Fire detection using tin oxide gas sensors installed in an indoor space

Shin Ichi Shibata, Tsubasa Higashino, Ayako Sawada, Takashi Oyabu, Yoshinori Takei, Hidehito Nanto, Kiyoshi Toko

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Many lives and facilities were lost by fire. Especially, there are many damages to elderly, toddlers and babies. In Japan, number of deaths over 65 years old reached to 53% in 2004. Number of over 81 years olds went to 20%. It takes for the elderly person more time to sense fire and also to evacuate to safe places. Although it is important to prevent the fire, it also needs to inform the fire breaking as early as possible. Human sense decreases with age and it is difficult to perceive the fire at an early stage. It is desired to develop a higher sensitive element for fire and its system which can detect fire at an early stage. In this experiment, tin oxide gas sensors were adopted to detect a smoldering fire at the early stage. Most common case of fire is the smoldering fire. The reliability of the sensor is higher and it is adopted in a gas alarm detector. The sensor can also detect slight amount of odor molecule. In our previous experiment, it became obvious that it was better to install the sensor to the ceiling to detect odor components generating from smoldering fire. Therefore, five sensors were installed in the ceiling away from each other and the method to detect the fire was examined. As a result, a characteristic was newly derived by adding the sensor outputs for one minute. The sensor output was input every 0.1s. The characteristic is called as the integrated characteristic. After that, the differential characteristic was derived using the integrated characteristic. The fire was determined using the differential characteristics. The materials causing a smoldering fire were woodchip, wallpaper and carpet as subjects. The system could detect the fire in several minutes for whole materials. The sensor is effective to detect the smoldering fire at an early stage. It is necessary to detect a cigarette smoke to distinguish as non fire. In this study, the discrimination was also examined using a quadratic function (ax2+b). The coefficients a and b were effective to identify smoldering fire and cigarette smoke. Principal component analysis for the arrival speed S which meant a kind of odor-speed was also useful to distinguish fire from non fire.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)38-43
Number of pages6
JournalIEEJ Transactions on Sensors and Micromachines
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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