That's a question the Fire Protection Research Foundation wants answered, and has been undergoing a series of studies to see if less expensive testing methods are feasible. In her latest NFPA Journal column, Kathleen Almand, the Foundation's executive director, discusses two projects related to this issue. For example, tests were conducted on small-format, lithium-ion batteries (found in cellphones and laptops) to characterize the battery's flammability and compare it to other commodities.
"Each test saved tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of dollars in commodity and cleanup costs," says Almand. "New commodities, new storage configurations, and new protection solutions are emerging every day, and the Foundation's Automatic Sprinkler Advisory Council...has long lists of topics to address each of these categories."
Read the rest of Almand's column in the January/February issue of NFPA Journal.