Human behaviour

When I tell people that I am studying the international master in fire safety engineering, everyone thinks that I am going to have only mathematical and physics courses for the whole two years. Fortunately, in this second semester here in Lund we had a different course which isn’t typically taught for other masters in engineering.  
As we all know, it is impossible to prevent our buildings from all type of hazards. The only thing that we can do is to design as secure building as we can, which will give the possibility to have a safe evacuation for people who are in, in order to have as less deaths as possible. As our teacher Daniel said, this topic will be probably new for most of us in this class because this course is psychological engineering.  
After a few weeks of participating this course, I understood what he meant when he said so. People’s behaviour in emergency situations is one of the most unpredictable things in this world and everything in the building has to be as clear as possible in order to not have misunderstandings or any other difficulties during evacuation. One of the biggest difference among different cultures that I went through is that we Italians are much more noisy and we tend to freak out more easily compared to the northerm European countries.
Also, one of the most interesting aspects of this course is that we are going to have an international knowledge of this topic, not only Europe. This is possible thanks to Rita Fahy, who is teaching this course with Daniel. She is from the US, and works for NFPA, which is the National Fire Protection Association in USA.  
Our teachers are going to teach us the best methods and the best ways to design secure buildings in order to have safe egresses. During this course, I really noticed the great difference between all our countries, and I think that this course is a great opportunity to learn about this topic from the teachers but also from my classmates who are all from different parts of the world. Discussing with people from all over the world about this topic helps us to have a better knowledge and to understand that people’s behaviour can change based on the culture and other factors. 

 

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