Analysis of response behavior of people in fire incidents where residential fire alarms successfully worked

Ai Sekizawa, Masayuki Mizuno

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1 Citation (Scopus)


All residential homes in Japan have been required to install residential fire alarms since 2006. According to a survey by Tokyo Fire Department in 2011, the installation rate of residential fire alarms per household within the jurisdiction of the Tokyo Fire Department is 80.6%. The authors carried out an analysis of reports of cases, where residential fire alarms successfully worked. The information in these real fire incident reports is very useful for us to understand the actual circumstances as well as the behavior of the people involved in and nearby a fire incident. In many cases of successful activation of fire alarms for fires originating in a living room and bedroom, the occupants were likely to be in sleeping in the room of fire origin and did not become aware of the fire alarm, even if it sounded. By contrast, other family members and/or neighbors outside the room of fire origin were more likely to hear the sound and initiated the response activity to the fire incident. This indicates the potential for persons in the room of fire origin at the time of fire to be saved by others nearby because of the activation of residential fire alarms, even if they are sleeping and do not respond by themselves to the alarm sound.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)441-453
Number of pages13
JournalFire and Materials
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2017


  • fire alarm
  • fire incident report
  • residential fire
  • response behavior

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