The forefront of fire protection

Four FM Global innovators sweep NFPA 2019 DiNenno Prize

Universal and old as earth, fire continues to be fought by businesses in every corner of the globe. The only thing that changes is how to fight it.

This year, the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) recognized FM Global retirees Roger Allard, Robert G. Bill, Gunnar Heskestad, and Hsiang-Cheng Kung as the winners of this year's award at the NFPA's Conference & Expo in San Antonio, Texas, USA. The prestigious DiNenno Prize recognizes groundbreaking innovations that have had a significant impact in the building, fire and electrical safety fields.

All four awardees were recognized for work they did on behalf of FM Global. According to the NFPA, each of these recipients has played a significant and substantive role in the successful promulgation of truly effective, occupancy-specific, fast-response fire sprinklers, which involve three independent technologies related to fire sprinkler response.

Here are summaries of their awarded innovations:

Innovation #1: Showing that the constancy of Response Time in conjunction with a controlled temperature and uniform flow wind tunnel measurement could be used to characterize a thermally responding element under typical fire exposure conditions.

Innovation #2: The development of the Quick-Response (QR) residential fire sprinkler, which required a fast-response link combined with specific sprinkler water discharge distribution to achieve adequate life safety suppression of fires in residential settings.

Innovation #3: The development of the Early Suppression, Fast-Response (ESFR) fire sprinkler, which required a fast-response link combined with both large droplet technology and a high sprinkler water discharge flow momentum to penetrate the high-velocity plumes of rapidly growing industrial fires in order to reach the seat of the fire.

According to the NFPA, overall, the following three statements can be made with certainty:

  • First, the use of Response Time technology has been overwhelmingly accepted worldwide for the characterization of fast-response links.
  • Second, Quick-Response residential fire sprinklers are widely accepted and used in residential settings worldwide.
  • And last, but not least, Early Suppression, Fast-Response fire sprinklers are broadly used in commercial and industrial settings worldwide.

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