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Foundation Research featured at 2009 NFPA Conference & Expo

Published on 22 May 2009

The 2009 NFPA Conference & Expo will feature a large number of technical sessions bringing the fruits of Foundation Research to the Chicago fire safety community
The 2009 NFPA Conference & Expo will feature several fire safety technical sessions
Reflecting a very active year of research at the Foundation, the 2009 NFPA Conference & Expo will feature a large number of technical sessions bringing the results of that research to the fire safety community in Chicago, June 8-11.

In all, 15 sessions in the Foundation sponsored "track" will highlight the research the Foundation has conducted in the following areas:

Detection and Signaling: Three sessions will report on recent research and related changes to the National Fire Alarm Code®. Hughes Associates will present their work for the Foundation on the topic of installation performance criteria for video imaging detection systems-a new detection technology. Schirmer Engineering will present their recent work which follows an early study for the Foundation on spacing criteria for smoke detectors in unique ceiling configurations. Finally, Bob Schifiliti, together with the Foundation's own Casey Grant, will report on a recent study to develop test methods and design guidance for intelligible voice alarm systems.

Automatic Sprinkler Protection: A highlight of the Foundation's research in the last year on automatic sprinkler protection is the national study carried out by Newport Partners on home fire sprinkler costs-providing locally based data on the cost to install a home fire sprinkler system in ten jurisdictions across the U.S. and Canada. Schirmer Engineering will report on two other studies completed this year for the Foundation. The first is a hazard assessment of marina dry storage facilities (or "boatels") and the challenges for fire sprinkler systems. The second is a report on the comprehensive first phase of the Foundation's study on the interaction of High Volume Low Speed Fans on automatic sprinkler operation. Both large and small scale test results will be presented. Finally, the Foundation is sponsoring a Panel session on a "hot topic" in warehouse fire protection. Tupperware Corporation, the International Fire Marshals Association and Tyco Fire and Building Products will present their perspectives of the issue of the role of the fire service in final extinguishment of warehouse fires.

Hazardous Materials: Larry Fluer will present his recent work for the Foundation which documents the background of the current national hazardous material classification system, focusing on threshold limits, and its technical basis. It's a fascinating history of the social and policy drivers behind hazardous materials regulation, and the evolution of regulation in building codes and standards, including the development of the control area and maximum allowable quantities concepts. Fire and Materials Laboratory will present the results of the major Foundation study nearing completion on the development of a test method for the classification of oxidizers. The results (some of them spectacular) of over 200 bench and intermediate tests on a wide range of oxidizers will be presented.

Fire Prevention/Fire Fighter Tactics: Two presentations will feature research conducted in the past year by the Foundation, NFPA, and NIST for the Department of Homeland Security. NFPA's Fire Analysis Division will present the final results and implications of their study on measuring code compliance effectiveness. NIST's Building and Fire Research Laboratory will present their research on wind driven fire fighting tactics which complements their work for the Foundation earlier in the year.

We hope you will join us for these sessions and others in the comprehensive education program that NFPA has assembled for this meeting. More information can be found at the conference online program planner.

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