Trend of Research and Technology of Sensing and Extinguishing Building Fires in the U.S.A.
Trend of Research and Technology of Sensing and
Extinguishing Building Fires in the U.S.A.
Grosshandler, W. L.
Fire Detection, Fire Extinguishment and Fire Safety
Engineering. NRIFD 50th Anniversary Symposium.
Proceedings. Fire Fighting Future 50th Session
(FFF50th). Organized by National Research Institute of
Fire and Disaster (NRIFD) and Fire and Disaster
Management Agency (FDMA) and Sponsored by Fire
Protection Equipment and Safety Center. June 1, 1998,
Tokyo, Japan, 31-38 pp, 1998.
fire detection; fire extinguishment; fire safety; safety
engineering; building fires; fire detection; fire
suppression; fire research; sensors
The first step in identifying trends is retrospective,
and the second is an examination of the present state,
from which predictions can be ventured. The 50th
anniversary of the Japanese National Research Institute
for Fire and Disaster (formerly the Fire Research
Institute) is a most appropriate occasion to assess the
trend for fire sensing and extinguishment from a United
States perspective. What technologies were available in
the U.S. for automatic detection and suppression of
fires fifty years ago? Foremost was the traditional
water sprinkler. Here was a fully integrated
detection/suppression system elegant in its simplicity,
with no electrical connections, only one moving part,
minimum maintenance, and a history of reliable,
effective suppression. Fire detection systems, including
the sprinkler link, were primarily thermal in principle,
and some were tied into a local audible alarm. Fire
extinguishers contained water, CO2, or powder, and
normally were dispensed manually. More sophisticated
detectors (thermal and radiation) and exotic gases
[carbon tetracbloride (CCl4) and chlorobromethane
(CH2ClBr)] were under development during and following
World War II to increase the protection of military
vehicles and aircraft.