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Consumer Grade Weather Stations for Wooden Structure Fire Risk Assessment

Department of Fire Safety and HSE Eng., Glö∂ R&D, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, 5528 Haugesund, Norway
Sensors 2018, 18(10), 3244; https://doi.org/10.3390/s18103244
Received: 14 August 2018 / Revised: 14 September 2018 / Accepted: 25 September 2018 / Published: 27 September 2018
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Abstract

During January 2014, Norway experienced unusually cold and dry weather conditions leading to very low indoor relative humidity (RH) in inhabited (heated) wooden homes. The resulting dry wood played an important role in the two most severe accidental fires in Norway recorded since 1923. The present work describes testing of low cost consumer grade weather stations for recording temperature and relative humidity as a proxy for dry wood structural fire risk assessment. Calibration of the weather stations relative humidity (RH) sensors was done in an atmosphere stabilized by water saturated LiCl, MgCl2 and NaCl solutions, i.e., in the range 11% RH to 75% RH. When calibrated, the weather station results were well within ±3% RH. During the winter 2015/2016 weather stations were placed in the living room in eight wooden buildings. A period of significantly increased fire risk was identified in January 2016. The results from the outdoor sensors compared favorably with the readings from a local meteorological station, and showed some interesting details, such as higher ambient relative humidity for a home close to a large and comparably warmer sea surface. It was also revealed that a forecast predicting low humidity content gave results close to the observed outdoor weather station data, at least for the first 48 h forecast. View Full-Text
Keywords: relative humidity; consumer grade weather stations; calibration; winter fire risk relative humidity; consumer grade weather stations; calibration; winter fire risk
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Log, T. Consumer Grade Weather Stations for Wooden Structure Fire Risk Assessment. Sensors 2018, 18, 3244.

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