We have specialist expertise in the area of human behaviour in emergencies. Our knowledge combined with simulation modelling helps owners, operators, and architects improve safety and security in buildings and spaces by understanding decision-making processes, the effectiveness of signage and notification systems, and people movement.
Our services include:
- Crowd safety design and planning
- Crowd planning for Hostile Vehicle Mitigation (HVM)
- Security checkpoint design
- Evacuation planning.
We provide expert advice to design teams for the planning of new assets and infrastructure; assessing constraints, capacity and pedestrian flow in defined scenarios. Our work provides assurance that spaces can safely and comfortably accommodate anticipated people movement behaviour during major events and emergencies. We test compliance with comfort standards (Fruin Level of Service), regulatory requirements and industry guidance (such as the Crowded Places guidance). We often engage with the Safety Advisory Group, a multi-agency body associated with a venue, to have an ongoing understanding of safety issues and how these affect licensing. Our multi-disciplinary team has ensured crowd safety and security for hundreds of high profile venues, events and major transport hubs during planning, design, construction and operation.
We provide specialist advice for pedestrian planning around Hostile Vehicle Mitigation (HVM) barriers to protect large crowds. Crowd flow is influenced by the direction of pedestrian approach, position of HVM in respect to other security and design features, and the pedestrian behaviours in response to the HVM. We assess the impact of permanent and temporary security overlays on pedestrian flow around any HVM bollards and barriers and ensure that queues are protected within the secure perimeter.
We work with large events, attractions and Stadia across the world to improve search and screening systems. Search rates can vary enormously, and in our experience, there is usually the opportunity to improve performance.
Analysis can help to create a balanced system that is both thorough and efficient. 3D micro-simulation modelling (LEGION or Pathfinder) based on peak demand forecasts provides visualisations of individual user profiles. Modelling allows us to measure the throughput, effectiveness, and (cost) efficiency of security checkpoint designs under different scenarios. We consider the outputs alongside security objectives, process, pattern of demand, staff performance, design, and the levels of accumulation and queuing expected. Our experience of crowded places around the world means we can provide recommendations for enhancing security processes which improve safety, comfort and visitor experience.
We use industry-leading methods and tools to analyse emergency evacuation strategies for managers of buildings, iconic sites, public spaces, large events, stations and multi-organisation city districts. Combining our analytical tools with our expertise in pedestrian and evacuation dynamics, we advise on:
- Practical design of buildings and open spaces
- Emergency strategies
- Requirements to implement strategies, e.g., organisation,decision-making, communication
- Mitigating risks
- Operational planning, procedures and training
- Safety factors
- Engineering judgement.
We also support the development of emergency procedures, including communication and announcements in Marauding Terrorist Attacks (MTAs) and how the “Run, Hide,Tell” guidance may apply in your organisation.