Thomas P. Hammerberg

Freelance Writer

Thomas P. Hammerberg, SET, CFPS is president of Hammerberg & Associates Inc. He serves as technical director of the Automatic Fire Alarm Association (AFAA) Inc. and represents the association on a number of NFPA committees, including the NFPA 72 Technical Correlating Committee, Protected Premises Technical Committee, NFPA 3 and 4, NFPA 90A and NFPA 101, Fundamentals and Building Services and Fire Protection Equipment committees. In additions, he is a member of the ICC Industry Advisory Committee. Reach him at

Articles by Thomas P. Hammerberg

February 2011
Everyone who installs or tests fire alarm systems has a few complaints about duct detectors, which are usually located where the accessibility is limited, making them also hard to test. These detectors provide one of the two most commonly controversial issues with fire alarm system installations (the other is smoke detectors in elevator hoistways). There are two conflicting sets of requirements. READ MORE
December 2010
James Milke, Ph.D., P.E., is professor and associate chair of the Fire Protection Engineering department of the University of Maryland. Milke and his staff reviewed several past studies conducted over several years to examine the comparative operation of smoke detectors and sprinklers over a wide range of data. READ MORE
October 2010
So far, this column has discussed changes to Chapters 1–17 and the new Chapter 24, Emergency Communications Systems, in the 2010 National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code. In Chapter 18, Notification Appliances, significant changes include the relocation of the requirements for the emergency evacuation signal (three pulse temporal pattern) from the protected premises chapter. READ MORE
June 2010
In previous columns, we discussed the two major changes to NFPA 72 2010, the new emergency communications systems chapter and the new circuits and pathways chapter. There are quite a few other changes that are worth discussing. READ MORE
April 2010
There have been extensive changes to the 2010 edition of NFPA 72, the National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code. One of the more significant changes was the addition of the circuits and pathways chapter, Chapter 12. Twenty years ago, all we had to describe fire alarm circuits was Class A and B. READ MORE
February 2010
Mass notification systems (MNS) are a hot topic in life safety, especially in the educational environment. Although the Army first had the idea of incorporating mass notification into NFPA 72 due to heightened security risks, recent incidents have rapidly expanded interest in MNS on school campuses. READ MORE
October 2009
We have all had experience with smoke detectors. Specifying the right smoke detector for the application will improve the reliability of fire alarm systems tremendously. Of course, the detector must be installed correctly to prevent problems. READ MORE
June 2009
Every smoke detector serves a different purpose. The primary reason to install them is to provide a means of early warning in the event of a fire. Smoke detectors may be used for detection of fire, to protect equipment or to connect with building functions. READ MORE
April 2009
National Fire Protection Association members will vote on the 2010 edition of NFPA 72, National Fire Alarm Code, at the June NFPA conference in Chicago. If the members accept and the Standards Council approves, it will be available for adoption this fall. READ MORE