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March 9, 2003

                             ET NEWS
================================================================
        NEWS AND INFORMATION FOR ENGINEERING TECHNICIANS
----------------------------------------------------------------
Issue No. 89           http://www.etnews.org            3-9-2003
================================================================

Contents
--------
- News
- ET Journal
- NICET Test Dates
- AFAA Class Schedule
- Comments & Acknowledgements

================================================================
NEWS
================================================================

The AFAA Online Learning Center is up and running!  Take a few
minutes to check out the free demo http://www.afaa.org.

You may select the Fire Alarm Fundamentals Certificate Program,
which consists of 19 individual segments, or you may select an
individual topic. The course entitled Smoke Detectors is free to
try.

FIRE ALARM FUNDAMENTALS
This certificate program introduces participants to the
principles of fire alarm system design and operation. It explains
the operation of fire alarm circuits and the interconnection of
fire alarm systems to other fire protection and building control
systems. Also included is the operation and placement of all
types of alarm initiating devices, supervisory initiating
devices, and notification appliances. This certificate includes
19 separate 30-minute courses. The certificate program is good
for 9.5 contact hours of continuing education. AFAA is currently
working to establish national accepted CEUs for this program
through the International Association for Continuing Education
and Training (IACET).

INDIVIDUAL COURSES
If you are only interested in increasing your knowledge on a
specific fire alarm feature, you may select one of the individual
courses described below. Each 30-minute course covers a specific
topic and has a scored test at the end. Successful completion
allows you to print your own Certificate of Completion!

Fire Alarm Organizations
Introduces and explains the major organizations involved in the
development of fire alarm codes and standards, fire alarm product
testing, or providing training and certification programs for
individuals who design, install, test or maintain fire alarm
systems.

Electrical Fundamentals
Introduces and explains the fundamentals of the direct current
(dc) circuits that are commonly used in fire alarm systems.

System Functions
This course will help you understand the fundamentals of alarm
systems and how they function.

Power Supplies
This course will help you understand the fundamentals of the
power supplies used in fire alarm systems. This course also
includes a review of the power supply requirements for all fire
alarm system types and a discussion regarding the importance of
power supply requirements in system design.

Basic Circuit Design
This course is an introduction to basic wiring design and its
operation as part of a fire alarm system.

Introduction to Initiating Devices
This course explains initiating devices such as the fire
detectors, manual fire alarm boxes, flow switches and other
devices used to initiate signals on a fire alarm system.

Supervisory Initiating Devices
Learn about the important "oversight" function of supervisory
initiating devices to fire alarm systems, security, process
control, and other critical functions.

Heat Detectors
Learn about the three general types of heat detectors, methods of
operation, the environmental conditions best suited for this type
of initiating device, and the advantages and disadvantages of
each particular heat detector.

Heat Detector Placement
Addresses the placement of heat detectors to comply with the
requirements of the 1999 Edition of NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm
Code.

Smoke Detectors
Learn about the different types of smoke detectors, the
advantages and disadvantages, operating principles, and
sensitivity to smoke of each type.

Smoke Detector Placement
Addresses the placement of spot-type smoke detectors to comply
with the requirements of the 1999 Edition of NFPA 72, National
Fire Alarm Code.

Notification Appliances
This course explains the application and use of lights, horns,
bells and other fire alarm notification appliances used to alert
building occupants, fire brigade members, and others of a fire or
other condition that requires action.

Notification Appliance Placement
Covers the placement of audible and visible notification
appliances in accordance with the 1999 Edition of NFPA 72,
National Fire Alarm Code. This course also discusses the
application of notification appliances to comply with the
Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines (ADAAG).

EVACS Applications
Covers the use of emergency voice alarm communication systems
(EVACS) and the requirements for these systems in the 1999
Edition of NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm Code.

Fire Safety Control Functions
Discusses the fire safety control functions controlled by a
building fire alarm system, and the requirements contained in the
1999 Edition of NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm Code, for these fire
safety control functions.

NEC Requirements
Covers National Electrical Code wiring and installation
requirements for fire alarm circuits, devices, and appliances.

Inspection, Testing, & Maintenance
This course discusses responsibility for the elements of system
inspection and maintenance programs, and what it takes to put
these in place. Methods, timeframes and the program development
will be examined.

