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49 Posts authored by: amandakimball Employee

Fires in wildland-urban interfaces (WUI) are associated with severe negative consequences, such as large community evacuation, property losses social disruption, short- and long-term damage to infrastructure, injuries, and evacuee and responder fatalities. Wildland fires represent an important safety issue in many regions of the world. The future expansion and increased complexity of wildland urban interfaces (WUI) pose severe challenges to community safety from an evacuation perspective.

 

WUI incidents require a multi-domain approach to assess their impact and the effectiveness of any mitigation efforts implemented. A simulation framework that can establish evacuation performance ahead of time (before responses are implemented), would complement current planning and educational approaches and broaden the scope of the evidence available in a cost-effective way. Such a framework might be used to predict how an evacuation develops based on current and possible future fire conditions, given different affected populations and evacuation decisions and the access/availability of different resources (e.g., road access, public transport, traffic congestion, etc.). To achieve this, the simulation framework would need to represent the core components driving the incident; e.g., a predictive model of residential response, fire development and traffic flow.

 

A specification for such an integrated platform architecture was developed during a 2017 FPRF research project. The WUI-NITY project aims at developing an integrated software platform for the simulation of wildland-urban interface (WUI) evacuation scenarios that can be used both before an incident for planning and during an incident to inform decisions. The primary application of this platform is the ability to generate dynamic vulnerability maps from coupled fire, pedestrian and traffic sub-models. The webinar will discuss the outcomes from this effort. The final project report will be available on the FPRF website.

 

Register for the webinar today. Visit www.nfpa.org/webinars for more upcoming NFPA webinars and archives.

 

When: Tuesday, October 22, 2019, 12:30-2:00 pm ET.

 

Presenters:

 

  • Enrico Ronchi, Lund University
  • Guillermo Rein, Imperial College London
  • Max Kinateder, National Research Council Canada
  • Steven Gwynne, Movement Strategies

Register now before early bird registration ends on August 28 for the Research Foundation's 2019 SUPDET symposium! This year's symposium will be held at the Crowne Plaza Denver Downtown from September 17-20, 2019. The program features almost 30 presentations on suppression and detection and signaling research and applications.

 

The detection and signaling section will take place September 17-18 and includes research on residential smoke alarms, life safety and emerging technologies in buildings, data and modeling, and more. The suppression session, which runs from September 19-20, will feature presentations on the latest applications and research on warehouse storage protection, research on the protection of lithium-ion batteries, advancements in gaseous and clean agent systems, and more. In addition, there will be a Workshop on Automatic and Remote Testing and Remote Monitoring of Fire Protection Systems on the afternoon of Wednesday, September 18 open to all registrants.

 

Don't miss out - register today for the full symposium, or choose either the Suppression Program or the Detection Program. For additional details and the full program visit: www.nfpa.org/supdet. 

 

Break sponsorships are available for interested companies, please contact Amanda Kimball (akimball@nfpa.org) for additional information.

In the event of a fire, a sloped ceiling may alter sprinkler performance from expected results for a conventional horizontal ceiling configuration. Prior computational studies investigated the effect of ceiling slope on sprinkler activation times and patterns, and spray dynamics. The role of obstructed ceiling construction and sprinkler orientation were investigated in detail and a test plan for cold-flow and large-scale fire tests was developed. Based on which, cold-flow experiments were conducted using a variety of different sprinklers to examine the impact of ceiling slope and deflector orientation on the measured floor flux. The cold flow test results helped to further refine the test plan for a series of large-scale fire suppression tests conducted with pendent, early suppression, fast response sprinklers under sloped ceilings in presence of obstructed ceiling construction. The large-scale testing and modeling results will provide guidance for updates to sprinkler installation standards. This webinar will discuss the findings from this effort explaining the fire dynamics affecting fire suppression performance under sloped ceilings. The final project report will be available on the FPRF website.

