NIST Time|NIST Home|About NIST|Contact NIST

HomeAll Years:AuthorKeywordTitle2005-2010:AuthorKeywordTitle

Fire Detection Using Reflected Near Infrared Radiation and Source Temperature Discrimination.

pdf icon Fire Detection Using Reflected Near Infrared Radiation and Source Temperature Discrimination. (3256 K)
Lloyd, A. C.; Zhu, Y. J.; Tseng, L. K.; Gore, J. P.; Sivanthanu, Y. R.

NIST GCR 98-747; 43 p. April 1998.


National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD

Available from:

National Technical Information Service (NTIS), Technology Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, Springfield, VA 22161.
Telephone: 1-800-553-6847 or 703-605-6000;
Fax: 703-605-6900; Rush Service (Telephone Orders Only) 800-553-6847;
Order number: PB98-146145


infrared radiation; fire detection; radiative heat transfer; temperature


A new type of near infrared (NIR) fire detector which utilizes a statistical analysis of apparent source temperatures of fires was developed. The NIR fire detector measures the spectral radiation intensities emanating from fires at 900 and 1000 nm. These measurements are used to obtain and a time series of apparent source temperatures. The near infrared radiation characteristics of five standard test fires specified in the guidelines of the European Committee for Standardization were measured and utilized to develop a fire detection algorithm. The five test fires specified in the guidelines involved a heptane pool, a polyurethane foam, a wooden crib, a smoldering cotton and a smoldering wood. The normalized power spectral density of the spectral radiation intensity at 900 or 1000 nm combined with the probability density function of the apparent source temperatures are sufficient to determine the presence of the test fires in the vicinity of the detector. The NIR fire detector was evaluated for sensitivity to both direct and reflected radiation from the five test fires. When direct radiation is incident on the NIR fire detector, four of the five test fires were always detected. The smoldering wood fire was detected only if the NIR fire detector was very close. The NIR fire detector can also detect the heptane pool, the polyurethane foam and the wooden crib fires from reflected radiation. The response time of the NIR fire detector ranged from approximately 1 to 4 minutes for the open fires. The NIR fire detector had no instances of false alarms during the test period. The response time can be shortened considerably (to a few seconds) by using a programmable DSP chip rather than a personal computer. We continue to seek SBIR funding for developing this faster version.