PART
1

2

3

4

IONIZATION Smoke Alarms Are DEADLY

The Alarming Truth

How flawed smoke alarm standards have

resulted in tens of thousands of injuries and deaths.

PART TWO

Chapters 9 - 17 | 2007 - 2014

Chapter

Date

Content

9

2007

Feb

'. . . A Criminal Act of Negligence?'

WFSF report warning of life-safety and litigation concerns with ionization smoke alarms.

10

2008

July

Safety Council's 'Renewed Calls for Banning Ionization Alarms'

[NZSC: 4 of 5]  New Zealand Safety Council's official position: Ban ionization alarms.

11

2009

Oct

Vermont - Mandate Photoelectric-Only Legislation

Despite desperate attempts to block it by industry and UL, Vermont passes landmark legislation.

12

2009

Jan

'Is the N.Z. Fire Service Responsible for Fire Deaths?'

The New Zealand Fire Services' role in multiple house fire deaths.

13

2010

March

Consumer Research - All Ionization Smoke Alarms Fail . . . Again

[CNZ: 2 of 4] All ionization alarms fail Consumer N.Z.'s second scientific study.

'New Zealand Fire Service Duty of Care Concerns'

WFSF exposes New Zealand Fire Services' failure to warn about ionization alarms.

Aug 4

14

2010

15

2010

May

Albany, CA - Mandates Photoelectric-Only Legislation

WFSF exposes New Zealand Fire Services' failure to warn about ionization alarms.

16

2011

June

U.S. Fire Chief Marc McGinn's 'DEADLY Smoke Alarms Tour'

Chief McGinn travels to Australia and New Zealand warning about ionization alarms

17

2014

June

Beasley Allen's Landmark U.S. Ionization Smoke Alarm Law Suit

Australian Government (CSIRO) scientific data from Australian Standards testing deposed.

Chapter 9

2007 | February

World Fire Safety Foundation Report:

'Recommending, Selling or Installing
Ionization Smoke Alarms, a Criminal Act of Negligence?'

Warning about life-safety and litigation concerns with ionization smoke alarms.

"I mean, you buy a smoke alarm, you expect it to go off."
Corinne Ambler, Senior Reporter, TVNZ | The C.A.N. Report | Feb 2007, page 9, para 6

"In the smoldering fire tests the photoelectric alarms provided sufficient early warning. However the
 ionization alarms failed the same smoldering fire tests resulting in the following dialog between Corinne
 Ambler of TVNZ and Bill Whitley of the N.Z. Consumer's Institute, that was aired on prime time TV:"

  Corinne Ambler:  "That's pretty shocking though isn't it?"

          Bill Whitley:   "It is - it's a big worry."

  Corinne Ambler: "I mean, you buy a smoke alarm, you expect it to go off."

          Bill Whitley:   "Precisely - and it may not."

The C.A.N. Report

The WFSF's C.A.N. Report explains life-threatening safety, and litigation concerns with ionization alarms.

 

10 hard-copies of the report were distributed to senior New Zealand Fire Service management
(see recipients list on page 16)

 

The report is a must-read for all fire fighters, fire officials, media and ionization smoke alarm attorneys.

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Chapter 10

2008 | July - August

2008 | July

 

[NZSC: 4 of 5]

New Zealand Safety Council Report & Radio Interview:
'Renewed Calls for Banning Ionization Alarms'

N.Z. Safety Council's official position: Ban ionization alarms.

In Memory of Freda Birch

"The New Zealand Safety Council's position is that ionization smoke alarms be banned. . ."

David Calvert, CEO, NZSC | 'NZSC Smoke Alarm Report' | July 2008 | Page 1, Para 1

"The New Zealand Safety Council is critical of the Leadership of the New Zealand Fire Service..
 in failing to properly promote photoelectric alarms in accordance with AFAC's official position."

David Calvert, CEO, NZSC | 'NZSC Smoke Alarm Report' | July 2008 | Page 6, Para 5

David Calvert

Electrical Engineer, Registered
Safety Professional, Former CEO

& Fellow N.Z. Safety Council

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2008 | August

‘Renewed Calls for Banning Ionization Smoke Alarms’

Interview: Radio New Zealand National

Consumer N.Z.  |  N.Z. Fire Service  |  N.Z. Safety Council  |  Radio N.Z.

