Wayfinding evacuation behavior in a large-scale station based on analyses of path choice area - Study on the evacuation in railway stations in case of fire part

Kosuke Fujii, Tomonori Sano

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This paper focuses on the wayfinding behavior of an evacuee in large-scale railway stations in case of a fire. Railway companies have recently diversified their use and services; therefore, different people use stations of Japan for different purposes, especially, large-scale stations of Japan. The behavior of user during an emergency differs from that during a normal situation, and fire safety plans for railway station users are essential. In addition, inducing evacuees.can be difficult for station staff, and there is the possibility that each evacuee will head toward different exits. The purpose of this research is to obtain the evacuation plan for railway stations in case of s fire, elucidate the environmental factors affecting path choice, and examine the wayfinding behavior model for indivisuals in the evacuation in large terminal railway stations. These are based on the results of experiments and questionnaires. The wayfinding experiments on evacuations in case of a fire were carried out in two large terminal railway stations in the Tokyo Metropolitan Area. Twenty-two or twenty-three subjects aged between 21 and 55 years old were participated in these experiments, and all subjects were strangers to these stations. The experiments had five or six starting points, which were changed for each trial, in each station. Each subject evacuated from all starting points. They were able to walk freely to the exit and watch the station's direction and emergency signs. They were asked to say the reason of path choice in the wayfinding experiments. Their behavior was recorded using video cameras, and their voices were recorded using wireless mikes provided to them. In addition, questionnaires regarding fire evacuation behavior and knowledge of emergency information for railway stations were conducted for one hundred and forty-seven college students as well as the subjects of the wayfinding experiments. The results of this study are as follows; 1. An individual evacuee tends to follow normal direction signs instead of emergency exit signs in the station. 2. An individual evacuee decides his own way in a crossroad. 3. An individual evacuee selects his route tentatively or by a sense of distance if he is not able to find a clear direction sign. 4. An individual evacuee does not select his route in accordance with the actual distance to an exit. This paper outlines wayfinding evacuation behavior in case of fire in large railway stations. A future paper will provide a more detailed analysis resulting from think-aloud protocols and specific routes chosen by the subjects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)829-839
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Environmental Engineering (Japan)
Issue number704
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Oct 1


  • Emergency sign
  • Evacuation
  • Fire
  • Sign
  • Station
  • Wayfinding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering


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