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42 Posts authored by: amandakimball Employee

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.  
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 runs from 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 event on “Protection of Energy Storage Systems (ESS) in Buildings” that is open to all SUPDET attendees!  Stay tuned for more details on this event.
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
This webinar will present the fire safety challenges of tall wood buildings, specifically discuss the contribution of Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) building elements. Under the auspices of the Fire Protection Research Foundation, the second phase research on fire safety challenges of tall wood buildings was conducted to quantify the contribution of cross-laminated timber (CLT) building elements in compartment fires. The research encompassed literature review, experiments and modeling. Based on gap identification in the literature review, a series of full-scale CLT compartment fire tests were designed and conducted under various exposure conditions and produced a large amount of experimental data including heat release rates, heat fluxes, char patterns and char depths. The experimental data were analyzed and used to quantify the contribution of CLT building elements to compartment fires. Additionally, an intermediate scale fire testing method was developed to identify adhesives that lead to an improved fire performance and a reduced contribution of CLT to the fire. An engineering calculation method, validated using the experimental results, was refined to predict the influence of exposed CLT on the severity and the duration of compartment fires. The technical data developed from this project will enable designers to develop a fire protection strategy to mitigate the potential hazard to occupants, fire fighters and property. Full final reports on this research are available from the Foundation's website.
When: Wednesday, May 30, 12:30-2:00 pm EDT
Presenters: Joseph Su, Ph.D., National Research Council of Canada, and Daniel Brandon, Ph.D., Research Institutes of Sweden (RISE) 
If you would like to hear more from Joseph Su and Daniel Brandon on this topic, as well as other thought leaders, please plan to attend the NFPA Conference & Expo® - June 11 - 14, Las Vegas - one of the world’s largest and most comprehensive fire, electrical, and life safety education events. For details visit www.nfpa.org/conference.
Dr. Joseph Su is a Principal Research Officer, Group Leader at the National Research Council Canada’s Fire Safety Unit. He has over 30 years research experience in combustion chemistry, fire development, fire detection and suppression, fire performance of materials and systems and full-scale fire testing with over 200 publications. Currently, he serves as the International Convener of ISO/TC92/SC3/Working Group 2 (Generation and Analysis of Fire Effluents). He was a recipient of the 2000 Jack Bono Engineering Communications Award from the Society of Fire Protection Engineers.
Dr. Daniel Brandon works as a researcher at Research Institutes of Sweden - Fire Research. He has a PhD degree from the University of Bath in the UK, where he studied the behavior of timber connections in fire and ambient conditions. He is currently leading national and international research projects on fire safety in timber buildings. Furthermore, he is a Swedish delegate in the Eurocode CEN SC5 committee, dealing with the revision of the European standardization for Structural Fire Design of timber structures. Recently, he received the Howard medal for best paper from the Institution of Civil Engineers.
The Call for Papers for the Fire Suppression, Detection and Signaling Research and Applications Conference, SUPDET 2018, is now open. SUPDET 2018 will be held September 11-14, 2018 in Raleigh-Durham, NC.  
Papers are sought on new developments in research, technology, and applications for the fire protection community including the following:  
Detection and Signaling -  Multiple Sensor and Multiple Criteria Based Fire Detection Integrated Systems and “Smart Buildings” Developments in Emergency Notification Impact of Regulations Wildfire Applications
Suppression -  Advancements in Protection of High Hazard Commodities Developments to Address Environmental Concerns Modeling/Simulation Studies Advancements with Gaseous and Clean Agents Reliability and Maintenance of Systems 
Please submit a one-page abstract by email no later than 30 April 2018 per the instructions in the Call for Papers.  
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. 

 

The first joint conference AUBE ’17/SUPDET® 2017 was a success with more than 80 presentations and nearly 200 total participants. Thank you to all who attended and spoke at the conference!


Presentations over the three days in College Park, MD, focused on the latest development in research, technology, and applications for the fire protection community, and how they can be put to use by the fire protection community.

 

Following is a list of honorees who received awards for their paper submissions:


AUBE 2017 Best Paper Awards:
Markus Brune, Annika Gomell, Wilhelm Furian, Andreas Pflitsch
OFDR-Temperature Sensing Using Existing Fibre-Optic Communication Cables – An Application for Automatic Fire Detection?

 

Justin Geiman, Noah Ryder, Andre Marshall, Prateep Chatterjee
Developing a Fire Test Strategy for Storage Protection Under Slope Ceilings

 

SUPDET 2017 Ronald K Mengel Award (for best detection paper):
Matthes Dietrich, Markus Brüne, Sebastian Festag, Christian Knaust
Buoyancy driven flow in an underground metro station for different climate conditions – experimental and numerical investigation

 

SUPDET 2017 William M. Carey Award (for best suppression paper):
Zachary L. Magnone, Jeremiah Crocker, Pedriant Pena

Warehouse Protection of Exposed Expanded Group-A Plastics with Electronic Sprinkler Technology

 

We thank our sponsors for their support: Siemens, Viking, Kidde, NEMA, Victaulic, UL, Zurich, and Hekatron.

