Underwriters Lab is holding a seminar Nov. 14-15 to talk about findings from its UL-Fire Protection Research Foundation Smoke Characterization Project. What's smoke characterization you ask? Well, UL along with some manufacturing partners--GE among them--conducted a research study on fire and smoke and "in particular, the particles and gases that make up smoke," according to UL's press release. In some ways, this seminar seems aimed at fire marshals, fire chiefs and other pubic officials, however, there looks to be plenty of interest for those of you who make and install fire systems. For example: UL's findings on the responsiveness of different kinds of smoke alarms; current issues related to smoke alarm operations; engineering trends in smoke alarm designs and fire detection technology and what's going on with codes related to this equipment. UL's got an impressive line-up of speakers from NIST, NFPA, Centers for Disease Control, the University of Maryland, and UL itself. The seminar ($199) will take place at the Westin Hotel ($169 per night for seminar attendees) in Lombard,Ill.(a half an hour from O'Hare). The program also includes a tour on Wednesday of UL and a fire and smoke demo.