Project Description

Burn to Learn is a joint project being conducted by Cooper General and 3M Corporation to test the survivability of public safety DAS components.  This post introduces our test plan.

Public Safety communications systems often require local  amplification with RF signal boosters (BDAs) and Distributed Antenna System (DAS) components used to conduct radio signals throughout public structures.  These BDA/DAS systems are considered Life Safety, and Agencies Having Jurisdiction (AHJ’s) can specify two hour fire-rating under provisions of NFPA-72 and 1221 for critical components, including cabling.

Available DAS RF cable and other components are not fire-rated.   Although various plenum and low-gas emission cables are generally available, manufacturers do not specify survivability per se, and there is not a body of knowledge supporting fire protection requirements with respect to the innate survivability of these components.  

Burn to Learn is a unique collaboration between Cooper General  and 3M Corporation to test and  demonstrate survivability and protection options to ASTM standards.  

We will assemble a collection of DAS cable types, conduit systems, antennas and related components at 3M’s  world-class fire research test facility in Minneapolis.  We will expose components for two hours to the ASTM E 119 time-temperature curve, reaching 1,850F.   Relative survivability of commonly available foam core, air dielectric and radiating cables, EMT conduit and junction boxes, couplers, connectors and antennas will be assessed through a controlled burn with active conducted RF signals.  We will assess 3M treatment options and demonstrate their efficacy, precisely.

3M Corporation is the world leader in fire protection systems, with a variety of products applicable to DAS installations. Cooper General Corporation is a public safety DAS system provider based in Florida.

The two companies are collaborating on this unique project to provide  vital information important to fire protection professionals and public safety communications personnel.

To request more information, or to participate in our project, please contact Dan Deveson directly at (305)970-9220.