NIST Time|NIST Home|About NIST|Contact NIST

HomeAll Years:AuthorKeywordTitle2005-2010:AuthorKeywordTitle

Intelligent Building Response.

pdf icon Intelligent Building Response. (4871 K)
Davis, W. D.

Fire Protection Engineering, No. 33, 26,30,32,34,36, Winter 2007.


emergencies; first responders; fire fighters; decision making; building management; information dissemination; fire fighting; dispatch


In the event of a building emergency, fire, police and other emergency personnel who arrive at the event are faced with the need to quickly appraise the situation. The task of sizing up the emergency and determining the best way of dealing with it typically requires both an inspection of the building perimeter and entering the building to obtain information from the fire alarm panel and other equipment panels. These activities can require a considerable amount of time, particularly if the building is large. Why should first responders need to do a size-up at the scene in order to find out what is happening inside? Real-time information regarding building systems should be available while they are enroute to the scene. Why can't a dispatcher understand the emergency inside the building from the start of an incident, even before the apparatus is dispatched? A modern building fire system has fire sensors in every room that report alarms to a fire panel when the smoke level or temperature reaches a set threshold. These same sensor signals could be processed by a computer to identify growth and progress of a fire and identify hazardous conditions throughout the building. That information could be made available to the incident commander before he/she arrives on scene.