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  Chapter 2 Literature Review Literature from different fields is relevant for the project. Besides self-preserva-tion, evacuation procedures in day-care centers play a role for the overall processof evacuation, as well as children’s psychology, providing information on the agerange at which children can be expected to be able to carry out self-preservation.Fire building regulations for day-care centers and educational system werestudied for each country where the questionnaire was distributed to understand anddiscuss the final results of the questionnaire. 2.1 Evacuation Procedures of Young Children Limited number of studies covers the topic of self-preservation of children in day-care centers and little is known on how their behavior affects the evacuationprocess and total evacuation time.A study on fire safety and evacuation planning for pre-schools and day-carecenters was carried out , where 70 % of the pre-schools and day-care centers arelocated in multi-story buildings and 30 % of cases the infants’ rooms were locatedon the upper floor. The results come from a questionnaire and fire drills. The work has the following findings: ã  More than one evacuation route is recommended. ã  As well as every day usage of the routes. ã  The adult-child ratio necessary for efficient evacuation was determined for eachday-care center. ã  One fire drill per month is required, however, 70 % of the day-care centersperformed a maximum 7–8 fire drills per year.One of the conclusions of the study is that familiarity with the system and pro-cedures is the most important factor affecting the speed of evacuation.Data was collected from two evacuation drills, which were carried out in thesame school building with children between 4 and 10 years old. The pre- A. Taciuc and A. S. Dederichs,  Determining Self-Preservation Capabilityin Pre-School Children , SpringerBriefs in Fire, DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4939-1080-9_2,   Fire Protection Research Foundation 2014 3  movement time is strongly affected by the actions and decisions of the teachers.For the age category 4–5 years, the pre-movement depends on the teacher actions(encouraged and prepared for the evacuation) and for age group 5–6 years andprimary school children are dependent on teacher decisions (children wereresponding quickly and forming a row by themselves, but they stopped and waitedfor teacher signal to go out). The drill results suggested that walking speeds onstairs are age dependent and it is noted that 72 % (Drill 1) and 66 % (Drill 2) of pre-school children used the handrail during the fire drill and also 44 % (Drill 1) of children moved downstairs with one foot/step while the percentage is greater forDrill 2–67 %.Another study [7] was performed at the Technical University of Denmark regarding the movement of pre-school children from 10 day-care centers fromLyngby, Denmark, on stairs and on horizontal planes, focusing on flow, densitiesand walking speeds. The report compared the results with the ones found in thecurrent literature for adults. For the horizontal travel speed, results show that 78 %of the young children (0–2 years) have an average walking speed of 0.60 m/s andrespectively 0.84 m/s for more than 66 % of the older children (3–6 years). Thecommon values used for adult’s average walking speed are 1.2–1.3 m/s. Thesevalues can be observed in Table 2.1.For the stair movement results, data were only from older children since theyounger children’s rooms were located on the ground floor. The study involvesthree different spiral stairs: first is used by children every day, having an extraconvenient handrail for children, second is not used regularly and has an incon-venient handrail and the third is a metallic external fire escape—never used, wherethe steps are see-through having a handrail not adapted for children. Although thethree stairs have similar dimensions, there is a large difference in the average travelspeed. Results can be observed in Table 2.2. The conclusion is that travel speed isdirectly dependent on the familiarity and design of the stairs and handrails.Results of the study reveal that the flow of children through doors is higher thanthe reference data for adults and the children didn’t have any problem passingthrough doors two at a time, even if the width of the door had only 0.6 m.Various evacuation drills were performed in Lyngby Taarbæk Commune inDenmark in 10 day-care centers with children between 0–2 and 3–6 years. Thework had the following findings: ã  The level of warning sound was considered insufficient. ã  5 of 10 day-care centers used verbal warnings, leading to a warning time of 31–265 s. Table 2.1  Travel speed for differentiated age groupsAge groups (years) Average walkingspeed (m/s)Average runspeed (m/s)Adult average walkingspeed (m/s)0–2 0.60 1.14 1.2–1.33–6 0.84 2.234 2 Literature Review  ã  The average walking speed on a horizontal plane was found to be 0.63 m/s foryounger children (5 % running and 95 % walking) and 1.40 m/s for the olderchildren (40 % running and 60 % walking).Furthermore, it was found