Faculty Advisor

Dembsey, Nicholas A.


Linear heat detection (LHD) has become an integral part of protecting people and property in structures such as storage facilities, tunnels, and subways. It makes for an ideal heat detector due to its chemical resistance, ability to detect fire anywhere along its length, and cost effectiveness. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) has set requirements concerning the installation of LHD. According to NFPA 72, LHD must be no more than 50.8 cm (20 in.) from the ceiling. The standard requirement applies to only flat ceilings and is not affected by the total ceiling height. In the current work, hand calculations, tests, and simulations were conducted to understand if the 50.8 cm (20 in.) depth is an acceptable requirement in the context of general fire behavior under flat ceilings.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Date Accepted

January 2014


Mechanical Engineering

Project Type

Major Qualifying Project



Advisor Department

Fire Protection Engineering