NEW ZEALAND
The World's First, Nationwide, Residential, Photoelectric Legislation

"The Fire Service Should Tell the Public the Truth.
Ionization Smoke Alarms are a Defective, Unsafe Device."

"The ionization type of smoke alarms found in most homes around the
world, are unable to pass the new U.S. smoke alarm standard. The public
should be told the truth; they are unsafe and that their families' lives are at risk."

Adrian Butler & Karl Westwell, Co-Founders, World Fire Safety Foundation (WFSF) | 7 December 2019

"We think Ionization alarms should not be sold and are working with retailers to remove them..."

Dr Paul Smith | Head of Testing, Consumer New Zealand | N.Z. Herald Report | 28 May 2018

Dr Paul Smith

Consumer New Zealand's Scientific Research
 
2006     |     2010     |     2014     |     2018

WFSF | The 20 Year Campaign to Save Lives
Since 2000, the World Fire Safety Foundation, the New Zealand Safety
Council and Consumer New Zealand have been warning the public about
ionization smoke alarms. Given the overwhelming weight of scientific
evidence against them, why does the Fire Service keep defending them?

 

Consumer N.Z. | 12 Years of Scientific Research
In Consumer New Zealand's smoke alarm research, from 2006 - 2018,
every ionization alarm, failed every smoldering fire test, every time. After the
third round of research, in July 2016, New Zealand became the first country
in the world to introduce nationwide, photoelectric smoke alarm legislation.

 

FENZ | Defending the Indefensible
Tragically, despite overwhelming scientific evidence of their deadly defects,
the Fire Service continues to fail to warn about ionization smoke alarms.
Defending the indefensible puts the public and firefighters' lives at risk and
enables theneedless loss of property, fire injuries and deaths to continue.

WFSF Chairman Visits Consumer New

Zealand HQ and BRANZ Research Laboratories

WFSF Chairman, Adrian Butler, with Consumer N.Z. (CNZ)
 CEO Sue Chetwyn & staff after visiting BRANZ Research Labs
with CNZ's technical writer, Bill Whitley (2nd from left)  |  May 2012

David Calvert, Registered Safety Professional, Former CEO and
Fellow of the N.Z. Safety Council | NZSC 'Smoke Alarm Report'
July 2008 | Page 6, Para 5 (see report below)

"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."

The Twenty Year Battle to Save Lives

The remarkable story behind the world's first nationwide photoelectric legislation.

David Calvert

Electrical Engineer
Registered Safety Professional

CEO, N.Z. Safety Council

MENU

1997

 

 

1999

2000

 

2004

 

 

2005

 

 

2006

 

 

2006

 

 

2006

 

 

2006

 

 

2007

 

 

2008

 

 

2009

 

 

2010



2010

 

 

2011

 

 

2012

 

 

2014

 

 

2014

 

 

2014

 

 

2015

 

 

2015

 

 

2016

 

 

2016

 

 

2018

 

 

2020

Nov

 

 

Dec

Jan

 

Oct

 

 

Feb

 

 

May 9

 

 

May 25

 

 

June 1

 

 

June 6

 

 

Feb

 

 

Jul-Aug

 

 

Feb

 

 

March



August

 

 

May

 

 

Jan

 

 

June

 

 

Nov 10

 

 

Nov 25

 

 

Sept

 

 

Dec

 

 

July

 

 

Oct

 

 

May

 

 

May

In the Beginning. . .

After selling thousands of ionization smoke alarms, Butler & Westwell discover a life-threatening problem.

 

Award-Winning Investigative Journalism Inspires World Fire Safety Foundation's Campaign
The
Washington Post and Canadian TV ionization smoke alarm exposés inspire WFSF's campaign.

 

WFSF Documentary Launch: 'Stop The Children Burning' (STCB) - Australia
[NZSC: 1 of 5] STCB launched on national Australian TV. Endorsed by New Zealand Safety Council.

 

WFSF Documentary Launch: 'Stop The Children Burning' (STCB) - New Zealand

TVNZ's 'Close Up' report about STCB.  |  WFSF Chairman warns about flawed smoke alarm standards.

 

New Zealand Fire Service (NZFS) Media Release Undermines N.Z. Safety Council's Warning

[NZSC: 2 of 5] NZFS Media release in response to N.Z. Safety Council (NZSC) radio interview.

 

'New Zealand Fire Service - Saving Face or Saving Lives?’
[NZSC: 3 of 5] David Isaac's response to NZFS undermining NZSC's warning about ionization alarms.

 

AFAC -  'Position on Smoke Alarms in Residential Accommodation'

AFAC and the IAFF's official positions state ionization alarms "may not operate in time" in smoldering fires.

