Empirical evolution of an evacuation reporting template

Khadija Baig, Martyn Amos, Steve Gwynne, Noureddine Bénichou, Max Kinateder*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Evacuation drills are frequently required components of health and safety processes, but they are often documented poorly (if at all), and thus might generate very little useful or actionable information. Given how much drills cost (in terms of potential risk to participants, financial overhead of downtime and restart time, etc.) it is perhaps surprising that even large organizations often lack a standardized form for recording important information about their conduct. The starting point for this paper was the development of such a template form for a large organization. After producing an initial design based on well-established principles, we obtained both quantitative and qualitative feedback from fire safety and evacuation experts. This then generated a final version of the form design, which was adopted and modified by end-users/emergency planners within the organization to document evacuations. Interviews with three end-users confirmed the usability and usefulness of the form, but they also highlighted second-order observations into emergency procedures (i.e., they generated new information about the organization’s protocols that would not otherwise have been foregrounded or recorded). Our form offers a useful starting point for any organization that wishes to record the details of evacuation drills, but a perhaps more unexpected and abiding conclusion is that the process of generating such a form from first principles can – in itself – offer useful and previously inaccessible insights into how an organization conceptualizes and manages its evacuation drills.
Original languageEnglish
Article number106496
Number of pages23
JournalSafety Science
Early online date1 Apr 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Apr 2024

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