Fred Conforti is an industry expert and accomplished speaker in the fire protection industry. He is the former CEO of the Pittway Systems Technology Group (PSTG), now the Honeywell Life Safety Group. He was one of the founders of First Alert, a residential smoke detector provider and is the founder of System Sensor, a division of Honeywell. He hold dozens of patents on smoke detectors worldwide and has been a member of NFPA for over 30 years. As a member, he sponsored, wrote, and edited many of the Life Safety Codes in the U.S.
Here, we depart from our occasional focus on controlling smoke, yielding the floor to a life safety veteran weighing in about a new development for detecting it. Some historical context around detector types and testing methods paves the way for an explanation of why the new approach may become a welcome option for many applications … if it catches on.
Leaning on experience and data from various K-12 cities and projects, the author pursues some less conventional design approaches. They may revolve around radiant heating and/or cooling, but depending on school size and other factors, the smart use of heat recovery, DOAS, and improved central plants could also put a project on the HVAC honor roll.