2019 CSCE Annual Conference - Laval (Greater Montreal)

2019 CSCE Annual Conference - Laval (Greater Montreal) Conference

An Immersive Environment for Building Fire Safety Training

Mr. Hani Alsharari, Western Michigan University (Presenter)
Dr. William W. Liou, Western Michigan University
Dr. Osama Abudayyeh, Western Michigan University

Building fire disasters have caused serious injuries and loss of life in addition to significant property damage that can amount to billions of dollars annually. Much research efforts have focused on ways to save lives and buildings during fire incidents. The main reason for death during fires is smoke as occupants either do not have enough time to evacuate from a smoke-filled building or make a wrong decision due to their unfamiliarity with evacuation paths. Clearly, building owners and managers need to develop effective emergency evacuation plans. These plans must include a training program for all occupants to facilitate a safe building evacuation in the event of a fire. However, conventional evacuation training through seminars, workshops, and fire drills may not be effective as they do not provide occupants with the feeling of risk associated with an emergency situation, resulting in less than desirable reactions to an incident. The purpose of the study discussed in this paper is to create a fire hazard immersive training system for buildings that simulate real incidents and provides scenarios for evacuation. In this system, a 3D building model was used along with a virtual reality system to provide an immersive environment. The fire and smoke were mathematically simulated using a computational fluid dynamics method. They were then used to develop the virtual reality training environment. The system will then be used to evaluate participants’ awareness of how they should behave during a fire incident.