 

Consumer N.Z. (CNZ) Research | Ionization Smoke Alarm Warning on National Australian TV
[CNZ: 1 of 4] CNZ publishes first smoke alarm report. All ionization alarms fail smoldering fire tests.

 

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

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

 

N.Z. Safety Council Report & Radio Interview: 'Renewed Calls for Banning Ionization Alarms'

[NZSC: 4 of 5] "The NZSC's position is that ionization alarms be banned from sale in New Zealand."

 

'Is the New Zealand Fire Service Responsible for Fire Deaths?'

WFSF Report - Co-Founder Karl Westwell explains NZFS's role in multiple fire deaths.

 

Consumer N.Z. (CNZ) Research | All Ionization Smoke Alarms Fail . . .  Again

[CNZ: 2 of 4] CNZ publishes second smoke alarm report. All ionization alarms fail smoldering fire tests.

WFSF Report: NZFS - Duty of Care Concerns

"This letter is to express concerns in relation to the New Zealand Fire Serviceʼs duty of care to warn. . ."

 

N.Z. Safety Council Interviews U.S. Fire Chief, Marc McGinn during Australian & N.Z. Tour

[NZSC: 5 of 5] Chief McGinn explains how Albany was the U.S. City with photoelectric-only legislation.

 

Paul Baxter Appointed Chief Executive & National Commander of the New Zealand Fire Service

Mr Baxter headed up the NZFS from Jan 2012 until March 2017.

 

Consumer N.Z. (CNZ) Research | 'Silent Death' | Housing N.Z. Corporation's (HNZC) Alarms Fail
[CNZ: 3 of 4] CNZ publishes third smoke alarm report. All ionization alarms fail smoldering fire tests.

 

60 Minutes Special Investigation | 'The Alarming Truth'  | Ionization Smoke Alarm Exposé
Australasia's worst house fire. 'The Alarming Truth' about the smoke alarms in most New Zealand homes.

 

WFSF Warns HNZC about Ionization Alarms

"The ionization type of smoke alarm in most New Zealand homes has been proven. . ."

 

Bessie Tokona (61) and Eunice Felton (6) Perish in HNZC Home Fitted with Ionization Alarms
Tokona/Felton Tragedy | Palmerston North, New Zealand.

 

FPA Australia Testimony: Ionization Smoke Alarms are Not Fit For Purpose

FPA Australia testifies at Australian Senate Smoke Alarm Inquiry.

 

New Zealand: The World's First, Nationwide, Residential, Photoelectric Legislation

Residential Tenancies Act mandates photoelectric smoke alarms in all New Zealand rental homes.

 

NZFS Misprepresents the Facts About Smoke Alarms at Tokona Coroinal Inquest

NZFS blames manufacturer; claims it was unaware ionization alarms were fitted in over 60,000 state homes.

 

Consumer N.Z. (CNZ) Research | Ionization Smoke Alarm Warning on Radio N.Z. National

[CNZ: 4 of 4] CNZ publishes fourth smoke alarm report. All ionization alarms fail smoldering fire tests.

 

2020 - A New Era in Home Safety: New U.S. Smoke Alarm Standard Supersedes Flawed Standard

World's largest testing company releases new smoke alarm standard with legitimate smoldering fire tests.

1977 November

In the Beginning. . .

After selling thousands of ionization smoke alarms,

Butler & Westwell discover a life-threatening problem.

In November 1997 Adrian Butler & Karl Westwell launched Maximum Fire & Safety (MFS) a division of their Maximum Security franchise that was founded in 1993. MFS sold and installed thousands of ionization smoke alarms throughout New Zealand and Australia.

Maximum Fire
& Safety launch
featured in the
'Franchise New Zealand' magazine.

November 1997

'Franchise New Zealand' Report

Smoke Alarms Failed

However, they soon discovered a serious life-threatening safety problem. Consumers complained that whilst their smoke alarms would go off when cooking, they would often fail to operate in the early, smoldering stage of fires.

Fire Chiefs 1980 Warning

After some research, Butler & Westwell discovered that U.S. Fire Protection Engineer, Mr Richard Patton, had been running a campaign to warn about ionization alarms since the mid 70's and that the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) had warned about ionization alarms in 1980.

International Association of
Fire Chief's
report warning
about ionization
smoke alarms.

September 1980

'Residential Smoke Alarm Report'

In their report the IAFC warned lives were at risk with ionization alarms. It said it could take no other course but to recommend photoelectric smoke alarms because:

". . .most ionization detectors will not
respond quickly to a slow, smoldering fire. . ."