 

Register for the webinar today. Visit www.nfpa.org/webinars for more upcoming NFPA webinars and archives.

 

When: Thursday, August 29, 12:30-2:00 pm ET.

 

Presenters:

 

  • Prateep Chatterjee, FM Global
  • Noah Ryder, Fire & Risk Alliance

Solid and open metal grate walkways are often installed in aisles as part of rack storage.  Further, open metal grates are also used as mezzanine levels above storage.  There is little information on how these walkway and mezzanine installations impact current storage protection requirements.  When is this type of installation considered a problem from a sprinkler protection standpoint?  At what point do walkways interfere with pre-wetting of adjacent arrays?  There is a need to compile available information and develop a research plan on this topic.

To address this, the Fire Protection Research Foundation has issued an RFP to conduct a literature review and develop a research plan on  the impact of elevated walkways in storage on sprinkler protection.  This research program will be conducted under the auspices of the Research Foundation in accordance with Foundation Policies and will be guided by a Project Technical Panel who will provide input to the project, review periodic reports of progress and research results, and review the final project report. The Research Foundation will engage a contractor with appropriate technical expertise to conduct the project.

You can find the Request for Proposals (RFP) on the Foundation website. The deadline for proposals is July 22, 2019 at 5pm Eastern time.

Early bird registration is open until August 28 for the Foundation's 2019 SUPDET®  symposium, which will be held at the Crowne Plaza Denver Downtown from September 11-20, 2019.  This year's program features almost 30 presentations on suppression and detection and signaling research and applications.  

 

The detection and signaling section will take place September 17-18 and includes research on residential smoke alarms, life safety and emerging technologies in buildings, data and modeling, and more.  The suppression session, which runs from September 19-20, will feature presentations on the latest applications and research on warehouse storage protection, research on the protection of lithium-ion batteries, advancements in gaseous and clean agent systems, and more.

 

Don't miss out - register today for the full symposium, or choose either the Suppression Program or the Detection Program.  For additional details and the full program visit: www.nfpa.org/supdet

In recent years, there has been a marked increase in the deployment of lithium ion batteries in energy storage systems (ESS) in commercial occupancies.  Local Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJs) along with the ESS integrators and installers are challenged by the lack of clear direction on fire protection and suppression in these installations. 

The 2016 Fire Protection Research Foundation project “Fire Hazard Assessment of Lithium Ion Battery Energy Storage Systems” identified gaps and research needs to further understand the fire hazards of lithium ion battery energy storage systems. There is currently limited data available on the fire hazard of energy storage systems (ESS) including two full-scale open-air tests from the 2016 Foundation project and a separate project that included intermediate scale fire testing conducted at the module level to evaluate the performance of fire suppressants. The fire protection and fire service communities need guidance on protection requirements for these systems in a building.lithium ion battery

The Research Foundation initiated this second phase project, which was supported by the Property Insurance Research Group (PIRG), NEC Solutions, and Retriev Technologies, to determine sprinkler protection guidance for grid-connected lithium-ion battery based ESS for commercial occupancies.  As part of the study, FM Global conducted small-scale and large-scale free burn tests and large-scale sprinkler protected tests in order to develop sprinkler protection recommendations.  There are two reports published for this effort, the test report by FM Global and available on their website and the second summary report by Exponent and available through the Foundation.

Based on testing at the module level by others to evaluate the performance of various fire suppressants, including water, and supported by the large-scale testing completed by FM Global, it was concluded that water is the most effective fire suppressant.  All tests in this study were performed on donated battery modules of two different chemistries; lithium iron phosphate (LFP) and nickel manganese cobalt oxide (NMC).  While it is not possible to test every type of battery, testing two different chemistries provides useful information on how they each react and behave.  The predominant difference in the hazard was the battery chemistry and energy density. 

