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Field Investigation of Residential Smoke Detectors.

pdf icon Field Investigation of Residential Smoke Detectors. (2296 K)
Bukowski, R. W.

Southern Building, 28-21, April/May 1977.


smoke detectors; fire investigations; residential buildings; building codes; fire tests; sensitivity; identification; escape means; experiments; heat detectors; thermocouples


At the present time, standards for fire detector location in dwellings, as well as standards for fire detector sensitivity, are based mostly on laboratory data and engineering judgement without the benefit of extensive fullscale data to provide guidance. For example. as new methods of fire detection have developed, laboratory evaluations have been modified in attempts to provide realistic exposure environments; However, this has led to a multiplicity of evaluation techniques. These are only loosely interrelated, making comparative judgements difficult between detectors stimulated by different characteristics of fire. As more and more jurisdictions make dwelling fire detection mandatory, it becomes increasingly important to develop experimental data to back up and improve existing standards. The primary purpose of this study was to investigate detector siting and sensitivity as they relate to escape potential in residential fire situations. Although a number of actual detectors were used in the investigation, it was not the intent of this-project to judge the merits of the individual detectors used. The detectors were selected to provide a cross section of the several detection principles now available and to represent the current level of technology available in residential type detectors.