Introduction to Specialized Fire Detectors
In some applications, we must detect much smaller fires more
quickly than conventional fire detectors will actuate. For those
applications, we rely on specialized fire detectors. The
specialized fire detectors examined in this course include flame
detectors, spark/ember detectors, and explosion detectors.

Introduction to Automatic Sprinklers
Covers the major reasons for sprinkler system failure, improper
design issues, and a short history of automatic sprinkler system
development.

----------------------------------------------------------------

See you in Dallas this week.

Have fun!

Mike

================================================================
ET JOURNAL
================================================================

NICET Fire Alarm Systems Level III
35009 BASIC PRINCIPLES OF COMBUSTION
------------------------------------

35009 is a Level III General Non-Core Work element.

General Work Elements are categorized as either Core or Non-Core
Work Elements. All Level III General Core Work Elements
constitute a mandatory requirement for achieving certification at
Levels III and IV.

35009 DESCRIPTION
Understand fire signatures as they relate to fire detection.
(Fire Alarms Signaling Systems)

35009 REFERENCES:
Fire Alarm Signaling Systems
1994 version:
http://www.nfpa.org/catalog/product.asp?pid=fass94&src=nfpa 

2003 version:
http://www.nfpa.org/catalog/product.asp?pid=fass03&src=nfpa

35009 DESCRIPTION BREAKDOWN:
"Understand fire signatures as they relate to fire detection."

Glossary of terms
Combustion. A chemical process that involves oxidation sufficient
to produce light or heat.

Fire. A chemical reaction that occurs when a combustible material
is exposed to oxygen during which rapid oxidation results in the
release of heat, light, flame, and/or smoke. 

ANSI/NFPA 921-1999 Flashover. A transition phase in the
development of a contained fire in which surfaces exposed to
thermal radiation reach ignition temperature more or less
simultaneously and fire spreads rapidly throughout the space.

_Fire Alarm Signaling Systems_ 1994 version
-------------------------------------------
It is necessary to understand the "by-products" or
"fire signatures" of a fire. Any change in the ambient conditions
due to a fire is refereed to as a "fire signature" and can be
monitored by a fire detection system. To be useful, a fire
signature should generate a measurable change in some ambient
condition and the change must be greater than the normal
background variations (noise). The preferred fire signature will
be the one that has the highest signal to noise ratio in the
earliest period of the fire. The most used fire signatures are
aerosol (smoke), energy release, and gas.

Aerosol (Smoke) Signatures
Fire releases solids and liquids into the atmosphere.
The particle size ranges from 5 X 10-4 to 10 micrometer. These
products are an aerosol that is called smoke. The main feature
about smoke is its instability. Smoke is produced as a result of
incomplete combustion; the particles in a cloud collide, due to
Brownian motion, with one another and agglomerate. Particles
smaller than .3 micrometer in size are call invisible, particles
larger than .3 micrometer in size are called visible. Smoke is
defined as totality of the airborne visible and invisible
particles of combustion. Listed smoke detectors are tested only
for response to smoke particles and not gases.

[NOTE - The 1994 version of Fire Alarm Signaling Systems defines
this visible-invisible threshold as 0.3 micron whereas NPFA 72
currently defines it as 1.0 micron. - Mike]

The thermal particular point of a material is the temperature at
which submicrometer size particles are generated from the
material as heating continues the production of visible aerosols
can occur prior to ignition. Smoldering fires produce more large
particles than flaming fires.

Energy Release Signatures
Infrared (IR) and Ultraviolet (UV) signatures are the earliest
energy signatures of a fire. IR emissions account for most of the
energy emissions. The carbon dioxide - water radiation signature
is used effectively for detection. The flame flicker, from 5.30
Hz is another signature that affects the IR signal. IR detectors
that use both the CO2 - H2O and flicker signature have an
excellent signal-to-noise.

The UV fire signature appears in flames as emission from OH, CO2,
CO ranging from size from .27 to .29 micrometers. They are
usually effective where magnesium or its alloys are involved.

Thermal energy release causes an increase in the air temperature
due to convection. The time required to activate a heat detector
could range from less than 1 minute to hours depending on the
type of fire. Convected thermal energy signatures often appear
well after life threatening conditions have been reached.

