Fire & Rescue New South Wales
Flawed Smoke Alarm Research

BACKGROUND & PEER REVIEW

"There's a lack of expertise within the
 
fire service . . . in understanding the
 
absolute technical issues involved..."
 
David Isaac | ABC Investigation

"...the experiment design..
for this research study..

was crucially flawed."
Dr V Babrauskas | Peer Review

David Isaac

Australia's Leading
Fire Safety Expert

Dr Vyto Babrauskas

World's Leading and

First Ever Fire Scientist

MENU

BACKGROUND

2015 Dec    Fire & Rescue New South Wales (FRNSW): Ionization Smoke Alarms - From Warning to Endorsing

 

2017 Sept  Peer Review Urgent Warning - Concerns FRNSW Testing Was Flawed

 

2018 Jan    FRNSW Smoke Alarm Research Reports (Coming Soon)

 

2018 Jan     ABC Special Investigation

 

PEER REVIEW

2019 Oct     World's Leading Fire Scientist's Peer Review Exposes FRNSW Flawed Research

 

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2013 Oct        'Toxic Hot Seat'

                      This Pulitzer Prize-winning documentary has extraordinary parallels with the 44 year ionization smoke alarm
                      fraud. Toxic Hot Seat follows a courageous group of campaigner's fight to expose decades of deception that
                      left a toxic legacy in our homes and bodies - a campaign so cunning, it's took nearly 40 years to unravel.

2015 December

BACKGROUND

FRNSW: Ionization Smoke
 Alarms - From Warning to Endorsing

How Australia's largest fire brigade reversed their
stand - from warning to endorsing ionization alarms.

LEGITIMATE
Stage 1 Research

Commissioner Mullins

Wants Ionization
Alarms Banned

Senate Inquiry Testimony

Fire & Rescue New South Wales (FRNSW) is one of the world's largest metropolitan fire departments. In December 2015, at the Australian Senate Smoke Alarm Inquiry, FRNSW Commissioner Greg Mullins made a stand
when he testified that the ionization smoke alarms in almost all NSW homes should be banned. He also warned, based on Australian Government (CSIRO) scientific test data, that Australia's smoke alarm standard was flawed.

 

Commissioner Mullin's Stand Made Public
One month later, on 12 January 2016
Commissioner Mullin's stand was confirmed publicly: "Ionization alarms should be banned . . . they do not operate as quickly as photoelectric alarms, our own research reinforces that."
(emphasis added - FRNSW Stage 1 smoke alarm research). he repeatedly warned ionization alarms should be banned throughout 2016:

FLAWED
Stage 2 Research

Commissioner Baxter

Does Not Want
Ionization Alarms Banned

Before He Retired, FRNSW Commissioner Mullins
 Repeatedly Warned Ionization Alarms Should Be Banned

"Get Rid of Ionization Alarms. Re-alarm With Photoelectric Alarms"

FRNSW Commissioner Mullins | Today Show, Channel 9 | NSW, Australia | May 2016

1:17 Karl Stefanovic - Channel 9 Reporter

"Photoelectric alarms are the ones that people should have right?
 How do they tell the difference?"

 

1:46 Greg Mullins - FRNSW Commissioner

"So we’re saying get rid of ionization alarms. Re-alarm with photoelectric alarms."

 

1:50 Karl Stefanovic - Channel 9 Reporter

"It’s almost got to the point where they should be banned."

 (Karl Stefanovic hosted 60 Minutes ionization smoke alarm exposé, 'The Alarming Truth'.

 

I1:52 Greg Mullins - FRNSW Commissioner

“Well I believe they should be and I gave evidence to a Senate Inquiry and I said that.
The Australian Standards - they’ll both say, 'look they meet the standard' but the tests
are different for these two." (Emphasis added)

More about the flawed Australian Standard HERE > > >

Commissioner Mullin's Stand Reversed

Just months after he retired, in May 2017 his stand was reversed on national TV.