0:15   "The New Zealand Safety Council . . . ‘Smoke Alarm Report’ says Freda’s unit had three ionization smoke alarms
            fitted by the Fire Service and more of the same have been put into her neighbors homes following her death."

                                                                                    Tim Graham, Presenter, Radio National New Zealand | 9 August 2008

1:03  "The ordinary firefighter has been kept in the dark because their senior management hasn't told them."
                                                                    
David Calvert, Founder, CEO, New Zealand Safety Council | 9 August 2008

2:12  "...as long as they have working smoke alarms they’ve done what they can to protect themselves and their families."
                                             
  Scott Sargentina, Corporate Communications Manager, New Zealand Fire Service | 9 August 2008

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49MB

'Safety Council Calls
for Improved Alarms'

"Nobody should die in such circumstances and, with..

 properly fitted photoelectric smoke alarms, they would not."

David Calvert, N.Z. Safety Council | PressReader.com | 9 August 2008

"...they (ionization alarms) will still provide a good early-warning system."

New Zealand Fire Service | PressReader.com | 9 August 2008

World Fire Safety Foundation Comments:

     Feb 2006: TVNZ 'Close Up' program airs nationally with WFSF's warning about ionization alarms.

  Early 2006: All ionization alarms failed smoldering fire tests commissioned by Consumer New Zealand .

27 May 2006: 'Saving Face or Saving Lives?' letter warning about ionization alarms sent to N.Z. Fire Service.
1 June 2006: AFAC's official position stated: - Ionization alarms may not operate in time for occupants to escape, and

                                                                         - "That all residential accommodation be fitted with photoelectric alarms."
1 June 2008: Freda Birch dies in home fitted with ionization alarms which were installed by the NZFS.

   June 2008: NZSC CEO David Calvert warns ionization alarms should be banned from sale in New Zealand.

  9 Aug 2008: NZFS: - keeps defending ionization alarms in the media claiming they're, "a good early warning system."

                                   - states, "any smoke alarm is better than none."

                                   - reinstalled ionization smoke alarms back into the unit block where Freda Birch died (see page 1)

Chapter 11

2009 | January

UNDER CONSTRUCTION

Vermont - First U.S. State to

Mandate Photoelectric-Only Legislation

Despite desperate attempts to block it by industry

and UL, Vermont passes landmark legislation.

Chapter 12

2009 | February

World Fire Safety Foundation Report:

'Is the New Zealand Fire Service

Responsible for Fire Deaths?'

The NZFS's role in multiple house fire deaths.

"Questions are being asked about the New Zealand Fire Service’s role in
 the deaths of Lynette Chapman, who died in a home fire in January 2009,
 and Freda Birch, who died due to a fire in her pensioner flat in June 2008."

Karl Westwell, WFSF | 'Is the NZFS Responsible For Fire Deaths?' | Feb 09 - Page 1, Para 1

"Failing to warn us of the known limitations of the ionization smoke alarm is not a ‘neutral
act’; it is an act that denies people their right to make an informed decision, it is an act that
prevents people from doing what is necessary to protect their homes and their families."

Karl Westwell, WFSF | 'Is the NZFS Responsible For Fire Deaths?' | Feb 09 - Page 8, Para 2

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World Fire Safety Foundation Comments:

"Writing an article that confronts the fire service head on for what some might call its complacency,
 and others its negligence, is not something that has not been done without a great deal of trepidation."

Karl Westwell, Co-Founder, WFSF | 'Is the NZFS Responsible For Fire Deaths?' | Page 9, Para 2 | February 2009

Chapter 13

2010 | March

[CNZ: 2 of 4]

Consumer Research - All Ionization Smoke Alarms Fail . . . Again
All ionization alarms fail in Consumer New Zealand's second smoke alarm report.