Read the report on the Foundation website to get details on the tests and the resulting guidance for general protection for lithium-ion battery based ESS located in commercial occupancies.  In addition, there will be a presentation at NFPA C&E on Tuesday, June 17 at 5pm Central and a sponsored Foundation webinar on Thursday, June 27 from 12:30 to 2pm Eastern.

Image: Reprinted with permission from FM Global. Source: Research Technical Report Development of Sprinkler Protection Guidance for Lithium Ion Based Energy Storage Systems, © 2019 FM Global. All rights reserved.

The Call for Papers deadline is quickly approaching for SUPDET® 2019, which will be held September 17-20, 2019 at the Crowne Plaza Denver City Center in Denver, CO! Since 1997, the Research Foundation has organized SUPDET (Suppression, Detection, and Signaling Research and Applications Symposium), an annual symposium that brings together leading experts in the field of fire protection engineering for the purpose of sharing recent research and development on techniques used for fire suppression, detection, and signaling. These events are generally attended by a variety of fire protection professionals, such as engineers, researchers, insurers, designers, manufacturers, installers and AHJs.

 

Please submit your abstracts on new developments in research, technology, and applications for the fire protection community including the following topics. Case studies are always welcome.

 

Detection and Signaling:

 

  • Multiple Sensor and Multiple Criteria Based Fire Detection
  • Power over Ethernet and Emerging Technologies
  • Home Smoke Alarm Applications
  • Use of Data to Improve Performance/Effectiveness
  • Wildfire Applications

 

Suppression:

 

  • Advancements in Protection of High Hazard Commodities

  • Developments to Address Environmental Concerns

  • Protection of Li-Ion Battery Energy Storage Systems

  • Reliability and Maintenance of Systems (including remote maintenance)

  • Advancements with Gaseous and Clean Agents

     

Please submit your abstracts by email no later than March 15, 2019 to epeterson@nfpa.org. Abstracts should be absent of commercial overtones, be based on good science, present objective and credible results, and be without inherent bias. Abstracts that do not meet these criteria will not be accepted.

 

Abstracts will be reviewed by a program committee. If selected, presenters will be asked to submit an extended abstract, at most 3 pages, for publication in the meeting program or, at the author’s option, a full paper.

For more information on SUPDET - please visit our website: www.nfpa.org/supdet.

Smoke alarm and signaling systems are a proven strategy for reduction of fire fatalities in the general population. However, studies have shown that at risk populations such as the elderly, school age children, alcohol impaired, and those that are hard of hearing do not fully benefit from conventional smoke alarm systems, 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.  This includes previous research from the Research Foundation on the waking effectiveness of alarms as well as other research.  One of the main findings of the Research Foundation work is that the 520 Hz T-3 sound was the most effective signal to awaken hard of hearing participants. Other studies have shown the same results for children and other at risk populations.

 

Performance requirements for a sound pressure level of 85 dBA at 10 feet from the device for single and multiple-station smoke alarms appear in multiple codes and standards, including UL 217, Standard for Smoke Alarms.  This is in contrast to the requirement for UL 268, Smoke Detectors for Fire Alarm Systems, listed smoke detectors, which is to emit 75 dBA at the pillow.   The 85 dBA specification requires significantly more power, which makes the 520 Hz a particular challenge for alarms operating on a battery/battery backup.

 

There is a need to review all existing data on this topic to clarify the sound pressure level(s) used in previous research and the background and technical basis for the required sound pressure levels in the codes and standards to determine if a lower sound pressure level could provide equivalent alerting when using a 520 Hz frequency.  

 

This research program will be conducted under the auspices of the Research Foundation in accordance with Foundation Policies and will be guided by a Project Technical Panel who will provide input to the project, review periodic reports of progress and research results, and review the final project report. The Research Foundation will engage a contractor with appropriate technical expertise to conduct the project.

You can find the Request for Proposals (RFP) on the Foundation website. The deadline for proposals is March 8, 2019 at 5pm EST.

