Changeable prohibitory exit signs used in choice of fire evacuation route

En-Shu kuo, Chieh-Hsin Tang, Ying-Ji Chuang, Yi-Ting Tseng, Ching-Yuan Lin


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


Changeable prohibitory exit signs; icon recognition; way-finding

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