"The ionization models were slightly better on average at detecting
  flaming fires, but were hopeless for smoldering fires.
Many of them
  didn't sound at all . . . That failing is potentially fatal."
(emphasis added)

                                Consumer New Zealand | March 2010

Consumer N.Z.'s Scientific Smoke Alarm Research Test Results
Research - Conducted by the Building Research Association of New Zealand (BRANZ)

                        Funded by N.Z. Government's Accident Compensation Commission (ACC)

MORE > > >

Consumer N.Z.'s Smoke Alarm Scientific Research
 
2006     |     2010     |     2014     |     2018

Chapter 14

2010 | August

World Fire Safety Foundation Report:

'New Zealand Fire Service Duty of Care Concerns'

World Fire Safety Foundation exposes New Zealand

Fire Service's failure to warn about ionization alarms.

"I note with disappointment that the NZFS is STILL failing to
 consistently promote photoelectric smoke alarms in the media."

Adrian Butler, Chairman, WFSF letter to NZFS | 4 Aug 10 | page 1, para 5

"...should those responsible for the failure to warn the public and
    NZFS firefighters be held liable in the event of injuries or deaths..."

Adrian Butler, Chairman, WFSF letter to NZFS | 4 Aug 10 | page 2, para 3

"This information is being provided to you in good faith in the hope
 that the New Zealand Fire Service begins to adequately warn the
 public about the life-threatening danger of ionization smoke alarms..."

Adrian Butler, Chairman, WFSF letter to NZFS | 4 Aug 10 | page 3, para 3

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Chapter 15

2010 | August

[NZSC: 5 of 5]

Legislation - Albany, California, U.S.A.:

Ionization Smoke Alarms Are DEADLY

First U.S. City Legislates Photoelectric-Only Alarms
San Francisco Chronicle report used to spread photoelectric-only message globally

"I call for the immediate removal of the fraudulent, deadly, ionization so-called smoke alarm..
from all stores and homes in America before more people are needlessly maimed and killed."

Chief McGinn's closing statement | First Reading, Albany's Smoke Alarm Ordinance | Albany, CA, USA | 6 July 2010

On 15 August 2010 the story about Albany California's legislation to eliminate ionization

smoke alarms was featured on the front page of the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper.

San Francisco Chronicle Report | 'Raising Alarm for Fire Safety'

"Albany Fire Chief Marc McGinn says most smoke alarms in

American homes are nearly useless and put residents in danger."

"Switching fire alarms could save about 1,500 lives a year. . ."

San Francisco Chronicle | 'Raising Alarm For Fire Safety' | CA, USA | 15 Aug 10

San Francisco Chronicle

Ken Fagan's Radio Interview

"The fire chief in Albany says most homes in the
 Bay area and the rest of the country don't have

 the right kind of smoke alarms and it's costing lives."

Kevin Fagan

S.F. Chronicle Reporter

'California Makes A Stand for

Photoelectric Smoke Alarms'

WFSF report with S.F. Chronicle's landmark stories about Albany & Palo Alto | Nov 2010

IONIZATION Smoke Alarms Are DEADLY
The Alarming Truth

by Chief Marc McGinn | August 2010

 

In August 2010, after Albany's photoelectric-only

legislation passed unanimously into law,

Chief McGinn wrote a report exposing flawed
smoke alarm standards and industry attempts

to block Albany's landmark legislation.

 

 

His 2010 report was updated by the WFSF

in 2020 where concerns about needless

deaths and injuries have been vindicated.

 

 

Read McGinns 2010 Report
& the WFSF's 2020 Update

 

< < < H E R E > > >

Chapter 16

2011 | May

U.S. Fire Chief Marc McGinn's

'DEADLY Smoke Alarms Tour'

Chief McGinn's tour of Australia and New Zealand

Chief McGinn's Australian and New Zealand Tour | May 2011

Australia's Flawed Smoke Alarm Standard
Putting Australian & New Zealand Lives at Risk

Chief McGinn warning ionization smoke alarms are unable to pass
 smoke alarm standard covering New Zealand and Australian homes

New Zealand Safety Council's Interview with Chief McGinn

Auckland New Zealand | 16 May 2011

Part 1 | 9 minutes - 48 seconds

Part 2 | 9 minutes - 58 seconds

Chief McGinn with N.Z. Safety Council
CEO and Founder David Calvert

Auckland, New Zealand | 16 May 2011

Chief McGinn Meets
David Calvert, NZSC CEO

World Fire Safety Foundation Comments

(Updated 27 June 2020)

'Replace YOUR Deadly Smoke Detectors Now!'

