Upcoming webinar seeks to illuminate smoke detector placement in high ceiling structures


Share this content


The smoke detector spacing challenge on high ceilings

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is hosting an upcoming webinar addressing an often overlooked issue in fire safety: smoke detector placement on high ceilings. For those keen to join, you can sign up for the webinar here.

While the NFPA 72, a prominent fire alarm and signalling code, does not address smoke detection spacing considerations based on ceiling heights, it does provide a table for the reduction of spacing for heat detection.

This leaves some ambiguity in design and code enforcement when installing smoke detectors on ceilings higher than 10 feet.

The 2017 smoke detector spacing study and its findings

A literature review and gap analysis on smoke detectors in high-ceiling spaces were published by the Fire Protection Research Foundation in 2017.

The study showed that there were limited context and significant knowledge gaps, which precluded the formulation of scientifically justified prescriptive requirements regarding smoke detector spacing relative to ceiling height.

Working towards better understanding smoke detector performance on high ceilings

This study proposed a way forward to improve the characterisation of smoke detector spacing in high ceilings.

For example, it recommended establishing a performance metric for smoke detectors that could be applied to high ceilings.

The fire protection industry is in need of additional information about the impact of ceiling height and detector spacing on smoke detection performance.

Mishuk Datta, Lead Engineer at Jensen Hughes, will discuss these considerations for smoke detection based on ceiling heights and the necessary areas where further knowledge is needed.

Who’s behind this educational initiative?

This webinar is part of the Fire Protection Research Foundation‘s 2023 Webinar Series.

Sponsors of the series include AXA XL Risk Consulting, Reliable Automatic Sprinkler Co., Inc., Telgian Engineering and Consulting, The Zurich Services Corporation, and the Worcester Polytechnic Institute Fire Protection Engineering Programme.

IFSJ Comment

As the International Fire & Safety Journal, we find this news to be of significant importance. Clear guidelines for smoke detector placement, especially in structures with high ceilings, is a crucial aspect of fire safety. This webinar is a step in the right direction, addressing the knowledge gaps that currently exist in the industry. We urge our readers to take the opportunity to learn and contribute to this vital discussion.

About NFPA

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is a global self-funded nonprofit organisation, established in 1896, dedicated to eliminating death, injury, property, and economic loss due to fire, electrical and related hazards. The NFPA delivers information and knowledge through more than 300 consensus codes and standards, research, training, education, outreach and advocacy; and by partnering with others who share an interest in furthering their mission.

Receive the latest breaking news straight to your inbox