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Home Smoke Alarm Project, Two-Story Home Tests
Report of Test FR 4017
February, 2005

Jason D. Averill, Richard D. Peacock, Richard W. Bukowski, and Paul A. Reneke
Building and Fire Research Laboratory
National Institute of Standards and Technology

This Report of Test documents a series of full scale tests conducted as part of research into the performance of smoke alarms. The nine experiments conducted as part of this second test series were performed in a two-story house. Another series of tests, conducted in a manufactured home, consisted of a total of twenty seven experiments with instrumentation similar to those included in this report and is reported in NIST Report of Test 4016, also available on this web site. The data collected is presented without analysis or interpretation in order to provide access to the data by interested parties.

Introduction

The overall purpose of the project is to determine how different types of fire alarms can respond to threatening residential fire settings in order to permit occupant egress. Full-scale tests of current smoke, heat, and carbon monoxide alarms in actual homes with appropriate contents as fuels provide a base of data to evaluate the performance of modern residential alarm technologies. Fire scenarios (including ignition source, first item ignited, and room of fire origin) were selected based upon a statistical analysis of available fire loss data. Selected fires include a mattress fire in a bedroom, upholstered chair fire in a living area, and a cooking oil fire in a kitchen.

This report documents experimental test series in the program conducted to characterize the environment in typical residential fire scenarios. Data presented include the time varying concentrations of CO, CO2, and O2, smoke obscuration, and temperature at multiple locations in the structure. Additional details of instrumentation design and location, along with uncertainty estimates for the measurements is included NIST Technical Note 1455 [1].

Test Data

Details of each of the nine tests, numbered 20 through 28, are available. For each of the tests, a summary of the the test conditions and ignition source are presented below. Graphs of all test data along with spreadsheets of the data are included. Description of the column headings in the spreadsheets is available for tests 20 through 28. Graphs of the data are available here. Uncertainty in the measurements is discussed in the full report.


For the non-modified smoke alarms, heat alarms, and telltale sprinklers, only an activation time is available. Uncertainty in the measurements is discussed in the full report.

Activation Time for Non-Modified Smoke Alarms, Heat Alarms, and Sprinkler

Test

Description

Non-modified Smoke Alarms

Heat Alarm

Telltale Sprinkler

 

 

Photo

Ion

Ion

 

 

SDC20

Flaming Mattress in Bedroom (Burn Room Door Closed)

--*

--

--

--

--

SDC21

Smoldering Mattress in Bedroom                   

--

--

--

--

--

SDC22

Flaming Mattress in Bedroom                      

--

32

38

--

106

SDC23

Smoldering Chair in Living Room                  

--

--

--

--

--

SDC24

Vegetable Oil on Kitchen Stove                   

--

--

--

--

1790

SDC25

Flaming Chair in Living Room                     

112

68

122

792

218

SDC26

Flaming Chair in Living Room                     

102

64

128

642

238

SDC27

Smoldering Chair in Living Room (Air Conditioning on Second Floor)

--

--

--

--

--

SDC28

Fully-Furnished Living Room                  

106

78

184

--

232



* data presently not available -- additional analysis pending

Acknowledgments

The authors gratefully acknowledge the efforts of the Fire Metrology Group and others, including N. Bryner, W. Walton, D. Stroup, T. Cleary, W. Twilley, J. Lee, G. Roadarmel, J. McElroy, M. Selepak, and L. DeLauter. G. Forney developed the web conversion for the test data.   

The home smoke alarm project was sponsored by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Fire Administration, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Affairs, Underwriters Laboratories. The National Fire Protection Association (In-kind contribution), and National Research Council Canada, (In-kind contribution).

References

[1] Bukowski, R.W., Peacock, R.D., Averill, J.D., Cleary, T.G., Bryner, T.G., Walton, W.D., Reneke, P.A., and Kuligowski, E.D., Performance of Home Smoke Alarms: Analysis of the Response of Several Available Technologies in Residential Fire Settings, Natl. Inst. Stand. Technol., Tech. Note 1455 (2003).