The Chronicle's front page report was the first time a major U.S. publication had

quoted a senior fire official warning that ionization smoke alarms are "deadly".

The Chief's message was explicit, "We absolutely have to get rid of them."

Claims of Flawed Standards Vindicated

This 'Alarming Truth' chronology contains media reports spanning several decades where campaigners have warned:

a) lives are at risk because ionization smoke alarms are unsafe, and,

b) most global smoke alarm standards are flawed as they are based on testing
    developed by U.L. which is alleged to be "negligent or wanton."

 

The new, corrected U.S. smoke alarm standard comes into effect in June 2021. Under the new standard ionization technology will be eliminated from all future U.S. residential smoke alarm sales as they will not be able to pass U.L.'s new, legitimate, smoldering fire tests. Tragically tens of millions of ionization alarms will remain in homes around the world due to a deadly compromise. . .

 

The Deadly Compromise - Advising Not Warning

Despite overwhelming scientific evidence and legal precedence proving ionization alarms are "deadly", for legal and political reasons, most authorities refuse to warn about the life-threatening danger with ionization alarms.

 

A growing number of authorities now advise "photoelectric alarms are better".
However, the failure to warn about ionization alarms is a deadly compromise

which each year results in thousands of needless deaths and injuries globally.

Chief McGinn's warning and the WFSF's website was
painted on several Albany Fire Department apparatuses

Assembly Resolution

Californian Legislature

Upon his retirement in April 2011,  the Californian Government awarded Albany Fire Chief Marc McGinn with an 'Assembly Resolution.'

The Resolution states:

WHEREAS, ...Chief Marc McGinn worked tirelessly over the course of his career to outlaw the use of ionization smoke detectors, which are flame detectors and not smoke detectors (emphasis added)

Chapter 17

2014 | June 14

U.S. Ionization Smoke Alarm Litigation:

Beasley Allen Law Firm Wins Landmark Ionization

Law Suit Using Australian Government (CSIRO) Test Data
Australian Government (CSIRO) scientific data from Australian Standards testing deposed.

'The Law And You'

Ionization Smoke Alarm

Whistle Blower Interviews

with Labarron Boone Esq., Partner & Shareholder

Beasley Allen Law Firm  |  Montgomery, Alabama  U.S.A.

Beasley Allen's Landmark Law Suit

     A law suit against one of the world's largest ionization smoke alarm manufacturers was set to go to trial in Montgomery, Alabama in April 2014.

     Three children had died in a home fitted with working ionization smoke alarms.  U.S. and Australian smoke alarm experts were scheduled to testify. However, the case was settled out of court with a Protection Order on all documentation and a Confidentiality Order on the settlement after the smome alarm manufacturer was deposed, i.e. forced to reveal Australian government (CSIRO) test data which proves ionization smoke alarms are unsafe.

Download 
MP3 - 8.5 MB

U.S. and Australian Smoke Alarm Experts Discussing Alabama's
 2014 'Fire Epidemic' with Alabama State Fire Marshal Ed Paulk

Alabama SFM Ed Paulk (2nd from left) with Dean Dennis (OH, USA, left);
Adrian Butler (QLD, Australia - 2nd from right) and David Isaac (NSW, Australia, right)

'Australian Litigation Strategy'

     The smoke alarm manufacturer settled after it was deposed by the court, i.e. they were forced to provide scientific test data showing the level of visible smoke their ionization alarms activated at under Australian Standards testing conducted by the Australian Government's scientific agency, the CSIRO.

     This vindicated the 'Australian Litigation Strategy', i.e. requesting test data held by manufacturers and the CSIRO in the increasing number of  law suits where deaths and injury occur when ionization smoke alarms fail to sound a timely warning.

PART THREE

Chapters 18 - 25  > > >

"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