1999 December

Award-Winning Investigative Journalism
Inspires World Fire Safety Foundation's Campaign

The Washington Post and Canadian TV Ionization Smoke

Alarm Exposés Inspire World Fire Safety Foundation's Campaign

Dec 1999 | 'How Safe Are Products Bearing The UL Mark?' | The Washington Post

America's Flawed Smoke Alarm Standard Exposed

Underwriters Laboratories (UL) is the  worlds largest independent
product testing company. Since 1977 the validity of UL’s scientific
testing of ionization smoke alarms has been under scrutiny.


Boston Fire Department's Chief Joseph (Jay) Fleming warned:

"While an alarm may sound in UL Labs it may not go off in a home..."

 

In 1977 UL testing was challenged in a 'Business Week' report:
'The Fiery Debate Over Smoke Alarm Efficiency'.

 

Twenty two years after failing to fix their flawed testing, in 1999 UL stated:

"All UL standards are developed to anticipate real-world events,..

  if we don’t anticipate everything . . . we change our standard."

 

Note:
After UL was sued for alleged fraudulent testing they finally changed
their standard. The revised standard comes into effect in
May 2020.

RIGHT CLICK
Download
Document

.4MB

The UL Mark

Found on billions
of products globally

Award-Winning report by Washington
Post Consumer Reporter, Caroline Meyer

Jan 2000 | 'Silent Alarms' | Canadian TV
Canadian TV's award-winning documentary exposes the shocking
truth about ionization smoke alarms with scientific testing and landmark lawsuit.

20:01 "...all of them are hiding and sneaking and keeping things from the public that the public needs to know about in order to remain safe."

Nathan Mercer

Ionization Smoke
Alarm Victim

SILENT ALARMS

20:59 "In 3 out
of 4 smoldering
fires no alarm sounded at the level required
by the federal government."

Tom Clark

CTV Reporter

7:49   "A smoke detector that sounds approximately nineteen minutes after smoke reached its
 sensing chamber is like an airbag that does not deploy until nineteen minutes after a car accident."

Judge David E Schoenthaler | Mercer vs Pittway; BRK Brands Inc | Davenport, Iowa, U.S.A. | April 1998

After Being Ignored by Authorities, WFSF
Founders Decide to Make Their Own Documentary

WFSF Co-Founders, Adrian Butler (left) & Karl Westell (right)
in Waihi, New Zealand during filming of the World Fire Safety
Foundation's documentary, 'Stop The Children Burning'

World Fire Safety Foundation Comments:

Richard Patton FPE

In 2000 Canadian TV (CTV) provided us with contact details for U.S. Fire Protection Engineer Mr Richard Patton the President of the 'Crusade Against Fire Deaths'. In 1967 Mr Patton chaired the committee that produced America's first smoke alarm standard. He was the first person globally to expose the problem with ionization alarms. In 1976 Patton distributed his 'Smoke Detector Fraud Report' to over 3,000 fire Chiefs across the U.S. Mr Patton provided us with overwhelming evidence against ionization alarms from his campaign that started in 1976.

 

Mercer vs Pittway Corporation; BRK Brands Inc.
The Mercer law suit against the world's largest smoke alarm manufacturer was the inspiration behind 'Silent Alarms'.  Download Patton's 1993 letter sent to Nathan and Jennifer Mercer warning about industry cover-up.

 

Silent Alarms Silenced

After distributing hundreds of copies of 'Silent Alarms', we sought  New Zealand and Australian distribution rights. However, CTV refused as they were "under litigation" from the ionization alarm manufacturer they exposed.

 

Stop The Children Burning

As the New Zealand Fire Service refused to accept the overwhelming evidence against ionization alarms, and we we could not use 'Silent Alarms', we decided to make our own documentary, 'Stop The Children Burning' - a film that could not be silenced.

2004 October

[NZSC: 1 of 5]

WFSF Documentary Launch:

'Stop The Children Burning' -  Australia
STCB on National Australian TV

WFSF Documentary
Stop The Children Burning

The story behind the Waihi and Smithton tragedies
where seven people died (including five children)
in house fires fitted with 'working' ionization alarms.

Endorsed by:

 

New Zealand Safety Council

Presented by:

Ian Johnstone

 Former TVNZ Crimewatch Presenter

Note:
In 2006 the 'International Crusade

Against Fire Deaths' changed its

name to the World Fire Safety Foundation

Richard Patton FPE
ACA, 'Smoke Alarms' | Oct 2004

Richard Patton FPE
Fire Protection Engineer

2:09  "The ionization alarm.
       is a piece of junk."

