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Sept. 21, 2022

068 - Human walking speed and factors that influence it with John Gales

068 - Human walking speed and factors that influence it with John Gales

What factors influence the walking speed of an occupant? Is it just their physiology and crowd density? It seems it is more complicated than that (as most things are in fire science...). Dr John Gales of York University takes me on a journey through their extremally interesting research on anthropomorphic data and movement speeds, which they have been extensively carrying through the last years. You will learn why the crowd at a football match will have a different characteristic than one attending American football (handegg?). Why evacuation is quicker in torrential rain than in fire, and how stimuli may drive the walking speeds as well. And how a beer tent helped uncover that!

John has mentioned a lot of resources that may be of interest.

The online course mentioned by John is available at: https://uwaterloo.ca/fire-research-and-safety/fire-safety-program and a course outline may be found here.
Learn more about the York Fire Engineering group at https://yorkufire.com/
The  SFPE Foundation report cited in the episode can be found here.

A list of relevant papers is available below:

  1.  Chin, K., Young, T., Chorlton, B., Aucoin, D., and Gales, J., (2022) Crowd Behaviour in Canadian Football Stadia - Part 1 - Data Collection. Canadian Journal of Civil Engineering (Canadian Science Publishing). 49 (7)
  2. Chin, K., Young, T., Chorlton, B., Aucoin, D., and Gales, J., (2022) Crowd Behaviour in Canadian Football Stadia - Part 2 - Modelling Canadian Journal of Civil Engineering (Canadian Science Publishing). 49 (7)
  3.  Yerushalami, A., Folk, L., Carton, H., Gales, J., Khan A., Weckman, B. (2022) Fire Evacuation Modelling of a Canadian Wildland Urban Interface Community. Canadian Journal of Civil Engineering (Canadian Science Publishing). 49 (1) 
  4.  Arce, S., Jeanneret, C., Gales, J, Antonellis, D., and Vaiciulyte, S. (2021) Human Behaviour in Informal Settlement Fires in Costa Rica. Safety Science (Elsevier). 142. 105384. 
  5. Young, T., Gales, J, Kinsey M, and Wong W. (2021) Variability in Stadia Evacuation under Normal, High-Motivation, and Emergency Egress. Journal of Building Engineering (Elsevier). 40 
  6.  Folk, L., Gonzales, K., Gales, J., Kinsey, M, and Carratin, E. and Young, T. (2020) Emergency Egress for the Elderly in Care Home Fire Situations. Fire and Materials (John Wiley). 44(4): 595- 606.