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Development Of A Fire Alarm Class Taken By Students From Two Year Colleges

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

TYCD 2005 Lower Division Initiatives

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.456.1 - 10.456.8

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Paper Authors

author page

Harry Franz

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Development of a Fire Alarm Class Taken by Students from Two-Year Colleges

Prof. Harry Franz, P.E.

University of Houston Downtown


The purpose of this paper is to discuss the development of an innovative Fire Alarm Class taken by students from two-year colleges by using new and original software exercises.

The University of Houston Downtown in Houston, Texas has a four-year Safety and Fire Engineering Technology program with a fire protection course, which in the catalog is formally named Fire Suppression and Detection Systems. The course is often referred to as the fire alarm system course.

The fire alarm system course development includes the design and use of detection, signaling and suppression systems. The course laboratory has both software and hardware. LabVIEW computer software is being used to develop new standalone software projects, and new project designs that interact with hardware.

Many of the fire alarm system class students are often fire and safety personnel that work in various related professions. Additionally, the class students have varied technical experience level and background in academics. The LabVIEW software is being used to develop a laboratory that is suitable for a class with students that have different backgrounds.

Newly developed laboratory exercises are used to acquaint the safety and fire students with LabVIEW and fire alarm systems.

Original LabVIEW exercises have been developed for the detection of fire signatures. Fire signatures include smoke, heat, and other changes in ambient conditions. These exercises also include the logic used to activate alarm signaling and fire suppression. Note that digital logic and analog functions are used.

Lab exercises range from the very basic concepts of fire protection systems and use of the fundamental LabVIEW features, to more advanced alarm system concepts and LabVIEW features. The capstone design project for the course requires a proficiency in LabVIEW.

Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright @2005 American Society for Engineering Education

Franz, H. (2005, June), Development Of A Fire Alarm Class Taken By Students From Two Year Colleges Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon.

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