 

Be on the lookout for dates and location of SUPDET 2018.

 

We all know the role that firefighters play in saving lives and reducing risk in our cities and towns. Or do we?

 

Increasingly, fire departments are expected to provide data to underscore their impact in communities. NFPA is well aware of this validation trend, because our research department often fields calls looking for metrics that will help fire leaders tell their story to bean counters and policy makers. No doubt, fire leaders can provide passionate perspective, but statistics and research are proving to be a game-changer when it comes to demonstrating the value of the modern day fire department.

 

Historically, authorities have looked at the number of incidents, deaths, injuries and damage to show why it’s important to have a professional, responsive fire department. Today, departments can also show environmental and economic data to reinforce their clout. Local fire officials, however, are not always equipped to pull together the right insights.

So, in 2015, NFPA sponsored the project, Development of an Environmental and Economic Assessment Tool (Enveco Tool) for Fire Events. The research was done by the Technical Research Institute of Sweden and Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). NFPA then hosted Economic Decision Making in Fire and Electrical Safety – A Workshop on the Needs and Resources that same year. Findings from these two efforts were released in May and August 2016.

 

To keep things simple the Enveco feasibility study took into account fully developed warehouse fires in industrial areas where water was used for fire suppression. It looked at incident data and different variables so that a tool could be created that compares the economic impact of fire department intervention for a real study with a situation where there is no fire department intervention. The goal was to provide even more information that would show why it is prudent to invest in a strong local fire infrastructure.

 

Project leads and the technical panel recommended further research and suggested that the functionality of the tool be expanded. They felt this would not only bolster the worth of fire departments, but possibly benefit other interested parties. Efforts to enhance the tool are currently underway, using the Enveco version as a baseline. The new resource will include pilot studies and enhancements, and will be complete in 2018.

 

NFPA has been working on other economic impact initiatives in the 18 months since the Enveco discussions so that the fire service can provide relevant data during fire service budget and contract meetings. In the coming months, we will post a series of Economic Impact of Fire blogs highlighting new research, resources and tools that will be helpful as departments look to influence decision-makers. Here’s what’s in the pipeline:

 

  • A total cost of fire report (direct and indirect costs, excluding wildfire)
  • A look at the economic impact that firefighter injuries have on communities
  • A data tool, using real estate data, to estimate the dollar loss associated with fire incidents
  • Insight on the impact of fire sprinkler regulation on real estate costs
  • Updates and enhancements to NFPA’s long-standing report on the total cost of fire analytics
  • Outcomes from NFPA’s cost/benefit regulatory workshop
  • Fire prevention economic impact information

 

Statistics tell a positive story about the tremendous progress the fire service is making in reducing loss from fire; however, our world and fires are different today. The fire service needs to validate their services in a different way too.

The 16th International Conference on Automatic Fire Protection & Suppression, Detection and the Signaling Research and Applications Conference (AUBE ’17/SUPDET® 2017) commenced this week in College Park, Maryland. This year's program for the joint conference features more than 80 presentations over a three-day period focused on the latest development in research, technology, and applications for the fire protection community, and how they can be put to use by this community.
AUBE ‘17/SUPDET 2017 features a variety of topics, including smoke aerosol characterization for detection applications, new detection technologies, and detection of wildfires. Other focus areas include new suppression research, new statistics and tests related to unwanted alarms, relevant standard updates, smart applications, unique modeling investigations, research on oxygen reduction systems, and fire protection in aircraft, vehicles, and tunnels.
Thank you to our sponsors: Siemens, Viking, Kidde, NEMA, Victaulic, UL, Zurich, and Hekatron.

SUPDET 2017/AUBE '17 will take place September 12-14 in College Park, MD, USA.  This year's program will feature over 80 presentations over a three day period focused on the latest development in research, technology, and applications for the fire protection community, and how they can be put to use by the fire protection community.

 

SUPDET/AUBE 2017 will feature a variety of topics, including smoke aerosol characterization for detection applications, new detection technologies, and detection of wild fires. Some other areas of focus are new suppression research, new statistics and tests related to unwanted alarms, relevant standard updates, smart applications, unique modeling investigations, research on oxygen reduction systems, and fire protection in aircraft, vehicles, and tunnels.

 

The combination of these two international conferences continues the tradition of presenting the latest developments in research, technology and applications for the fire protection community.


REGISTER TODAY to receive the early rates, which are effective till 28 July.

 

For additional program, hotel and registration details, visit: www.nfpa.org/2017supdetaube. We hope to see you there!

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