Original Research

Journal of Engineering Research

, 2:11

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Changeable prohibitory exit signs used in choice of fire evacuation route

  • En-Shu KuoAffiliated withDept. of Archit., National Taiwan University of Science and Technology
  • , Chieh-Hsin TangAffiliated withDept. of Inter. Dsgn, Tungnan University
  • , Yi-Ting TsengAffiliated withDept. of Archit., National Taiwan University of Science and Technology Email author 
  • , Ying-Ji ChuangAffiliated withDept. of Archit., National Taiwan University of Science and Technology
  • , Ching-Yuan LinAffiliated withDept. of Archit., National Taiwan University of Science and Technology

Abstract

As interior space of buildings become increasingly complex, current exit signs in fire incidents may not be able to provide timely evacuation guidance. This study proposes a concept of changeable prohibitory exit signs, and discusses the feasibility of using the signs to help with the way-finding. This study has concluded that whether the meanings of such changeable prohibitory exit signs have been explained beforehand, the general public’s recognition and understanding of the signs are positively presented, and the evacuation success rate has been increased 20%. However, the increase needs to be further verified with more and extensive experiments in different spatial conditions of environment. Even with the current signs, after explanation of their meanings, the accuracy of way-finding gave an 8% improvement, which proves that education on current signs is also very important. On the behavioral characteristics of evacuation, it is found that (1) both males and females tend to make a left turn; (2) in an unfamiliar space there is a slight but non-statistically significant difference between males and females in choosing effective routes.

Keywords:

Changeable prohibitory exit signs icon recognition way-finding