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Tests on the Performance of Automatic Fire Detectors in Health Care Occupancies: A Preliminary Report.


pdf icon Tests on the Performance of Automatic Fire Detectors in Health Care Occupancies: A Preliminary Report. (856 K)
Bukowski, R. W.

NBSIR 79-1739; 28 p. April 1979.

Sponsor:

Department of Health Education and Welfare, Washington, DC

Available from:

National Technical Information Service (NTIS), Technology Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, Springfield, VA 22161.
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Order number: PB-297150

Keywords:

corridors; escape; fire detectors; large scale fire tests; heat detectors; hospitals; ionization detectors; mattresses; nursing homes; photoelectric detectors

Abstract:

The paper reports the results of the first series of eight full-scale fire tests to evaluate the response of automatic fire detectors in health care occupancies to flaming ignition mattress fires. Comparisons were made between three types of detectors (ionization, photoelectric, and heat) installed in the patient room versus in the corridors. For the fire scenario selected (flaming igniton of bedding and mattress), the results indicated that the ionization-type detectors in the patient room provided the maximum time for escape. The maximum time period available for either rescue of an non-ambulatory patient in the room of origin or for use of the corridor past the room of origin as a means of escape averaged only about five minutes. The time available for escape or rescue were based on the time provided between detector alarm and the time that one of several criteria selected for occupant tenability was exceeded.