Concern for the health of the natural environment is growing as human population grows and as new levels of contamination of scarce resources are revealed. Current efforts to improve the sustainability of buildings focus on increasing energy efficiency and reducing the embodied carbon. This overlooks the fact that a fire event could reduce the overall sustainability of a building through the release of pollutants and the subsequent re-build.
Most fires occurring in the built environment contribute to air contamination from the fire plume (whose deposition is likely to subsequently include land and water contamination), contamination from water runoff containing toxic products, and other environmental discharges or releases from burned materials. The environmental impact also has economic consequences for communities and regions and while the direct and indirect costs of fire on a community can be devastating, they are not usually reported at a local scale beyond an account of the human deaths and injuries and the amount of property destroyed or damaged.
To calculate the true cost of fire to society we need to be able to quantify the impact fire has not only on the people or structures involved but also to the environment.  Studies have been done to examine the environmental impact of fire but we cannot yet fully quantify this impact and its consequences to the local economy. 
Therefore, the Fire Protection Research Foundation has initiated a project with the goal to develop a research road map identifying needed research to be able to quantify the environmental impact of fire from the built environment and its economic consequences. This project will focus on structure fires and exclude wildland and wildland urban interface (WUI) fires.  
This research program will be conducted under the auspices of the Research Foundation in accordance with Foundation Policies and will be guided by a Project Technical Panel who will provide input to the project, review periodic reports of progress and research results, and review the final project report. The Research Foundation will engage a contractor with appropriate technical expertise to conduct the project.
You can find the Request for Proposals (RFP) on the Foundation website. The deadline for proposals is 28 February 2019 at 5pm Eastern time.
Save the date for  SUPDET®  2019, which will be held September 17-20, 2019 at the  Crowne Plaza Denver City Center in Denver, CO!   Since 1997, the Research Foundation has organized SUPDET (Suppression, Detection, and Signaling Research and Applications Symposium), an annual symposium that brings together leading experts in the field of fire protection engineering for the purpose of sharing recent research and development on techniques used for fire suppression, detection, and signaling.  These events are generally attended by a variety of fire protection professionals, such as engineers, researchers, insurers, designers, manufacturers, installers and AHJs.  
The Call for Papers is now open for this unique event.  Please submit your abstracts on new developments in research, technology, and applications for the fire protection community including the following topics.  Case studies are always welcome.
Detection and Signaling:
  • Multiple Sensor and Multiple Criteria Based Fire Detection
  • Power over Ethernet and Emerging Technologies
  • Home Smoke Alarm Applications 
  • Use of Data to Improve Performance/Effectiveness 
  • Wildfire Applications
Suppression:
  • Advancements in Protection of High Hazard Commodities
  • Developments to Address Environmental Concerns
  • Protection of Li-Ion Battery Energy Storage Systems
  • Reliability and Maintenance of Systems (including remote maintenance)
  • Advancements with Gaseous and Clean Agents 
Please submit your abstracts by email no later than March 15, 2019 to epeterson@nfpa.org.   Abstracts should be absent of commercial overtones, be based on good science, present objective and credible results, and be without inherent bias. Abstracts that do not meet these criteria will not be accepted. 
Abstracts will be reviewed by a program committee.  If selected, presenters will be asked to submit an extended abstract, at most 3 pages, for publication in the meeting program or, at the author’s option, a full paper. 
For more information on SUPDET - please visit our website: www.nfpa.org/supdet.

Oxygen reduction (or hypoxic) systems are being used in warehouse facilities as an alternative to sprinkler protection. The basic principle of operation is to displace the ambient oxygen in an enclosed environment with one or more nitrogen generators.

 

The Research Foundation facilitated the project “Review of Oxygen Reduction Systems for Warehouse Storage Applications” as a literature review that helps clarify the current state of oxygen reduction system design and testing. The project also includes a gap analysis comparing current approaches to real-world applications.

