NIST Tests Reveal Failures of Firefighter Radios

The National Institute of Standards and Technology said that testing it conducted confirmed that portable firefighter radios can fail within 15 minutes when exposed to temperatures of 320 degrees Fahrenheit. “All seven of the firefighter portable radios tested by NIST failed to perform properly within 15 minutes when exposed to temperature levels encountered in ‘fully involved’ fires, as when all the contents in a room or structure are burning,” NIST reported. “Four of the handheld radios stopped transmitting, and three experienced significant ‘signal drift,’ rendering the radios unreliable for communication.” Three of the radios did not recover normal function once they cooled down. NIST said that its “researchers are furnishing their test data and performance measurements to the National Fire Protection Association, which is developing a performance standard for portable radios used by emergency personnel.”

Source:  TRDaily