The Technical Committee on Assembly and Educational Occupancies for NFPA 101, Life Safety Code, needed more information on the topic of at what age that children are considered capable of self-preservation, so a study was undertaken that included a review of literature on the topic and a questionnaire to early childhood experts and teachers. NFPA 101 defines Self-preservation capability as the ability of a client to evacuate a location without direct intervention by a staff member (e.g. carrying, guiding by direct hand-holding, etc.). The purpose of the project was to recommend the age at which pre-school children may be considered being capable of self-preservation.
The report that resulted, "Developing Self-Preservation Capability in Pre-School Children," authored by Anca Taciuc and Anne S. Dederichs of the Technical University of Denmark, has just been published. Take a look at the findings by downloading the full report.