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The most important change to UL/UL 268 is the addition of three common fire models. Two of the polyurethane foam fire detection models (burning and smoldering) and a new false alarm test for kitchen fumes have been incorporated into these standards . Research on these tests began in 2007, when UL was conducting scientific research for the National Fire Protection Research Foundation (NFPRF). UL provided test and scientific data for the smoke characterization project initiated by the National Fire Protection Research Foundation, and introduced the use of advanced aerosol imaging technology and gas measurement technology, by igniting various common materials in the home, the particle size of smoke , quantity and composition were quantified, and a report on the findings titled "Smoke Characterization Project" was written and released on April 24, 2007.
Based on the results of this research, the UL Standards Expert Panel (STP) formed a task force to develop foam-related test methods for materials common in modern household products. The task force, supported by scientific research from UL researchers, is responsible for developing requirements for smoldering and burning tests that are more representative of the smoke profiles of actual fires shown in the study. Through extensive testing, a test method has been developed for the new polyurethane smoldering and burning fire test. Test pass/fail constraints are based on resident evacuation studies cited in NFPRF reports and NIST reports.
The National Fire Protection Association ( NFPA) points out that false alarms are the number one reason why users actively turn off smoke alarms. There are still many challenges when it comes to sensing kitchen fume aerosols. Many forms of kitchen fumes aerosols (smoke) look the same as smoke from other ignition sources detected by induction technology. But the fumes from cooking are, after all, a kind of smoke. UL researchers compared a large amount of literature with previous research done by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and on the basis of these research work, they invested a lot of scientific research to develop a kitchen fume false alarm test standard.
A new generation of smoke alarms that meet the new standard will be equipped with more advanced sensors, combined with the use of composite sensors and intelligent algorithms that can distinguish between smoldering fire smoke and kitchen fumes. This can be distinguished according to the difference in particle size, quantity, gas concentration and color of fire smoke aerosol and kitchen oil smoke aerosol. Advances in detector and sensor design and software algorithms have made this accurate distinction possible to improve the practical detection performance of smoke alarms and reduce the false alarm rate of traditional smoke detectors. Although it is difficult to eliminate 100% false alarms, it is expected that the next generation of new products will significantly reduce false alarms caused by kitchen fumes.
Manufacturers of smoke alarms and detectors will need to equip their products with advanced sensors and software to meet the challenges posed by new fire tests. Manufacturers have until May 2020 to redesign and obtain new certifications for their products.
For regulators, system designers, and system installers, no action is required due to the standard update until the effective date.
Manufacturers have until May 2020 to redesign their products to meet the new demands. Traditional single-sensor products will struggle to pass the new test standards and will stop production after May 2020. In addition, as May 2020 approaches, it is expected that there will be more alarm applications of composite sensing detection technology in the industry and fewer applications of conventional photodetectors and ionization detectors.