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Guidance For Escape Routes Ascending Staircases?


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There are many standards and lots of guidance to help when determining staircase capacities. These are the bread & butter of architects and fire safety professionals when determining occupancy levels,  staircases widths and the number of staircases required in a building.

However, all seem to refer to descending staircases from upper floors 

I have been researching for standards and guides that relate to ascending staircases to reach a final exit - namely from sub basements levels. Its clear to me that people moving up a staircase will move at a noticeably slower rate that if they were descending. I am working on a project where several thousand people may need to move up three basement levels in a simultaneous evacuation, but in my opinion, I cannot safely apply the usual staircase widths and capacity norms for this job

I am shocked to discover that Building Regs and British Standards (BS9999) do not appear to cover this important area. There has been some research done in the 1970s (Fruin), and I have found a Swedish paper from 2015 that relates to Computational Fluid Dynamics (clever fire safety engineering computer modelling systems). None of my research has been entirely successful.

So this makes me think about whether there has been and FBU, DCLG, FS College  or other Fire Service research that may apply. I know much research has been completed into the physiological effects of firefighters of working in heat and at incidents. Do you know if any of that research applies to ascending staircases?

Perhaps post Grenfell, if there's not been any meaningful research , its time to put that right. Although Grenfell stresses the definition of 'exception' , FFs running up staircase of high rise buildings is nothing new, and business as usual in many F&RS areas.

If you can point me in a useful direction, I'd be much obliged!

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Thanks Cashybai

I had seen one of the reports from Lund Uni. It seems for your search, that they've been leading this work

God knows why, but I didn't think of 9/11: I will focus on the Us


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Lund are central to loads of Fire Service research, internationally. They were (and to an extent still are) behind much of our CFBT training and techniques.

Of course, they have views that are not always universally accepted.

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