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FSEG LOGO FIRE SAFETY ENGINEERING GROUP The Queen's Anniversary Prize 2002 The British Computer Society IT Awards 2001 The European IST Prize Winner 2003 The Guardian University Awards Winner 2014
The Faculty of Architecture, Computing & Humanities
UNIVERSITY of GREENWICH





 


BeSeCu Study

HAVE YOU EXPERIENCED A FLOOD, FIRE OR THE 7/7 BOMBINGS? CLICK HERE

Funded under the EU Framework 7 Security Programme, BeSeCu (Behaviour, Security, Culture) is a large cross-cultural study of people’s behaviour in emergency evacuation situations. As part of the project, the BeSeCu international consortium will conduct questionnaire surveys and interviews with people from across Europe who have been involved in and affected by fires, natural disasters and terrorist attacks. In addition, the group will conduct a range of full-scale building evacuations in three different European countries. These experimental building evacuations will be used to explore the impact of culture on evacuation behaviour. BeSeCu’s findings will be used to better tailor emergency procedures and communications and improve evacuation modelling tools which are used around the world in the design of buildings. As a result, public safety in buildings, transport systems and other structures around the world will be enhanced.

The project consortium is lead by Institute of Psychology, Ernst Moritz Arndt University of Greifswald and the experimental component of the project is lead by Fire Safety Engineering Group (FSEG) at the University of Greenwich. Funded by the EU Seventh Framework Programme of security research, BeSeCu (project no. 218324) has a budget of €2.1 million and will run from 2008 to 2011. The consortium partners include: Institute of Psychology, Ernst Moritz Arndt University of Greifswald (GERMANY); Fire Safety Engineering Group (FSEG) at the University of Greenwich (UK); the University Medical Centre of Hamburg, Institute of Medical Psychology (GERMANY); Institute of Public Security of Catalunya (SPAIN); Hamburg Fire and Emergency Service Academy (GERMANY); Man-Technology-Organisation Psychology (SWEDEN); Faculty of Fire Safety Engineering, The Main School of Fire Service (POLAND); Prague Psychiatric Centre, University of Prague (CZECH REPUBLIC); and Association of Emergency Ambulance Physicians (TURKEY).
 


Project Methodology and Objectives How do members of the public and emergency service personnel think, feel and behave when faced with an emergency? Does this behaviour vary across nations and ethnic groups? Moreover, what type of procedures and communications take place to help people evacuate to safety when an emergency occurs? With the rise of global terrorism and natural disasters such as floods, and the continuing occurrence of accidental and deliberate fires, cross-cultural research into emergency evacuations is both timely and necessary. To understand how people react when disaster strikes and whether current emergency operating procedures and communications can be followed effectively, the BeSeCu team will employ two methods:

1.        Questionnaires and Interviews:

Each BeSeCu partner will survey people in their country who have been affected by a several types of real emergency drawn from four categories: a serious domestic fire; a fire in a public building; a natural disaster; a terrorist attack. Participants sought are persons who survived such emergencies (e.g. residents, staff, commuters, hospital patients) and fire fighters who provided an emergency response at the scenes. Much can be learned from these people’s experiences and observations.

 2.        Experimental evacuation trials:

Unannounced evacuation experiments conducted in public buildings will be conducted in several countries. Observations and questionnaire data will be analysed to identify similarities and differences in occupant response behaviour such as; how people interpret the notification cues, how long it takes people to begin and end the response phase, what type of actions are conducted during the response phase, how many actions are conducted during the response phase, etc

The above methods will provide the following: (i) an evidence base of inter-individual differences in people’s behaviour (thoughts, feelings, actions) that will be employed to improve communication in emergency interventions; and (ii) an evidence base that will enable designers of buildings to develop culturally-appropriate emergency operating procedures. FSEG's involvement in the project includes running the UK questionnaires and interviews as well as managing and running the experimental programme across three European countries.


Appeal for  participants

FSEG are looking for people in the UK to complete an in depth questionnaire or interview. We invite you to take part in our research if you are a firefighter or if you have survived a… 

a) Domestic Fire: If since January 2000 you have experienced a fire in your home (e.g. house or flat) or have been affected by a fire in your building (e.g. your terrace or block of flats) that required the emergency services to be called out and the place of residence to be evacuated, we would be greatly interested in hearing your story. For example, were you caught up in the 2009 fires in Lakanal House in Camberwell or Carisbrooke Gardens in Peckham, South London? If so, tell us what happened to you.

b) Fire in a hospital or hotel: If since January 2000 you have experienced a fire whilst in a hospital or hotel that required the emergency services to be called out and the building to be evacuated, we would value your participation in our study. For example, we invite people who were patients (out patients or bed patients) or staff at the Royal Marsden Hospital, West London or guests at the Penhallow Hotel, Newquay during the fires of 2007 and 2008 respectively to tell us your story.

c) Flood: If since January 2000 you have experienced a flood in your area that required the emergency services to be called out and your building to be evacuated, then we would appreciate your input. For example, we seek people from the autumn 2009 flooding in UK regions such as Grampian, Tayside and Cumbria.

d) 7/7 terrorist attacks: If on 7 July 2005 you were in a London Underground station or Tube train that was directly affected by the bombings and had to be evacuated, then please take part in this research. For example, were you standing on a platform and saw or heard signs of an explosion nearby? Were you in an underground station and asked to evacuate? Were you on the same train as a bomber, or one of the other trains that were evacuated?

The experiences of the survivors and the many personnel who respond to these emergency events will be invaluable to this project. We can learn from your experiences, but only if you tell us what you experienced!

If you wish to take part and tell your story, please click here to complete our online questionnaire. If you would like more information or wish to discuss alternative ways to participate, please contact Dr Lynn Hulse (email: L.Hulse@gre.ac.uk, tel: 020 8331 8706).
 


Project links

Project Partners

University of Greenwich
University of Greenwich,
Fire Safety Engineering Group (FSEG)


Institute of Psychology, Ernst Moritz Arndt University of Greifswald


Institute of Public Security of Catalunya

Man-Technology-Organisation Psychology

Faculty of Fire Safety Engineering, The Main School of Fire Service

Hamburg Fire and Emergency Service Academy

Prague Psychiatric Centre, University of Prague

Association of Emergency Ambulance Physicians

University Medical Centre of Hamburg, Institute of Medical Psychology


 


Further Information Prof. Ed Galea
Fire Safety Engineering Group
University of Greenwich
Greenwich Maritime Campus
Old Royal Naval College
Queen Mary Building
Greenwich SE10 9LS
UK

Tel: +44 (020) 8331 8730
Fax: +44(020) 8331 8925
e-mail: E.R.Galea@gre.ac.uk



 

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