VR-Based Immersive Fire Safety Training

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Purpose – Provision of fire-safety training can be beset by health and safety challenges, and simple presentations lack the realism needed to truly support this training. Therefore, we were interested in exploring the potential for VR to address this situation. This study is an investigation of the impact of three different educational methods on learning outcomes for fire-safety training: fully immersive virtual reality (FI-VR); non-immersive VR (NI-VR); and conventional text-based learning (CTL).
Design/methodology/approach – We created a VR-based firefighting system to train in the effective use of firefighting equipment. The system can simulate various fire incidents (such as in an office or warehouse) where participants are required to use different types of fire extinguisher and/or a fire hose to extinguish fires. Our study involved 24 participants engaging, sequentially, in three different learning sessions: FI-VR using headset; NI-VR using desktop-based VR; and CTL with a PowerPoint presentation. Participants took a quiz after each session to assess their learning outcomes. They also completed a System Usability Scale (SUS) questionnaire to provide feedback on the user experience. To alleviate potential bias through the order of training, the learning sessions were conducted in three different sequences, in loop queue form: CTL – NI-VR – FI-VR; NI-VR – FI-VR – CTL; and FI-VR – CTL – NI-VR. For instance, the first (and fourth, and so on) participant took the first order sequence of learning sessions.
Findings – The results include that the quiz mean score was highest for NI-VR (62.9%); followed by FI-VR (56.9%); and then CTL (46.3%). The SUS rating was highest for FI-VR (60.6%); followed by NI-VR (60.1%); and then CTL (59.3%). The results also showed that most users preferred FI-VR (66.7%); followed by NI-VR (20.8%); and then by CTL (12.5%). These results showed the use of VR in teaching fire has significant potential for development.
Originality/value/implications – Fire is a common, but often devastating, problem, posing a major threat to public safety and social development. It is essential that fire-safety training be both accessible and effective. Current approaches to fire-safety training primarily rely on CTL, but this does not appear to properly prepare participants for real-life fire incidents, due to the lack of hands-on experience/training. Immersive VR experiences, such as the one explored in this study, represent an opportunity to bridge this gap and provide more comprehensive fire-safety training. VR provides a learner-centered learning environment that encourages independent understanding and reflection and promotes a higher level of awareness and learning ability. In addition, the immersive experience provided by VR can also be effective in capturing the attention of the learner to enhance their effectiveness.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2023 International Conference on Open and Innovative Education (ICOIE 2023)
EditorsEva Tsang, Kam Cheong Li, Philips Wang
Place of PublicationHong Kong
PublisherHong Kong Metropolitan University
Number of pages1
ISBN (Electronic)9789888439706
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jul 2023
EventInternational Conference on Open and Innovative Education -
Duration: 4 Jul 2023 → …


ConferenceInternational Conference on Open and Innovative Education
Period4/07/23 → …
Internet address


  • virtual reality
  • human-computer interaction
  • fire-fighting training


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