that for the age group: ã  0–2 years: 22.2 % were carried by staff, 57.6 % received some physical help,20.2 % received only a verbal command; ã  3–6 years: 1.8 % were carried by staff, 12.3 % got some physical help and85.9 % received only a verbal command. ã  The average adult-child ratio during the fire drills was 1:3.2 for the age group0–2 years and 1:6.1 for age group 3–6 years. ã  Children followed instructions without questioning them, but they seemedsurprised to be going outside without putting on shoes and jackets as they wereused to. Also, they appeared to be affected by the use of unfamiliar routes.Children had the tendency to follow the daily routine: putting on shoes beforegoing outside, stopping in front of the door before exiting to zip up their jacketsor stopping in front of the main door waiting on an adult. It was noticed thatmany of the day-care centers had doors with a handle that the children could notreach. ã  Teachers typically started by instructing the children to evacuate and in somecases they took a roll call before going out of the room. They took a list with thenames of the children and phone numbers outside. Some of them were not awarethat they should close the windows and doors in order to minimize fire spread.The procedure is that once evacuated, children should meet outside with an adultfor a roll call to see who is missing, but not all adults knew this and childrenwere running outside on the playground. ã  Another important aspect was the timing of the fire evacuation drill. It is knownthat people are more vulnerable when sleeping [8]. In Denmark, children underthe age of two sleep in cribs, placed outside or in a special shed. Children over theage of two sleep on mattresses indoors. At one institution, the first drill was donein the morning and the second one in the afternoon right when children woke upor were still asleep, which caused confusion. Cribs had to be rolled away.In 2004, performance-based fire safety requirements were introduced in Den-mark. The prescriptive part of the Danish Building Regulations subdividesbuildings into different categories of usage [9]. Day-care centers belong to usage Table 2.2  Results on Spiral StairsStair Width (m) Slope ( o ) Average travel speed (m/s)Stair 1 0.80 33 0.58Stair 2 0.87 33 0.38Stair 3 0.91 30 0.132.1 Evacuation Procedures of Young Children 5  category 6. The installation of an automatic fire alarm system, notifying the firedepartment and the staff, is required. This rule does not apply for buildings con-structed before 2004.Pre-movement time for pre-school institutions, normal walking speed, runningspeed, upward and downward movement on stairs, and flow through door openingsfor children of different ages were determined in a Russian study from 2012 [10].Fire safety training of the staff and the evacuation procedure affected the pre-movement time. It was observed that after hearing the fire signal, many teacherswent to the corridor to verify that an evacuation had to be conducted. In the samestudy, children remained in their places without taking any evacuation measures,after the indication for evacuation was given. Evacuation first started whenteachers took the kids by hand and led them outside. The observations made on thepre-movement time show that preparation time depends on the season. During coldweather storing blankets outside can considerably reduce the pre-movement time.The proposed time of preparation in summer time is 0.6, 5 min in spring andautumn, 7.5 min in winter if using outdoor clothing and 1.1 min when usingblankets.Literature contains different values for walking speeds on horizontal planes anddown stairs [7, 10]. According to [7], the average speed is 0.84 m/s for the3–6 year age interval. The average for the three age groups 3–4, 4–5 and5–7 years, the speed is 0.83 m/s [10], concluding that even if the children’s ageintervals are different, the average horizontal walking speeds are comparable. Inthe case of average speed for walking downstairs, the results are hard to comparebecause of different conditions: the usage of stairs, geometry, handrail and chil-dren’s age (Table 2.3).In some buildings housing pre-school institutions, the staircases are designedfor adults and are not equipped with railing on both sides and this impedes chil-dren’s movement [10].One study found that the staff was poorly trained with respect to fire evacuation[11]. 100 % of the teachers from one school were not aware about the fire safetysystem at their institution. 69 % of the staff failed to follow the valid evacuationprocedure.Data was gathered during semi-unannounced evacuation drills in Copenhagen[12], where 127 children between 0 and 6 years old were involved. The conclusionof the article is that the evacuation drill was age dependent—older children wererushing out meanwhile the young ones seemed to be more confused. Features thatcaused a evacuation delay included: ã  Children could not open doors; ã  In many cases there was no automatic audio alarm system but the evacuationwas initiated using verbal warning. 6 2 Literature Review
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