- Safety at home and other indoor venues is one of the most important aspects of everyday life. Yet according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), in 2018, approximately 3000 people died in home fires, while 11.7 thousand people were injured. Most household fires start as cooking accidents, which can escalate to death through smoke inhalation. Death by fire through smoke inhalation is also a risk in other indoor venues such as universities, offices, stores, and other commercial settings. Safely dealing with a small fire, such as while cooking, can limit property loss, can provide time for others to evacuate, and can save lives.
However, effectively dealing with a fire depends on the expertise of people present, which is often lacking. Signage on fire extinguishers and elsewhere in commercial buildings provide instructions for how to activate equipment. However, most of the training material available for home and commercial safety training has significant usability problems. For example, it is generally passive and context-independent. Typical training materials leave a good amount of cognitive gap during an actual hazard because they leave it up to the learner to imagine how to use the equipment, rather than providing safe practice.
This Master’s report presents a new training app, HazAr, that offers a good substitute for live safety training, which is until now considered to be the best medium of safety training and used in campuses for teaching safety lessons. HazAr uses the surroundings to bring artificial hazards into the user's space and simulate a real hazard so that the user can practice. This trains the user to locate and remember where the nearest safety equipment is located and understand the steps and hurdles required to acquire this equipment in the times of emergency.