuthorsGrace, Tshow all
The objective of this study is to find ways of improving the waking effectiveness of fire alarms mainly in residential areas. The main goal is to find out why fatalities are occurring when occupants are sleeping, by analysing sleep characteristics, fire alarm characteristics, human arousal and reasons for not waking up or taking any action during an emergency fire alarm signal. This report describes the sleep characteristics of humans and shows the difference in sleep patterns with age and gender. It then covers the fire alarm characteristics and how the sound can affect awakenings from sleep. It includes fire alarm characteristics and looks at how different frequencies, loudness and sound patterns affect human arousal during sleep. This report then looks at factors affecting awakenings such as people affected by drugs, alcohol, sleep deprivation and hearing impairment and how this affects the sleep patterns. Also it looks at solutions to lowering the awakening thresholds such as motivational training. The following section looks into human behaviour in fires such as how and why people react in a fire emergency. Then it looks at statistics from various countries and compares fire trends such as time of fatalities and regions where fires occur. Finally the report closes with recommendations and conclusions, such as improving fire alarm signals and points about improving the waking effectiveness of fire alarms.