At-risk populations such as the elderly, school-age children, those who are hard of hearing or alcohol-impaired do not fully benefit from conventional smoke alarm alerts, particularly during sleeping hours. Research has been conducted to develop performance requirements to optimize the waking effectiveness for alarm and signaling systems to meet the needs of these at-risk groups.
One major finding from experimental tests is that the 520 Hz square wave T-3 sound was the most effective signal to awaken at-risk populations. However, the implementation of low frequency sounders into battery-operated smoke alarms has proven difficult due to the fact that they require up to four times the amount of power as traditional sounders.
On Wednesday, February 5, 12:30-2:00pm EST, the Fire Protection Research Foundation will be hosting a free webinar, "Review of Audible Alarm Signal Waking Effectiveness," which will provide a detailed review of the available information and data on this topic, which may be used to justify a reduction in the sound pressure level for 520 Hz sounding devices while maintaining superior waking performance to comparable installed high frequency sounding devices.
American Wood Council; Edwards Fire & Life Safety; Johnson Controls; Telgian Engineering and Consulting; and The Zurich Services Corporation.