Definitions of panics are introduced along with a series of early experimental investigations of the phenomenon. The chapter further distinguishes between escape and entry panics with additional discussion of the often puzzling behavior of people caught up in actual panics. Researchers have identified four stages in people's behavior starting with the first indications of danger. The advantages of using both humans and ants as a means of investigating panic behavior are highlighted. The all-important matter of how to communicate effectively during emergencies and the design of avenues of escape is a further critical applied topic. A concluding section provides a listing of suggestions intended to prevent or mitigate the effects of panics. These include design and engineering considerations that include the installation of retractable escape gangways for spectators in the stands. The 1903 Iroquois theater fire in Chicago that left 602 theatergoers dead is summarized as a case study that vividly illustrates the numerous preventive steps that should have been in place but were not.
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