 

ABC Investigation: FRNSW Flawed Research

The ABC investigated campaigner's claims that FRNSW research and the Australian
smoke alarm standard (AS3786-1993) are flawed. The peer review (below) vindicates Commissioner Mullin's stand as does newly enacted photoelectric legislation in:

- Queensland and Australia's Northern Territory,

- New Zealand (the world's first, nationwide residential legislation),

- several states and cities across the U.S., and

- the U.S. (the new, nationwide U.S. standard now has a legitimate smoldering fire

  test that ionization alarms are unable to pass).

2017 September

Peer Review Urgent Warning

Concerns FRNSW Testing was Flawed

 David Isaac, Australia's leading fire safety expert's email (18/9/16)
and letter (7/9/17) urgin
g FRNSW to have their research peer reviewed.

"It will be inevitably argued by experts that the use of cotton

batting for these smoldering fires was a flawed methodology."

D Isaac Letter | 'FRNSW SAPIRF Tests and Report' | 7 Sept 2017 | Page 3, para 3.

 

"I have seen a preliminary one-page summary report that the New Zealand Fire Service
 used in a Coronial Inquiry in New Zealand where a Grandmother and Grandchild died
 in a public housing residential occupancy fitted with multiple ionization smoke alarms."

D Isaac Letter | 'FRNSW SAPIRF Tests and Report' | 7 Sept 2017 | Page 4, para 2.

 

"What should be of considerable concern to all of us is the data on the
 performance of ionization alarms in the smoldering fire smoke sensitivity
tests that have been conducted by the CSIRO since 1993 under AS 2362.17."

D Isaac Letter | 'FRNSW SAPIRF Tests and Report' | 7 Sept 2017 | Page 4, para 3.

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WARNING
LETTER

1.1.MB

2018 January 22

ABC Special Investigation

Investigation into allegations of
flawed smoke alarm testing by FRNSW

David Isaac
Standards Australia

Committee FP002

Fire & Rescue NSW Say Research Settles
Smoke Alarm Safety Debate,
Critics Disagree

7:11  "There's a lack of expertise within the fire service . . . in understanding the absolute technical issues involved..."

David Isaac | Member, Standards Australia Committee FP002 & FPAA | 22 Jan 2018

Mark Whybro

Asst. Commissioner

Fire & Rescue NSW

2:10 "A former NSW fire commissioner told a Senate Inquiry in 2014 ionization alarms should be outlawed everywhere."
       
Annie Guest  |  Reporter/Producer, ABC Radio National  |  Brisbane, QLD, Australia  |  22 Jan 2018

4:29  "Our research shows that no particular smoke alarm reacts the best in all situations."

        Mark Whybro | Assistant Commissioner, Fire & Rescue NSW  |  NSW, Australia  |  22 Jan 2018

 

4:45  "So therefore this report should be enough, in your view, to settle that long running argument involving the efficacy

          of smoke alarms; that people need not concern themselves anymore with which one's better?"

            Annie Guest  |  Reporter/Producer, ABC Radio National  |  Brisbane, QLD, Australia  |  22 Jan 2018

5:04  "Exactly."

          Mark Whybro | Assistant Commissioner, Fire & Rescue NSW  |  NSW, Australia  |  22 Jan 2018

5:35  "Their (FRNSW) testing, I would argue, was not a proper, smoldering synthetic fire test."

        David Isaac | Member, Standards Australia Committee FP002 & FPAA |  NSW, Australia  |  22 Jan 2018

7:37  "There are times when the ionization alarm is a particularly dangerous device - and we've seen this in the U.S. with
          litigation and court cases where they are always
settled out of court with Confidentiality Orders by the manufacturers."

        David Isaac | Member, Standards Australia Committee FP002 & FPAA |  NSW, Australia  |  22 Jan 2018

Press 'Play' button above   |    Online Report - ABC Website   |    Download MP3  (8.3 Megs)

Part 1 of 9:   22 Jan 18: Radio Interview - 8 Min

2019 October

PEER REVIEW

World's Leading Fire Scientist's Peer

Review Exposes FRNSW Flawed Research

"Lack of adequate burning. . .

