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Evaluating Multi-Sensor Fire Detectors in the Fire Emulator/Detector Evaluator



Thomas G. Cleary, Michael D. Anderson, Jason D. Averill, William L. Grosshandler


NIST has developed the Fire Emulator/Detector Evaluator (FE/DE) for the purpose of testing detectors in a controlled environment. The FE/DE is a flow tunnel where fire or nuisance source characteristics can be controlled so that a detector placed in the FE/DE is exposed to the same stimuli it could experience in its end-use location. Multi-sensor detectors with three distinct sensing elements (photo-electric light scattering, ionization, and thermal) were tested in the FE/DE. The exposure scenario implemented in the FE/DE was based on the TF 4 scenario in EN 54 Part 9. Large Eddy Simulation modeling was used to obtain velocity and temperature profiles at the detector location in the EN 54 test room. Literature values of smoke obscuration were used. The smoke injected into the tunnel was not quite sufficient to achieve the peak obscuration values measured in full-scale TF 4 tests. The emulated scenario was repeatable as indicated by a narrow spread in detector alarm values, smoke obscuration and temperature profiles for replicated tests.
Proceedings Title
Interscience Communications Ltd.
Conference Dates
June 29-July 1, 1999
Conference Location
Conference Title
International Interflam Conference, 8th Proceedings, Volume 1


fire science, fire safety, fire detectors, sensors, test fires, scenarios, steady state, velocity distribution, temperature profiles, detector response


Cleary, T. , Anderson, M. , Averill, J. and Grosshandler, W. (1999), Evaluating Multi-Sensor Fire Detectors in the Fire Emulator/Detector Evaluator, Interscience Communications Ltd. , Edinburgh, , [online], (Accessed June 15, 2024)


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Created June 29, 1999, Updated February 19, 2017