Gas Signatures
Because of a fire the gas content of the surrounding atmosphere
changes. These changes are mostly due to the addition of gases
that normally are not present. These changes are called evolved
gas signatures. Oxygen is also reduced, because of a fire, and
this is called the oxygen depletion signature. One gas, carbon
monoxide, is present in nearly all fires. The carbon monoxide
signature may best be used to detect slow burning smoldering
fires.

Fire signatures can be fatal. Aerosols can cause a reduction in
visibility, respiratory tract irritation and swelling, and can
cause fear and anxiety.

Exposure to elevated temperatures can cause shock, damage to the
respiratory system, and of course the potential of a burning
injury.

Toxic gases can be generated in sufficient quantity to have
reactions to humans. Carbon monoxide (CO) is present in almost
all fires and is an important factor in the loss of life. Carbon
monoxide reduces the oxygen-carrying ability of the blood by
combining with the hemoglobin.  A CO concentration of 1.28% can
cause death in 1-3 minutes and unconsciousness in 2-3 breaths.

Carbon dioxide stimulates the breathing rate, although it would
unlikely reach concentration levels high enough to cause death,
it will increase the breathing rate and thus increase the intake
of other toxins.

Oxygen depletion can cause loss of coordination, dizziness,
nausea, vomiting, paralysis, unconsciousness, and death.

A useful change in environment that can be detected and used as
an indication of hostile fire must have a suitable
signal-to-noise ratio.

The size of particles released in a fire vary from 5 X 10-4
micrometers to 10 micrometers.

Particles produced by a fire that are suspended in air are called
aerosols.


THE INFORMATION HEREIN IS PROVIDED AS A GUIDE ONLY AND IS
INTENDED TO ASSIST YOU IN PREPARING FOR AN EXAM. IT IS NOT
INTENDED TO BE INCLUSIVE OF ALL INFORMATION THAT MAY BE ON AN
EXAM BUT RATHER IT IS INTENDED TO BE A SMALL SAMPLE OF THE KIND
OF MATERIAL THAT YOU MAY BE EXPECTED TO KNOW.

================================================================
NICET TEST DATES
================================================================

OREGON
------
OR1 PCC Sylvania, Portland;
Test 4/26/03. Postmark deadline 3/8/03.
Test 7/26/03. Postmark deadline 6/7/03.

OR2 Clackamas Community College, Oregon City;
Test 3/15/03. Postmark deadline 2/1/03.
Test 6/21/03. Postmark deadline 5/3/03.

WASHINGTON
----------
WA1 Bates Technical College, Tacoma;
Test 5/17/03. Postmark deadline 3/29/03.
Test 7/26/03. Postmark deadline 6/7/03.

WA2 Walla Walla Community College;
Test 5/17/03. Postmark deadline 3/29/03.
Test 9/27/03. Postmark deadline 8/9/03.

WA3 Spokane Community College;
Test 5/17/03. Postmark deadline 3/29/03.
Test 8/23/03. Postmark deadline 7/7/03.

These dates are from the NICET web site. For a complete list of
all test centers and test dates, visit:
http://63.70.211.210/cfdocs/nicetschedule.cfm

================================================================
AFAA CLASS SCHEDULE
================================================================

------------------
March 11-13, 2003 Dallas, TX - Sponsored by NSCA
------------------
Intermediate Fire Alarm Seminar.
http://www.nsca.org/nscaweb/content/expo2003/attendee/class.asp?
t=4&document=854

------------------
March 11-13, 2003 Deerfield Beach, FL (Ft. Lauderdale)
------------------
Intermediate Fire Alarm Seminar.
http://www.afaa.org/afaa/PDF/IntFA_Deerfield_March2003.pdf

------------------
March 17-20, 2003 Oakland, CA - Sponsored by CAFAA
------------------
Fire Alarm System Testing and Inspection Seminar.
http://www.afaa.org/afaa/PDF/ADV_TI_Oakland_Mar2003.pdf
Advanced Fire Alarm Seminar.
http://www.afaa.org/afaa/PDF/ADV_TI_Oakland_Mar2003.pdf

------------------
March 25-26, 2003 Las Vegas, NV - Sponsored by ISC West
------------------
Fire Alarm System Testing and Inspection Seminar.
http://www.iscwest.com/App/homepage.cfm?linkid=7623&moduleid=331
&speakerdetails=speakerdetails&pram=15433&appname=180&date=03/25
/2003

