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Performance of Personal Alert Safety Systems in Laboratory and Full-Scale Experiments

Published

Author(s)

Nelson P. Bryner, Daniel M. Madrzykowski, D W. Stroup, J H. Lee

Abstract

In 1998, over 500 firefighters in the United States were trapped in structure fires that resulted in injury or death of firefighters. Firefighters can be quickly overcome by the heat or smoke of a fire and may be unable to alert other fire ground personnel to their need for assistance. Personal Alert Safety System (PASS) devices are designed to signal for aid via an audible alarm. Typically, PASS devices sense movement or lack of movement and activate a 95-decibel alarm signal if the lack of motion exceeds a specific time period. The loud alarm signal alerts other personnel that a firefighter has become incapacitated and it helps to guide rescue personnel to the location of the incapacitated firefighter. While the current NFPA Standard for PASS devices(1982) requires only a motion detector, some manufacturers are beginning to incorporate thermal exposure sensors into each PASS device. Some PASS devices are also being integrated into fire ground personnel accountability systems. This research will assess the current state-of the- art in PASS technology and will examine specific enhancements, which may include elimination of false alarms, improve accuracy, linking to Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and/or personnel tracking systems, and incorporating additional sensors, such as thermal sensors or toxic gas analyzers.
Proceedings Title
Ministry of the Interior Firefighters, Public Rescue and Civil Defense Department Proceedings
Conference Dates
April 18-20, 2002
Conference Location
Rome
Conference Title
Fire Fighters: Safety in Rescue Operations. Papers. International Sessions. International Meeting

Keywords

fire fighters, rescue, fire safety, experiments, mannequins

Citation

Bryner, N. , Madrzykowski, D. , Stroup, D. and Lee, J. (2002), Performance of Personal Alert Safety Systems in Laboratory and Full-Scale Experiments, Ministry of the Interior Firefighters, Public Rescue and Civil Defense Department Proceedings, Rome, -1, [online], https://tsapps.nist.gov/publication/get_pdf.cfm?pub_id=910294 (Accessed May 24, 2024)

Issues

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Created April 18, 2002, Updated February 19, 2017