 

To be held Thursday, February 7 at12:30-2:00 pm, the webinar will discuss findings on this effort. Presenters will include:

  • Dr. Patrick van Hees, Lund University
  • Dr. Brian Meacham, Meacham Associates
  • Martin Nilsson, Zurich Insurance
  • John Barton, Lund University

 

Register for the webinar todayVisit www.nfpa.org/webinars for more upcoming NFPA webinars and archives. 

The Research Foundation has issued an RFP for a project contractor for the Prototype Fuel Load Survey Methodology research project. RFP is available on the Foundation website. The deadline for proposals is January 25 at 5pm Eastern.

Since 1997, the Research Foundation has organized SUPDET®, an annual symposium which brings together leading experts in the field of fire protection engineering for the purpose of sharing recent research and development on techniques used for fire suppression, detection, and signaling. These events are generally attended by a variety of fire protection professionals, such as engineers, researchers, insurers, designers, manufacturers, installers, and AHJs.  
Due to the impact of Hurricane Florence on North Carolina the week of SUPDET 2018, portions of the SUPDET program were cancelled.  The Foundation has set up webinars to cover the cancelled sessions.  This includes the Suppression Program as well as the ESS Design Challenge Workshop.  Below are the dates and registration details for all three webinars.    
All three webinars are free and open to anyone interested in attending (thank you to our sponsors: Gentex, Siemens, Victaulic, Viking, and Zurich).    
• Register for free to attend webinars on Storage Protection and Special Suppression Applications, on Thursday, November 1, 2018.
• Register for free to attend webinars on Gaseous and Clean Agents, on Thursday, November 15, 2018
• Register for free to attend webinars on Energy Storage System Workshop, on Friday, November 30, 2018.
Early bird registration is open until August 28 for the Foundation's 2018 SUPDET® symposium, which will be held at the Embassy Suites Raleigh-Durham-Research Triangle East, Cary, NC from September 11-14, 2018.  This year's symposium will feature over 25 presentations on suppression and detection and signaling research and applications.  
The detection and signaling section will take place September 11-12 and includes research on residential smoke alarms, smart building applications, and more.
The suppression session, which will take place September 13-14, will feature presentations on the latest applications and research on warehouse sprinkler protection, research on the protection of energy storage systems, advancements in gaseous and clean agent systems, and more.
Between the two sessions on the afternoon of September 12 will be a free half-day special workshop “Energy Storage System (ESS) Design Challenge in High Rise Buildings” that is open to all SUPDET attendees!  Design teams will review preliminary design concepts which illustrate innovative approaches to fire protection of a case study ESS installation within a high-rise building to meet the general design objective of minimizing loss and preventing re-ignition hazards.
Don't miss out - register today for the full symposium, or choose either the Suppression Program or the Detection Program.  For additional details and the full program visit: www.nfpa.org/supdet
The Foundation would like to thank our generous sponsors Gentex and Zurich.  Break and reception sponsorship opportunities are still available.  Please contact Amanda Kimball (akimball@nfpa.org) for details.
Energy Storage Systems (ESS) play an integral role for attaining a resilient and efficient electrical grid - providing a means of storing electrical energy generated from other renewable energy sources. However, ESS pose unique challenges with respect to fire safety. Designing engineered fire suppression and detection systems is currently a challenge for fire protection engineers. 
This year, the Research Foundation is calling for  teams to develop preliminary design concepts which illustrate innovative approaches to fire protection of a case study ESS installation within a high-rise building to meet the general design objective of minimizing loss and preventing re-ignition hazards.   
Design concepts are invited for presentation at the Foundation’s half-day workshop on energy storage system protection in high-rise buildings, September 12th, 2018 in Raleigh, NC. 
Get more details of this design challenge here.
If you are interested in preparing a design concept, please contact akimball@nfpa.org no later than July 31, 2018. Design concepts will be requested from interested participants by August 31, 2018.  

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