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01.07.2010 | Ausgabe 3/2010

Fire Technology 3/2010

Findings of the International Road Tunnel Fire Detection Research Project

Zeitschrift:
Fire Technology > Ausgabe 3/2010
Autoren:
Z. G. Liu, A. Kashef, G. Crampton, G. Lougheed, Y. Ko, G. Hadjisophocleous, Kathleen H. Almand

Abstract

Fire detection systems play a crucial role in ensuring safe evacuation and firefighting operations in road tunnels, but information on the performance of these systems in tunnels has been limited and guidelines for their application in tunnel environments are not fully developed. Recently, the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and the Fire Protection Research Foundation completed a 2-year international research project, with the support of private- and public-sector organizations, to determine some of the strengths and weaknesses of the various types of fire detection systems and the factors that can affect their performance in tunnel environments. The project included both laboratory and field fire tests combined with computer modeling studies. Although this research was conducted on road tunnels, the findings should apply to other tunnels, such as those used in subway systems. As part of the project, the NRC conducted two series of tests in the Carleton University-NRC tunnel facility to investigate the performance of detection systems under minimal and longitudinal airflow conditions. In addition, NRC conducted tests in the Carré-Viger Tunnel in Montréal, as well as a computer modeling study. The project studied nine fire detection systems that covered five types of currently available technologies. The performance of the detection systems, including response times and ability to locate and monitor a fire in the tunnel and the effect of the tunnel environment, were evaluated under the same conditions. This article provides an overview of the findings of the project. Fire detectors, fire scenarios and test protocols used in the test program are described. A summary of the research results of the full-scale fire tests conducted in a laboratory tunnel facility and in an operating road tunnel as well as of the computer modeling activities is reported.

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