International Smoke Alarm Legislation & Technology in Residential

Click here to load reader

  • date post

    12-Feb-2017
  • Category

    Documents

  • view

    214
  • download

    0

Embed Size (px)

Transcript of International Smoke Alarm Legislation & Technology in Residential

  • International Smoke Alarm Legislation &

    Technology in Residential Structures

    A Review for Fire Protection Association Australia

    An Interactive Qualifying Project Report

    for the Melbourne Project Site

    submitted to the faculty of the

    WORCESTER POLYTECHNIC INSTITUTE

    in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the

    Degree of Bachelor of Science

    by

    _____________________________________

    Timothy Manchester

    _____________________________________

    John Meklenburg

    _____________________________________

    Kemal Moise

    _____________________________________

    Brian Potts

    Date: May 5th

    , 2009

    Submitted to:

    _____________________________________

    Professor Stephen J. Weininger, Advisor

    _____________________________________

    Professor Robert E. Kinicki, Advisor

    This report represents work of WPI undergraduate students submitted to the faculty as evidence of a degree

    requirement. WPI routinely publishes these reports on its web site without editorial or peer review. For more

    information about the projects program at WPI, see http://www.wpi.edu/Academics/Projects.

  • i

    Abstract

    A comprehensive report on smoke alarm effectiveness was completed for Fire Protection

    Association (FPA) Australia to aid fire protection officials around the world in drafting

    legislation that more accurately reflects the international de facto standard. Research shows that

    photoelectric smoke alarms are more effective than ionization units in most residential fire

    situations. The current warning tone was shown to be ineffective and should be replaced with a

    520 Hz square wave pattern. Analysis of a successful (70% return rate) international survey

    indicates current compliance monitoring and enforcement practices are insufficient in many

    regions. A database was developed for FPA Australia through compilation of the survey

    responses.

  • ii

    Acknowledgements

    We would like to thank the following people for their contributions and support:

    Advisors:

    Rob Llewellyn, project liaison

    Scott Williams, CEO, FPA Australia

    Professor Emeritus Stephen Weininger, project advisor

    Professor Robert Kinicki, project advisor

    Interviewees: Ed Comeau

    Dr. Jonathan Barnett

    Dr. Dorothy Bruck

    Professor Ian Thomas

    Naomi Brown

    NFPA Staff, especially Marty Ahrens, Chris Dubay, Casey Grant, John Hall, and Gary Keith

    A special thanks to everyone in the FPA office, especially Ian Findlay for teaching us

    Dreamweaver and making our database possible.

    The project would not have been possible without their input and assistance.

  • iii

    Authorship

    This report was created through the equal contributions of all group members: Timothy Manchester, John Meklenburg, Kemal Moise, and Brian Potts.

  • iv

    Table of Contents

    Abstract ............................................................................................................................................ i

    Acknowledgements ......................................................................................................................... ii

    Authorship ..................................................................................................................................... iii

    Table of Contents .......................................................................................................................... iv

    List of Figures ............................................................................................................................... vi

    List of Tables ................................................................................................................................ vii

    Executive Summary .................................................................................................................... viii

    Chapter 1: Introduction ................................................................................................................. 1

    Chapter 2: Background ................................................................................................................. 4

    2.1 Smoke Alarm Technology ................................................................................................................. 4 2.1.1 Ionization Smoke Detection Technology ................................................................................................. 4 2.1.2 Photoelectric Smoke Detection Technology ............................................................................................ 5 2.1.3 Placement, Installation, and Power Supplies of Smoke Alarms ............................................................ 6 2.1.4 Ineffectiveness of Standard Smoke Alarm Warning Tones ................................................................... 7

    2.2 Socioeconomic Considerations for Fire Safety ................................................................................ 8

    2.3 Smoke Alarm Legislation .................................................................................................................. 9

    Chapter 3: Methodology .............................................................................................................. 11

    3.1 International Smoke Alarm Legislation Survey ............................................................................. 12

    3.2 Interviews with Subject Matter Experts .......................................................................................... 16

    3.3 Literature Review ............................................................................................................................. 17

    Chapter 4: Smoke Alarm Technology ......................................................................................... 19

    4.1 Smoke Detection Technology .......................................................................................................... 19 4.1.1 Shortcomings of Fire Data and Statistics .............................................................................................. 22 4.1.2 Response Times of Ionization and Photoelectric Detectors ................................................................. 23 4.1.3 Combination Smoke Alarms .................................................................................................................. 26 4.1.4 Nuisance Alarms in Ionization and Photoelectric Smoke Alarms ...................................................... 27 4.1.5 Technological Comparisons of Ionization and Photoelectric Detectors ............................................. 28 4.1.6 Considerations for Choosing the Most Effective Smoke Alarm .......................................................... 30 4.1.7 Recommendations of National Fire Authorities ................................................................................... 32 4.1.8 Conclusion................................................................................................................................................ 35

    4.2 Smoke Alarm Warning Tones ......................................................................................................... 37 4.2.1 Effectiveness of Warning Tones for Young Children .......................................................................... 39 4.2.2 Effectiveness of Warning Tones for the Elderly ................................................................................... 42 4.2.3 Effectiveness of Warning Tones for the Hearing Impaired ................................................................. 44 4.2.4 Effectiveness of Warning Tones for the Alcohol Impaired .................................................................. 46 4.2.5 Conclusion................................................................................................................................................ 47

    Chapter 5: Socioeconomic Considerations for Fire Safety ........................................................ 51

    5.1 Affordability of Smoke Alarms ........................................................................................................ 51

  • v

    5.2 Availability of Smoke Alarms in Differing Economic Circumstances .......................................... 56

    5.3 Smoke Alarm Disposal and Associated Risks ................................................................................. 58

    5.4 Lifestyle Effects on Nuisance Alarms ............................................................................................. 58

    5.5 Conclusion ....................................................................................................................................... 61

    Chapter 6: Residential Smoke Alarm Legislation ...................................................................... 63

    Chapter 7: Conclusion and Recommendations .......................................................................... 65

    Appendix A: Excerpts from Ed Comeau Interview .................................................................... 75

    Appendix B: List of Survey Recipients ........................................................................................ 76

    Appendix C: Introduction E-mail for Survey ............................................................................. 77

    Appendix D: Letter of Introduction Sent Prior to Survey .......................................................... 78

    Appendix E: Initial Survey E-mail .......................