Fire Safetys Future Tied to Sensor Technology

Information technology is forming the basis of tomorrow's fire alarm systems, says the National Institute of Standards and Technology,Gaithersburg, Md. Working with the fire detector industry, NIST is researching how advanced sensors, coupled with fire modeling software, could make possible in-wall detection systems. Such systems would discover a fire, pinpoint its location, and predict the short- and long-term effects of fire growth and smoke spread--providing continuous estimates of a building's safety. The goal is to have a working model by 2002. NIST is still seeking industrial partners for the five-year project.

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