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Home Smoke Alarm Project, Alarm Response to Nuisance Sources
Report of Test FR 4019
December, 2003

Thomas G. Cleary
Building and Fire Research Laboratory
National Institute of Standards and Technology

This Report of Test presents data from a series of tests designed to study common household nuisance alarms as part of research into the performance of smoke alarms.

Introduction

The purpose of these tests was to study common household nuisance alarm scenarios and develop a basis for residential nuisance source testing. All tests were performed in the manufactured home used fire test series 1while it was located inside the large fire laboratory at NIST. The full details of these tests can be found in NIST Technical Note 1455 [1]. NIST TN 1455 also includes uncertainty estimates for each measurement. The test data from the nuisance source and controlled incipient fire source tests are given in spreadsheet electronic files. 

Test Data

The table below cross-references Excel workbook filenames with the corresponding tests described in Chapter 6 of NIST TN 1455. The data include the aerosol concentrations, flow velocities, temperature, relative humidity, and detector sensor outputs gathered for each test. Each test workbook consists of three worksheets that contain data from instruments, sensors, and velocity probes. Please refer to Chapter 6 for details on these measurements. Individual sensor outputs were presented in engineering units where the output voltages of the photo and ionization units were expressed as equivalent extinction values in the FE/DE during smoldering cotton wick calibration tests, and the CO cell output was related to the CO concentrations developed in the cotton wick calibration tests. Two caveats must be given regarding this data set. First, zero offset adjustments and filtering of the sensor data should be conducted to eliminate calibration offset shifts and spurious data points that occasionally occur, and second, these files often include data after the nominal end of the test, when doors may have been opened, food removed from heat sources, etc. The test descriptions and plots in Chapter 6 indicate the nominal end of each test along with the timeline of events up to that point. The test series ran consecutively from MHN06 to MNH47 (data for the first five tests were not included). Those tests that present results not included in Chapter 6 were nominal repeats of other tests.

Alarm Response to Nuisance Sources

Test filename

Description

Test Referenced in Chapter 6

MHN06.xls

Toasted bread, fan off

Figure 125

MHN07.xls

Toasted bread, fan off (open window)

Figure 126

MHN08.xls

225 g of bacon on gas burner, fan off

Figure 131

MHN09.xls

225 g of bacon on gas burner, fan off

Figure 132

MHN10.xls

Broiled pizza, fan off

Figure 145

MHN11.xls

150 g, (1/3 package) of spaghetti, fan off

Figure 150

MHN12.xls

300 g (2/3 package) of spaghetti, fan off

Figure 151

MHN13.xls

14 g (1 tbls) butter, fan off

Figure 135

MHN14.xls

14 g (1 tbls) butter, fan off

Figure 136

MHN15.xls

Two cigarettes, fan off

Figure 154

MHN16.xls

Four hamburgers broiled, fan off

Figure 148

MHN17.xls

Four hamburgers broiled, fan on

Figure 149

MHN18.xls

10 tortillas, fan off

Figure 143

MHN19.xls

xThree hamburgers fried, fan off

Figure 140

MHN20.xls

Two bagel halves toasted, fan off

Figure 129

MHN21.xls

Two bagel halves toasted, fan on

Figure 130

MHN22.xls

Toasted bread, fan on

Figure 127

MHN23.xls

Toasted bread, fan on

Figure 128

MHN24.xls

225 g (1/2 package) of spaghetti, lid on, fan off

Figure 152

MHN25.xls

Three hamburgers fried, fan on (open window)

Figure 141

MHN26.xls

Three hamburgers fried, fan on

Figure 142

MHN27.xls

225 g (1/2 package) of spaghetti, lid on, fan off

Results not included

MHN28.xls

14 g (1 tbls) margarine, cast iron pan, fan off

Results not included

MHN29.xls

14 g (1 tbls) margarine, cast iron pan, fan on

Figure 139

MHN30.xls

14 g (1 tbls) butter, cast iron pan, fan on

Figure 138

MHN31.xls

14 g (1 tbls) butter, cast iron pan, fan off

Figure 137

MHN32.xls

Bake/broil pizza, fan off

Figure 146

MHN33.xls

Bake/broil pizza, fan on

Figure 147

MHN34.xls

450 g of french fried potatoes, fan off

Figure 144

MHN35.xls

Four tea candles, fan off

Figure 153

MHN36.xls

225 g of bacon on electric range, fan off

Figure 133

MHN37.xls

225 g of bacon on electric range, fan on

Figure 134

MHN38.xls

Two cigarettes, fan off

Figure 155

MHN39.xls

Four hamburgers broiled, fan on

Results not included

MHN40.xls

Smoldering PU foam block, fan off, (flamed)

Figure 160

MHN41.xls

Smoldering PU foam block, fan off  (stopped)

Figure 161

MHN42.xls

Smoldering PU foam block, fan on

Figure 162

MHN43.xls

Smoldering PU foam block, fan off

Figure 163

MHN44.xls

Eight wood blocks on hotplate, fan off

Figure 158

MHN45.xls

Eight wood blocks on hotplate, fan on

Figure 159

MHN46.xls

32 cotton wicks, fan off

Figure 156

MHN47.xls

32 cotton wicks, fan on

Figure 157

Acknowledgments

The author gratefully acknowledges the efforts of M. Selepak in his assistance with running the tests.

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).