Skip All MenusSkip First Menu
Spacer Image Spacer Image

You are not logged-in. Log-in here

Spacer Spacer Image
Welcome & Instructions
About the Tutorial for the TCPS
Introducing the TCPS
Section Overview
Ethics Context
Tri-Council Policy Statement
Goals and Rationale of the TCPS
Ethical Principles and Their Application
Ethics and Law
Case Studies
Progress Check
Section 1: Ethics Review
Section 2: Free and Informed Consent
Section 3: Privacy and Confidentiality
Section 4: Conflict of Interest
Section 5: Inclusion in Research
PRE Web Site
Spacer Image
Back Forward Tutorial Help Save Location

Tutorial: Ethical Conduct of Research involving Humans: Introducting the TCPS

Case Study 1
Evacuation From an Office Building Fire

The ability to evacuate a large building in an emergency requires knowledge about appropriate building design, and also about effective procedures for rapid exit, including training of occupants. In order to obtain adequate information about evacuation of large buildings, it is important that researchers learn from actual experiences.

Researchers designed a project to learn from survivors of a catastrophic fire in a multi-story office building. In particular, the researchers wanted to know 1) how occupants perceived and interpreted the situation, and how they made decisions during the emergency, and 2) the extent to which building design and emergency procedures influenced how people responded. They also wanted to document the conditions, such as flame, smoke and behaviour of people in various locations in the building.

A questionnaire approach was used. The companies that had occupied offices in the building were asked to contact their employees who had escaped from the buildings, inviting them to respond directly to the research team.

The questionnaire dealt with issues such as awareness of escape procedures, leadership demonstrated by those designated to act in emergencies, abilities to find exits and use stairs, and the overall comportment of people in the emergency. The questionnaire was sent by mail to the individuals who had escaped from the building. Post-trauma counselling was offered to those who participated in the research.


  1. Under what circumstances would the TCPS apply to this research?

  2. Which guiding ethical principles might apply to this research?

  3. How might the perspective of the subject be taken into account in the conduct of the research



: : Tri-Council Policy Statement
: : Ethical Principles and Their Application

Back Forward Mark as Completed Tutorial Help Save Location

Spacer Image


Spacer Image
Last Modified: 2009-09-02 Top of Page Important Notices