Factors Affecting Adoption of Emergency Evacuation Strategies in High-Rise Office Buildings

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Farid Wajdi Akashah
Timothy Kurannen Baaki
Muhammad Firdaus Anuar
Nur Farhana Azmi
Zahiriah Yahya


This study examined the evacuation strategies employed in high-rise buildings as well as determined factors influencing decision making in employing evacuation strategies in four selected high-rise buildings in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Through a case study evaluation involving interviews with facility/building managers, walk through observations of the case studies and analyses of evacuation exercise reports, the study found that total evacuation was the most practiced evacuation strategy with occasional phased evacuation at one of the case studies. The study identified reliable emergency response, building characteristics/fire safety features, and evacuation exercise as the most important factors influencing decision making in employing evacuation strategies. Occupant characteristics was found to be the least important factor.  The argument is that, efficient emergency response, passive and active fire safety systems, and evacuation exercise routines mean that challenges posed by the characteristics of occupants could be overcome. This paper gives new insights on factors influencing decision making in employing suitable evacuation strategies. This would benefit stakeholders e.g. building owners, facility managers, health and safety managers when drafting business continuity plans.


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