Audibility and occupant response towards the audio fire alarm in high-rise residential buildings

Ling Tim Wong, S. Y. Chak

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


The sound pressure level (SPL) in five large public housing estates in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) was measured to study audibility of fire alarm bell. Typical problems in the audibility of the fire alarm bell in high-rise residential buildings were highlighted. The measured SPL would be unable to awakening sleeping occupants. A questionnaire survey was conducted and 100 occupants were interviewed to study the human response towards the audio fire alarm. Subjective perception of the alarm loudness is correlated to age and the location of the occupant. Recognition of the fire alarm is dependent on the subjective perception of the alarm loudness, past experience of false fire alarm, capability in distinguishing the alarm sound and education background. The survey indicated 48% occupants would ignore the audible fire alarm in the first 30 s of the alarm. The audible fire alarm of duration 60 s would draw occupant attention to validate the alarm signal in daytime.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315-327
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal for Housing Science and Its Applications
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urban Studies


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