FIRE 263 : Human Behavior in Fire

Transcript title

Human Behavior in Fire



Grade mode

Standard letter grades

Contact hours total


Lecture hours



FIRE 101, FIRE 102, FIRE 110, FIRE 112, FIRE 114, FIRE 120, FIRE 205,and MTH 098 (or higher) or minimum placement Math Level 14.


Provides fundamental information on human behavior as it relates to fire and mass casualties, understanding human behavior, building design, evacuation and fire department operations. Discusses issues associated with large populations and disabled or persons with limited mobility. This course is a FESHE fire prevention curriculum requirement and is equivalent to NFA C0276.

Learning outcomes

The following learning outcomes are those of the National Fire Academy (NFA).

1. Analyze aspects of human behavior in mass casualties.
2. Categorize the types of behavior that people exhibit in fire situations as positive or negative as they effect emergency evacuation.
3. Identify psychological traits of building occupants which may affect their identification of and response to a fire.
4. Estimate evacuation times in occupied buildings, large building and transportation facilities.
5. Identify occupancies where human behavior and response characteristics are unique to occupancies and where there is a high potential life loss.
6. Identify characteristics and list procedures for response for occupancies where human factors and building design may be factors in emergency evacuation.

Content outline

• Introduction
• General overview of human response to fire
• Occupant response characteristics - familiarity with structure, pre-evacuation behavior
• Human response to cues - alarms, signs, pre-planning/staff training
• Decision making - panic as a rare occurrence
• Egress behavior and decision making
• Impact of environment on people - thermal, toxicity, visibility, psychological, perception of smoke and fire
• Assessment of occupant movement in buildings
• Evacuation assessment fundamentals - horizontal and vertical flow
• Modeling of evacuation - hydraulic and behavioral
• Special occupancies - high rise, health care (hospital, board/care)
• Public assembly - stadium and arenas
• Residential
• Transportation terminals
• Hazmat occupancies
• Use of elevators
• Fire department operations
• Evacuation and rescue - provide information to evacuees, occupant egress vs. fire department ingress
• Firefighting - heat stress, exposure to smoke, toxins and hazardous gases
• Mass casualties

Required materials

This course requires students to purchase a textbook.

Grading methods

Students are assessed by exercises, quizzes, scenarios, final project and final exam.

Outside of

Use the COCC Catalog to find extraordinary classes and degree programs. Start your journey here »