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Radios May Fail at Elevated Temperatures:

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  • Radios May Fail at Elevated Temperatures:

    December 9, 2014:

    New test results* from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) confirm that portable radios used by firefighters can fail to operate properly within 15 minutes when exposed to temperatures that may be encountered during firefighting activities.

    All seven of the firefighter portable radios tested by NIST failed to perform properly within 15 minutes when exposed to temperature levels encountered in “fully involved” fires, as when all the contents in a room or structure are burning. Four of the handheld radios stopped transmitting, and three experienced significant “signal drift,” rendering the radios unreliable for communication.

    http://www.nist.gov/el/fire_research/radios-120914.cfm
    "Take care of yourself first. Life is too short and you never know what tomorrow or for that matter...what the next few seconds is going to bring."

  • #2
    I'm not sure how this is relevant. A firefighter in that atmosphere would be dead LONG before 15 minutes had passed. Bunker gear is not designed to protect from that level of exposure (15 minutes in fully involved room).

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    • #3
      Our friends over at FirefighterCloseCalls have more information, as well as other links: http://www.firefighterclosecalls.com.../newsid/215316

      As for the heat conditions, it states: "The failures occurred while the radios were subjected to a temperature of 160 degrees Celsius (320 degrees Fahrenheit), termed Thermal Class II conditions.** The temperature is representative of a fully involved fire or conditions outside a room when its contents flashed over."
      Career Fire Captain
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      • #4
        Originally posted by captnjak View Post
        I'm not sure how this is relevant. A firefighter in that atmosphere would be dead LONG before 15 minutes had passed. Bunker gear is not designed to protect from that level of exposure (15 minutes in fully involved room).
        Yup common sense rule right there.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by ajohansson View Post
          Yup common sense rule right there.
          The victims were wearing structural fire fighting coat and pants, gloves, hood, boots, structural fire fighting helmet with eye protection, self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) equipped with an integrated personal alert safety system (PASS), and a radio.

          Note: The remote speaker microphones (lapel mikes) were exposed to extreme temperatures which made them inoperable, primarily due to the cords burning through. The "push to talk" button on the radios would have had to been used to communicate. The National Personal Protection Technology Laboratory (NPPTL) evaluated the SCBAs and the summary evaluation report is included as Appendix One.

          more - > http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/fire/reports/face201113.html
          "Take care of yourself first. Life is too short and you never know what tomorrow or for that matter...what the next few seconds is going to bring."

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