A Literature Review of Emergency and Non-Emergency
Fire Protection Research Foundation
© August 2012
The Fire Protection Research Foundation
One Batterymarch Park
Quincy, Massachusetts, U.S.A. 02169-7471
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NFPA 101, Life Safety Code® , contains information that is useful not only in fire related emergencies but also in non-fire emergencies and non-emergency situations. To better clarify the application of NFPA 101 to non-fire emergency and non-emergency situations, multiple applicable scenarios have been identified and summarized in this document. These incidents and documents were gathered to provide background information for the Technical Committees for NFPA 101 (and other documents), for the evaluation of the potential for non-fire-emergencies and non-emergency scenarios which include some form of individual and crowd dynamics.
The Fire Protection Research Foundation expresses gratitude to those that assisted with the development and review of the information contained in this report. The Research Foundation appreciates the guidance provide by the Project Technical Panel: Rita Fahy, Harold Hansen, Jason Averill, Amy Murdock, Robert Solomon, and Jeff Tubbs. Special thanks are expressed to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) for funding this project.
Note: This document was revised in October 2012. Specifically, the number of casualties that occurred at the Electric Daisy Carnival (incident number 25 on pages 12 and 28) was modified from 19 deaths to no death based on further clarifying information.
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A Literature Review of Emergency and Non-Emergency Events
NFPA 101, Life Safety Code® , is well known for its application and use in protecting people from fire and fire-related emergencies. However, it also contains provisions that make it an essential document for addressing non-fire emergency and non-emergency situations, even though the extent of the document’s non-emergency use is unclear. Specifically, the Code addresses “other considerations that, while important in fire conditions, provide an ongoing benefit in other conditions of use, including non-fire emergencies” (NFPA 101, section 1.1.5, 2012 edition).
There is a range of non-fire related scenarios to which the document can be applied in a more obvious and concise manner, such as crowd crush, crowd craze, weather evacuation, “crowd proof” behavior, or unintended action. While not necessarily fire-related, they still involve conditions that could evolve into a life-threatening circumstance. Well-established tools such as the Life Safety Evaluation (LSE) concept contained in NFPA 101 are available to address fire as well as non-fire and non-emergency events and could possibly be applied to non-assembly buildings. Also an additional effort to raise awareness of the LSE, even for assembly occupancies is another goal of the project.
To better clarify the application of NFPA 101 to non-fire emergency and non-emergency situations, a literature review has been undertaken to identify the extent of these types of scenarios by providing a comprehensive list of incidents. The information includes events where a seemingly positive or constructive outcome is desired, but a triggering event along the way causes an unintended dangerous consequence to emerge.
Literature Review Process
Each event was assigned a unique identifying number as it was located. To assess the most current incidents, events are sorted by date. These events are on-going and thus the information summarized herein includes those that occurred prior to 31 May 2012. To provide further appropriate information about each incident, a number of different articles are...