Survey of Field Experience with Smoke Detectors in Health Care Facilities. Final Report.
Survey of Field Experience with Smoke Detectors in
Health Care Facilities. Final Report.
Bukowski, R. W.; Istvan, S. M.
NBSIR 80-2130; 36 p. October 1980.
Sponsor:Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, DC
Available from: National Technical Information Service
(NTIS), Technology Administration, U.S. Department of
Commerce, Springfield, VA 22161.
1-800-553-6847 or 703-605-6000;
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smoke detectors; false alarms; health care facilities;
hospitals; ionization detectors; maintenance; NFPA 101;
nursing homes; photoelectric detectors; surveys
A survey of health care facilities in eight states was
conducted to gather data on experience with smoke
detection systems. Requested information included
detector manufacturer and model number, number of
detectors and time in service, detector locations,
numbers of false and real alarms and the methods and
frequency of cleaning and testing the detectors. The
results of the survey indicate that about 70 percent of
the detectors were ionization type, and 30 percent were
of the photoelectric type. Fourteen percent of the
total number of detectors were single-station,
battery-operated, residential-type detectors, most of
which were installed in health care facilities in only
one of the eight states surveyed. Almost 80 percent of
the detectors were installed in corridors and the
average age of the detector installation was about five
years. The detection systems were found to experience
approximately 14 false alarms for each real fire
detected with the highest false alarm rate occurring in
detectors installed in laundry areas, storage areas, and
kitchens. While over 88 percent of the systems were
tested that least annually (55 percent tested monthly),
almost half (45.7 percent) were never cleaned. Almost
11 percent of the installed systems were maintained
under an outside service contract.