...the experiment design for this research study was crucially flawed."

'Peer Review of FRNSW Smoke Alarm Studies'
Dr Vytenis (Vyto) Babrauskas | 30 October 2019 | Page 10, Paragraph 3

 

"Conclusions

The Stage 2 FRNSW study did not produce useful data for
comparing the performance of different smoke alarm technologies."

'Peer Review of FRNSW Smoke Alarm Studies'
Dr Vytenis (Vyto) Babrauskas | 30 October 2019 | Page 15 , Paragraph 4

"I note that, for the Australian context, Mr Greg Mullins, as
 Commissioner of FRNSW, provided the following testimony:

". . .To say that they (ionization and photoelectric smoke alarms) are equal
and good for different circumstances is to me a fallacy . . . an absolute myth.

'Peer Review of FRNSW Smoke Alarm Studies'
Dr Vytenis (Vyto) Babrauskas | 30 October 2019 | Page 4, Paragraph 3

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PEER REVIEW

.8MB

Dr Vytenis (Vyto) Babrauskas

Curriculum Vitae

Dr Vytenis (Vyto) Babrauskas is a distinguished fire scientist and
President of Fire Science and Technology Inc. His Curriculum Vitae is below.

 

A list of his publications is HERE

 

His Society of Fire Protection Engineers Member Profile is HERE

 

More about Dr Babrauskas is HERE

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CV (14 Pages)

.2
MB

Toxic Hot Seat

Toxic Hot Seat

Pulitzer Prize Winning Documentary

TOXIC HOT SEAT follows a courageous group of firefighters and mothers,
journalists and scientists, (i.e. Dr Vyto Babrauskas), politicians and activists

as they fight to expose a shadowy campaign of deception that left a toxic legacy

in our homes and bodies - a campaign so cunning, it's taken nearly 40 years to unravel.

1:50   "The next big step was when Investigative journalists at the Chicago Tribune started realizing
that there was a great deal of similarity between the Tobacco Institutes promotion of cigarette smoking  versus the chemical industries promotion of flame retardants for furniture."

The Pulitzer Prize | Journalism | Finalist | 2013

Patricia Callahan, Sam Roe and Michael Hawthorne

TRAILER

TOXIC HOT SEAT follows a courageous group of firefighters, mothers, journalists and scientists (including Dr Babrauskas), politicians and activists as they fight to expose
a shadowy campaign of deception that left a toxic legacy in our homes and
bodies; a campaign so cunning, it's taken nearly 40 years to unravel.

13:13  "I was the first person ever to get a PhD degree in Fire Protection Engineering.
Back in the late 1980's I was working for the Federal Government and I did a very
 extensive study on a comparison between goods that did or did not have flame retardants."

31:06  "Increased rates of childhood learning and behavioral problems; increased rates of
birth defects; adulthood cancers like testicular cancer; and there is some good evidence
that flame retardants are contributing to the increased rates of cancer in our firefighters."

32:34  "We're seeing more and more breast cancer now in the female firefighters. . ."

32:36  "If the science shows that these chemicals don't really even work the way they're used,
then why are we getting the potential risk and none of the benefit, or the purported benefit.
The people who make these chemicals don't really want people to ask that question."

41:47  "So they manipulated your research to suit their needs?
Well in an exceedingly blatant and disgraceful way - yes."

Watch 'Toxic Hot Seat' Film Online
US$4.99

< < < CLICK HERE > > >

Read the Chicago Tribune's Pulitzer Prize-Winning
 newspaper reports that inspired the 'Toxic Hot Seat' film

< < < CLICK HERE > > >

"The world is a dangerous

  place to live; not because

  of the people who are evil,

  but because of the people

  who do nothing about it."

Albert Einstein

"Ignorance, allied with..
power, is the most.. ferocious enemy..
 justice can have."

James A Baldwin

"The only thing..

necessary for the.. triumph of evil is that..

good men do nothing."

Edmund Burke