SUPDET 2015 – Conference On Suppression & Detection

April 13th, 2015

2015 SUPDET - Suppression, Detection, Signaling ConferenceNFPA’s Fire Protection Research Foundation hosted this year’s conference on suppression and detection in Orlando, Florida. Presented were the latest research and developments in the fire protection industry that included a diverse cross-section of subjects, such as the effect of ceiling fans on smoke alarm performance, corrosion inhibition of dry and pre-action fire suppression systems, effect of obstructions on ESFR sprinklers, fire suppression in Li-Ion based electric vehicles, and many more.

During this 4-day event topics discussed ranged from new challenges in detection and suppression to the evolution of research on existing challenges, as well as special challenges.

Two examples of the new research studies presented were ‘Protection of Rack Stored Exposed Expanded Group A Plastics with ESFR Sprinklers and Vertical Barriers’ and ‘Emergence of Energy Storage Systems’ due to the expansion of alternative energy sources and the need for decentralized energy storage – notably in batteries.

New knowledge in the evolution of the understanding of many existing challenges in detection and suppression included the topics of ‘Water Mist Fire Protection’, ‘Corrosion Inhibition of Dry and Preaction Fire Suppression Systems’, and ‘Suppressing Lithium-ion Electric Drive Vehicle Battery Fires’.

Last but not least several special interest subjects were reviewed in considerable detail, among them (perhaps one of the most technical), ‘Smoke Detection in Low Gravity’ on the International Space Station, and new experiments and test results on Aqueous Fire Fighting Foams (AFFF), that do not use PFC (polyfluorinated compounds representing environmental hazards) often applied in the suppression of large outdoor pool fires.

NFPA’s blog, ‘NFPA Today’, lists a complete set of topics1, with each topic including a link to download a pdf-version of the actual presentation. The various presentations were categorized into ‘detection’ and ‘suppression’ subjects, with each of the categories being subdivided into individual sessions discussing specific topics of interest.



  • Evolving Fire Safety Towards Holistic Safety, Lance Ruetimann, Siemens Switzerland

Session I: Detection of Cooking Fires

  • Developing Test Methods for Cooktop Range Pre-Ignition Detection, Various Authors
  • Measurement of Pre-ignition Fire Cues from Cooking, Underwriters Laboratories

Session II: Carbon Monoxide Detection

  • Carbon Monoxide Diffusion through Walls: A Critical Review of Literature and Incidents, Imperial College London, Honeywell Fire Safety
  • New Research on Diffusion of Carbon Monoxide through Gypsum Wallboard, Various Authors
  • Second Hand Smoke – Investigation into the effects of canned smoke aerosol testers on carbon monoxide sensors used in combination alarms, US Consumer Product Safety Commission

Session III: Notification Topics

  • Fire Alarms and At Risk Populations: Information from Literature and One-on-One Interviews, Oklahoma State University
  • Occupant Evacuation Operation of Elevators – An Outline of Benefits, Requirements, and Suggested Implementation Strategies, Various Authors
  • Design Considerations of LED Based Visible Notification Appliances, Light Engine Limited

Session IV: Nuisance Alarms

  • Characterization of Dust and Water Steam Aerosols in False Alarm Scenarios – Design of a Test Methods for Fire Detectors in Dusty and in Highly Foggy Environments, University of Duisburg-Essen
  • Characterizing Common Nuisance Sources for Smoke Alarms: Results from New Experiments, Various Authors

Session V: Standard Updates

  • Updates to the 10th Edition of the Standard for Fire Alarm Control Units and Accessories, ANSI/UL 864, Underwriters Laboratories

Session VI: Detection Research

  • The Effect of Ceiling Fans on Smoke Alarm Performance, Various Authors
  • Smoke Detection in Low Gravity – Results from the Smoke Aerosol Measurement Experiments (SAME) Conducted on the International Space Station, NASA Glenn Research Center, NIST, National Center for Space Exploration Research

Session VII: Applications

  • Very Early Warning Fire Detection of Incipient Sources in Nuclear Power Plants, NIST
  • Considerations and Challenges when Integrating Systems to Achieve Smart(er) Buildings, Siemens Switzerland
  • Detection of Fires in Heavy Duty (HD) Vehicles, SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden


Session I: Storage

  • Protection of Rack Stored Exposed Expanded Group A Plastics with ESFR Sprinklers and Vertical Barriers, Underwriters Laboratories
  • The Effect of Obstructions on Early Suppression Fast Response Sprinkler Performance, Aon Fire Protection Engineering

Session II: Dry Systems

  • Corrosion Inhibition of Dry and Preaction Fire Suppression Systems Using Nitrogen Gas, Potter Electric Signal Company
  • Impact of Supervisory Gas Pressure on Dry Pipe Sprinkler System Fill Time, Reliable Automatic Sprinkler Co.

Session III: Water Mist

  • Water Mist Fire Protection for 35 Megawatt Steam Turbine Generator, ORR Protection Systems

Session IV: Emerging Hazards

  • Panel Discussion on Emerging Hazards and the Gaps in the Codes and Standards, Zurich Insurance, FPRF, NFPA

Session V: Environment

  • Fire Testing of Experimental Siloxane-Based AFFF: Results from New Experiments, Bundeswehr Research Institute for Protective Technologies and NBC-Protection, University of Cologne

Session VI: Special Applications

  • Application of Fire Protection in Wildland-Urban Interface (WUI) Design: Hazard Definition and Review of Current Practices, NFPA
  • Evaluation of Water Additives for Fire Control and Vapor Mitigation – Two and Three Dimensional Class B Fire Tests, Various Authors
  • Active Fire Protection for Motorcoach Fire Safety: Development of Test Apparatuses and Procedures, Southwest Research Institute

Session VII: Lithium Ion Protection

  • Suppressing Lithium-ion Electric Drive Vehicle Battery Fires with Water, Exponent

Session VIII: Hybrid Systems

  • Effervescent Water Mist Fire Suppression Nozzle, United Technologies Research Center
  • Evaluating Hybrid Fire Suppression Systems for the Protection of Aero-derivative Gas Turbines, Victaulic

Session IX: Gaseous and Clean Agents

  • Defining HF Exposure Limits for Sensitive Materials in Museums and Archives Protected by Halocarbon Clean Extinguishing Agents, 3M


[1] SUPDET 2015 wraps in Orlando—all conference presentations are available to view online, 2015 Suppression, Detection and Signaling Research and Applications, NFPA Today,

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