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Title:Egress Efficacy of Persons with Multiple Sclerosis During Simulated Evacuations
Author(s):Kesler, Richard M.; Kliegar, Alexandra E.; Horn, Gavin P.; Boes, Morgan K.; Hsiao-Wecksler, Elizabeth T.; Klaren, Rachel E.; Learmonth, Yvonne; Motl, Robert W.
Subject(s):Life safety
Multiple sclerosis
Abstract:Expedited evacuation of commercial and residential structures in the event of an emergency may be more difficult for persons with physical movement disorders. There is a need to better characterize the impact of such disorders and provide movement data to improve evacuee and responder safety. We undertook a pilot, feasibility study that investigated the ability of persons with multiple sclerosis (MS) and controls without MS to walk along a 48 m long path that included five different door configurations with various opening hardware and closure mechanisms, both before and after a six-minute walk, simulating a long evacuation path. Persons with MS took longer to complete the evacuation circuit (102 vs. 31 s) and to pass through each door (average 4.8 vs. 1.4 s) compared to controls. During the six-minute walk, persons with MS had decreased walking speed (0.7 vs. 1.9 m/s). The MS population demonstrated more conservative gait biomechanics throughout the simulation, i.e., wider, shorter and slower steps. Timing and biomechanical differences between populations and the potential fatigue induced through an extended evacuation can be used to improve understanding of movement in populations with disabilities, and incorporate these data into estimation of flow rates during evacuation.
Issue Date:2017
Publisher:Fire Technology
Citation Info:Kesler, R.M., Klieger, A.E., Boes, M.K. et al. Fire Technol (2017) 53: 2007.
Sponsor:Funding support for MB was provided by the National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power (0540834), with additional support from the Foundation of the Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis Centers’ Multiple Sclerosis Workforce of the Future program.
Rights Information:Copyright 2017 The Author(s). This article is an open access publication
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
Date Available in IDEALS:2018-11-14

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  • IFSI Research
    This collection contains research publications from IFSI Research at the Illinois Fire Service Institute.

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