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Performance-based fire safety evacuation of an auditorium facility using a theoretical calculation method

Abubakar S. Mahmoud (Safety Technology Program, Dammam Community College, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia)
Muizz O. Sanni-Anibire (Safety Technology Program, Dammam Community College, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia)
Mohammad A. Hassanain (Architectural Engineering Department, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia)

International Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation

ISSN: 2398-4708

Article publication date: 8 May 2017

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present the findings of a theoretical calculation for the emergency evacuation of an auditorium facility managed by a university in Saudi Arabia.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors reviewed the published literature to identify the sources of fire incidence, guidelines for means of escape in assembly occupancies and human behavior in fire emergencies. The theoretical method of the SFPE handbook to estimate the required evacuation time was subsequently applied to a case study of an auditorium facility managed by a university located in Saudi Arabia. Finally, the authors developed recommendations for the performance-based fire safety evacuation of the auditorium facility under review.

Findings

The study showed that a total of 6 minutes 39 seconds is needed to evacuate the whole auditorium. However, reviewed literature for assembly occupancies requires between 4 minutes 30 seconds and 6 minutes 24 seconds for total evacuation. Though, the calculated evacuation time is close to generally acceptable limits. It was noted that overcrowding and bottlenecks may be formed in some of the exit routes.

Originality/value

This paper will stimulate and increase research and industry concern for performance-based design of assembly-type facilities. This will be of significant value to designers, engineers, facilities managers, and owners in ensuring the safety of occupants in assembly-type facilities.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors thank King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals for the support and facilities that made this research possible.

Citation

Mahmoud, A.S., Sanni-Anibire, M.O. and Hassanain, M.A. (2017), "Performance-based fire safety evacuation of an auditorium facility using a theoretical calculation method", International Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation, Vol. 35 No. 2, pp. 124-138. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJBPA-11-2016-0027

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited