This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

Building Occupant Evacuation Response to Multiple Perceived False Fire Alarms




May, MaryAnn

Type of Degree



Education Foundation, Leadership, and Technology


There is a lack of information on the relationship between nuisance alarms and occupant attitudes toward evacuation of a building due to a fire alarm. This research study compared attitudes based on gender, faculty/staff, students and age to determine if there was a difference as to when occupants evacuate a building. The study also compared whether the number of times an occupant was exposed to nuisance alarms influenced their attitude in evacuating a building during a fire alarm. The Fire Alarm Perceptions Survey was developed by the researcher to determine demographics, the participant’s participation in fire drills and their evacuation experiences. Also, questions measured the participants’ attitudes toward the fire alarm and evacuation, and participants’ perception of fire alarms and evacuation experiences based on whether they have personally experienced a fire or fire loss or have known someone who experienced a fire or fire loss. There were 295 participants. The major implication of the study showed statistical significance (p < .05) between building occupant attitudes and nuisance fire alarms for participants who had not had a fire loss but knew someone who did. It was also statistically significant (p < .05) for those who had no fire loss and did not know anyone with a fire loss.