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A Test Methodology for Multiple Sensor Multiple Criteria Alarms



Thomas G. Cleary


Multiple sensor-multiple criteria fire alarms hold promise for improving fire detection by both increasing sensitivity to fire while decreasing nuisance alarms. Eventually, to provide a fair assessment of performance, some type of uniform testing protocol needs to be advanced in order to demonstrate to stakeholders (standards organizations, testing laboratories, manufacturers, governmental organizations, fire departments and affiliated national organizations, and consumers) the value of various alarm designs. Standard fire sensitivity tests provide one way to assess fire detection performance, but there are no consensus standards related to nuisance sources, which are typically associated with particular activities occurring near alarm locations (i.e., cooking, smoking, industrial setting environments). NIST is working on a test methodology based on reproducing fire and nuisance conditions in the fire emulator/detector evaluator (FE/DE). The objective is to demonstrate acceptable repeatability of a wide range of fire and nuisance scenarios appropriate for a given alarm application. Fire tests conducted as part of the Home Smoke Alarm Project were examined here, and deemed reasonable tests to be emulated in the FE/DE as part of a protocol for evaluating advanced smoke alarms for residential use.
To Be Determined


detection, fire emulator/detector evaluator, multi-criteria, multi-sensor, smoke alarm, test methods


Cleary, T. (2004), A Test Methodology for Multiple Sensor Multiple Criteria Alarms, To Be Determined, [online], (Accessed May 23, 2024)


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Created September 26, 2004, Updated February 17, 2017