------------------
April 1-3, 2003 Phoenix, AZ - Sponsored by AZ AFAA
------------------
Intermediate Fire Alarm Seminar.
http://www.afaa.org/afaa/PDF/IntFA_PHX_April2003.pdf

------------------
April 7-9, 2003 New Orleans, LA - Sponsored by LA AFAA
------------------
Advanced Fire Alarm Seminar.
http://www.afaa.org/afaa/PDF/ADV_NewOrleans_April2003.pdf

------------------
April 22-24, 2003 Richmond, VA - Sponsored by VA AFAA
------------------
Advanced Fire Alarm Seminar.
http://www.afaa.org/afaa/PDF/ADV_Richmond_Apr2003.pdf

------------------
April 22-24, 2003 Boise, ID
------------------
Intermediate Fire Alarm Seminar.
http://www.afaa.org/afaa/PDF/IntFA_Boise_April2003.pdf

------------------
April 29-30 & May 1, 2003 Seattle, WA
------------------
Intermediate Fire Alarm Seminar.
http://www.afaa.org/afaa/PDF/IntFA_Seattle_April2003.pdf

------------------
May 5-8, 2003 Anaheim, CA - Sponsored by CAFAA
------------------
Fire Alarm System Testing and Inspection Seminar.
http://www.afaa.org/afaa/PDF/INT_TI_CAFAA_ANAHEIM_May2003.pdf
Intermediate Fire Alarm Seminar.
http://www.afaa.org/afaa/PDF/INT_TI_CAFAA_ANAHEIM_May2003.pdf

------------------
May 6-8, 2003 Chicago, IL
------------------
Advanced Fire Alarm Seminar.
More information will be available soon.

------------------
May 13-15, 2003 Billings, MT
------------------
Intermediate Fire Alarm Seminar.
More information will be available soon.

------------------
June 9-12, 2003 Sacramento, CA - Sponsored by CAFAA
------------------
Fire Alarm System Testing and Inspections Seminar
Intermediate Fire Alarm Seminar
More information will be available soon.

------------------
June 10-12, 2003 Alexandria, LA - Sponsored by LA AFAA
------------------
Automatic Fire Detection and Fire Alarm Systems Seminar (Fund.)
Fire Alarm System Testing and Inspections Seminar
More information will be available soon.

------------------
June 17-19, 2003 Las Vegas, NV
------------------
Intermediate Fire Alarm Seminar.
http://www.afaa.org/afaa/PDF/IntFA_LasVegas_June2003.pdf

------------------
July 14-17, 2003 Anaheim, CA - Sponsored by CAFAA
------------------
Plan Review Seminar
Intermediate Fire Alarm Seminar
More information will be available soon.

------------------
September 15-18, 2003 Oakland, CA - Sponsored by CAFAA
------------------
Plan Review Seminar
Intermediate Fire Alarm Seminar
More information will be available soon.

------------------
September 16-18, 2003 Boston, MA - Sponsored by New England AFAA
------------------
Fire Alarm System Testing and Inspections Seminar
Automatic Fire Detection and Fire Alarm Systems Seminar (Fund.)
More information will be available soon.

------------------
September 22-25, 2003 Lafayette, LA - Sponsored by LA AFAA
------------------
Fire Alarm System Testing and Inspections Seminar
Intermediate Fire Alarm Seminar
More information will be available soon.

------------------
October 15-17, 2003 Boston, MA - Sponsored by New England AFAA
------------------
Intermediate Fire Alarm Seminar
More information will be available soon.

------------------
November 3-6, 2003 Anaheim, CA - Sponsored by CAFAA
------------------
Plan Review Seminar
Advanced Fire Alarm Seminar
More information will be available soon.

------------------
November 4-7, 2003 Boston, MA - Sponsored by New England AFAA
------------------
Advanced Fire Alarm Seminar
More information will be available soon.

================================================================
COMMENTS AND ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
================================================================

ET News is published weekly and if possible, delivered on Sunday

ET News website http://etnews.org by: http://metrodenver.org

The NICET acronym found herein refers to: http://www.nicet.org
NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR CERTIFICATION IN ENGINEERING TECHNOLOGIES

The AFAA acronym found herein refers to: http://www.afaa.org
AUTOMATIC FIRE ALARM ASSOCIATION "AFAA is celebrating 50 years!"
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This reprinted material is not the complete and official position of the NFPA on the referenced subject, which is represented only by the standard in its entirety.