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Comparative in-mine evaluation of carbon monoxide and smoke detectors.

Authors
Edwards-JC; Friel-GF
Source
Pittsburgh, PA: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Mines, RI 9622, 1996 Jan; :1-7
NIOSHTIC No.
00233934
Abstract
To enhance the safety of mine workers through the use of improved atmospheric mine monitoring, a study comparing the responses of carbon-monoxide (630080) (CO) and smoke detectors to an in mine fire was conducted. Both diffusion and mechanical pump types of CO detectors were used. The smoke detectors used included two optical type detectors, one operating in diffusion mode and one in mechanical pump mode, and four ionization type detectors, three operating in diffusion mode and one in mechanical pump mode. Twelve experiments were conducted to study the effects of ventilation flow and entrainment at dead end crosscuts on the responses of CO and smoke detectors situated at nearly identical locations. The results showed that in most experiments, the smoke detectors alarmed before the CO detectors. Several conclusions were drawn from the study and the investigators make the following recommendations. They suggest that smoke detectors that have a continuous analog output signal be used whenever possible as part of a mine atmospheric monitoring system. These sensors give greater flexibility for setting alarm values for fire detection at low smoke levels. Smoke detectors that require relatively low maintenance, such as diffusion mode detectors, have reasonable expectations of being at least as effective as CO detectors. The results of airflow experiments showed that the effect of crosscuts on smoke travel time would be minimal for a particular smoke detector alarm level under normal airflow conditions. This finding should be incorporated in a mine fire location strategy. The authors conclude that smoke detectors, when incorporated into a mine atmospheric monitoring system, will complement CO detectors and thereby improve mine safety.
Keywords
Underground-mining; Mining-industry; Coal-mining; Smoke-detection; Fire-prevention; Mine-fires; Safety-equipment; Warning-devices; Air-quality-monitoring; Combustion-products; Toxic-gases; Fire-protection-equipment
Contact
Pittsburgh Research Laboratory, P.O. Box 18070, Pittsburgh, PA 15236
CAS No.
630-08-0
Publication Date
19960101
Document Type
Report of Investigations
Fiscal Year
1996
NTIS Accession No.
PB96-165188
NTIS Price
A03
Identifying No.
RI-9622
ISSN
1066-5552
NIOSH Division
PRC
Priority Area
Other Occupational Concerns
Source Name
Pittsburgh, PA: U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Mines, RI 9622
State
PA
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