Effects of environment knowledge in evacuation scenarios involving fire and smoke: a multiscale modelling and simulation approach

Omar Richardson (Corresponding author), Andrei Jalba, Adrian Muntean

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We study the evacuation dynamics of a crowd evacuating from a complex geometry in the presence of a fire as well as of a slowly spreading smoke curtain.The crowd is composed of two kinds of individuals: those who know the layout of the building, and those who do not and rely exclusively on potentially informed neighbors to identify a path towards the exit. We aim to capture the effect the knowledge of the environment has on the interaction between evacuees and their residence time in the presence of fire and evolving smoke. Our approach is genuinely multiscale—we employ a two-scale model that is able to distinguish between compressible and incompressible pedestrian flow regimes and allows for micro and macro pedestrian dynamics. Simulations illustrate the expected qualitative behavior of the model. We finish with observations on how mixing evacuees with different levels of knowledge impacts important evacuation aspects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)415-436
Number of pages22
JournalFire Technology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2019



  • Crowd dynamics
  • Environment knowledge
  • Evacuation
  • Fire and smoke dynamics
  • Particle methods
  • Transport processes

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