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Response of Underground Fire Sensors: An Evaluation
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  • Description:
    This U.S. Bureau of Mines report discusses the results of research conducted in the Bureau's experimental mine at Lake Lynn Laboratory on the response of fire sensors to simulated mine fires, which included (1) a slowly developing coal-conveyor belt fire, (2) a rapidly burning liquid fuel-belt fire, and (3) a liquid fuel-belt fire in the presence of diesel exhaust. During these tests, several mine fire sensors were evaluated with respect to sensor placement, spacing, and type. The data indicate that smoke sensors alarm several minutes before CO sensors do; and that, in the presence of diesel exhaust, a prototype diesel-discriminating smoke sensor can successfully function without being sensitive to the diesel contaminants. The vertical placement of sensors in the entry near the fire was also shown to be critical in terms of alarm times. Additional data showed that variations exist in response time and level of response for two brands of electrochemical CO sensor. Results also indicate that early detection of fires will improve the probability of miners' escape, because of reduced smoke concentrations during the incipient stages of the fire.

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