Why Haven't We Been Told?

In areas with photoelectric smoke alarm legislation, there has been some promotion of the need for photoelectric alarms. However, because of the legal and political implications of admitting that the wrong (ionization) type of alarm has been installed in consumer's homes for decades which has contributed to tens of thousands of deaths and injuries, authorities are reluctant to admit there is a anything wrong with ionization alarms. Some authorites claim:

"Any type of smoke alarm is fine as long as it passes the standard."
This is false. Ionization alarms absolutely are not OK!

 

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How Long has the Truth Been Hidden About Ionization Alarm's Defects?

For more than 50 years! In 1980 the International Association of Fire Chiefs warned that ionization smoke alarms were not safe, that lives were at risk, and that fire chiefs should only recommend photoelectric alarms.

 

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Are Authorities Failing in their Duty of Care to Warn about Ionization Alarms?

Yes.

 

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What Type of Smoke Alarms are in Commercial Buildings?

Photoelectric smoke detectors are in most commercial buildings (AS1670.1  |  May 2004).

 

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Why Hasn't the Fire Service Warned Us?

 

Due to legal and political constraints (which are beyond their control), the Australian Fire Service is restricted as to what they are allowed to say about ionization alarms. Fire Commissioners are accountable/answerable to politicians - the Ministers for Emergency Services in each state.

 

However, before he retired, the most senior person in the Australian fire service, Commissioner Greg Mullins, warned that "Ionization smoke alarms should be banned."

 

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Have Ionization Smoke Alarm Manufacturers Been Sued?

 

Yes, and so has Underwriters Laboratories (UL), the largest smoke alarm testing/certification laboratory in the world.

 

More (manufacturers) > > >         More (UL) > > >

What About the Australian Smoke Alarm Standard?

 

The smoke alarms in most Australian homes have been tested to AS3786-1993. Before he retired, FRNSW Commissioner Greg Mullins said "...the standard is flawed."

 

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