'A Current Affair' - Presented by Ray Martin

David Isaac appeared on the
program to give an industry
perspective. Seven months later he wrote to the Fire Service:

David Isaac

FPA Australia

STOP THE CHILDREN BURNING

World Fire Safety Foundation Documentary | First Released: Oct 2004 | Version 3.2 - Updated: Dec 2011 | 47 minutes

Damien Killalea

Director Community Safety

Tasmania Fire Service

World Fire Safety Foundation Comments:

Tasmanian Testing
After the Tasmania Fire Service (TFS) watched 'Stop The Children Burning' they conducted their own smoke alarms testing. All ionization alarms failed the smoldering fire test.
The TFS's Damien Killalea was a member of the Australasian Fire Authorities Council (AFAC), the peak representative body for all Australian
and all New Zealand Fire Brigades. After the Tasmanian testing he took the issue up with AFAC.

AFAC's Metastudy
AFAC commissioned a metastudy (a study of all existing smoke alarm research) on ionization and photoelectric smoke alarms.  Nineteen months later, on 1 June 2016, AFAC released its
'Position on Smoke Alarms' vindicating our stand.

2005 February

WFSF Documentary - 'Stop The Children Burning'
'Close Up' Story on National New Zealand TV
WFSF Warning about Flawed Smoke Alarm Standards

"...we had no idea there were two types

(of smoke alarms) ... why haven't we been told?"

TVNZ Presenter Susan Wood | See 'NZFS - Saving
Face or Saving Lives?
' letter below | Page 3, Paragraph 6

Susan Wood, Presenter, TVNZ

 

0:19 "But even if smoke alarms had..

 been fitted, there are fresh claims that..

 they may not have saved the wee girl's life."

Susan Wood, TVNZ Presenter | 'Close Up' | 22 Feb 2005

Bryan Seymour, Journalist, TVNZ

4:13 "These (photoelectric alarms) are proven more effective at
           detecting smoke from the slow burning fires that often kill."

Bryan Seymour, TVNZ Journalist | 'Close Up' | 22 Feb 2005

Adrian Butler, Chairman, WFSF

2:30 "The problem stems right back to the fact..

that the standards themselves are faulty."

Adrian Butler, WFSF | 'Close Up' | 22 Feb 2005

RIGHT CLICK
Download
Document
.4MB

“Ionization alarms are allowed to go to

 50-60% (smoke) obscuration per meter,

 dangerously high, totally unacceptable!”

  David Isaac, Standards Australia Committee

  FP002 Member, NSW, Australia | August 2006

Can Australian & U.S. Smoke
Alarm Standards be Trusted?

WFSF Report Published in
Volunteer Fire Fighter Magazine

TVNZ's 'Close Up' video is currently unable to be shown publicly.
Journalists, lawyers or fire departments may request permission to
view this video. To send an email request, CLICK HERE > > >

2006 May 9

[NZSC: 2 of 5]

N.Z. Fire Service Media Release
Undermines N.Z. Safety Council's Warning

Mr David Calvert, Founder of the New Zealand Safety Council is one of the most highly
qualified safety professionals in New Zealand. On 9 May 2006 he gave a radio interview
to warn the public about the life-threatening safety issues with ionization smoke alarms.

 

This is the response from the New Zealand Fire Service. . .

Subject:  May 9, 2006. Media Release.

 

New Zealand Fire Service Position

on ionization vs Photoelectric Smoke Alarm Debate

 

Media release from Dr Paula Beever, National Director Fire Risk Management, in response to a radio item this morning:

May 9, 2006

 

Working smoke alarms better than no smoke alarms, says Fire Service

 

The debate has been raised this week about what types of smoke alarms should be installed in homes.

 

The Fire Service says people should not lose faith in smoke alarms.

 

Working smoke alarms are far better than no smoke alarms at all.

 

"In most fatal fires in New Zealand no smoke alarms were installed, and most fires in this country begin in the kitchen; hot flaming fires well up to the ionization smoke alarms most commonly used in this country,"

says fire engineer Dr Paula Beever.

 

Dr Beever is a world recognised authority in fire engineering and runs the Fire Service's risk management arm.

 

She says that each year since 2002, 1,000 house fires have been successfully detected by smoke alarms, and two-thirds of these fires controlled without any damage to the house.

 

"Smoke alarms do save lives.  All of them give people sufficient warning time to get everyone out - that is why we always advise people to get smoke alarms installed and practice your escape plans".

 

She says a consortium of Australasian fire authorities, including New Zealand, has commissioned research into smoke alarms and the results are due to be released shortly.

 

"We will adopt the findings as soon as they are available"

 

Paula says fire safety is not just about smoke alarms which are, at the end of the day, the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff.

 

"We are always urging people to stop fires happening in the first place.

There are three causes of fires - men, women and children.  For instance one of our main messages is "keep looking while you're cooking".

 

Contact:

Dr Paula Beever

(cell number withheld)

2006 May 25

[NZSC: 3 of 5]

'New Zealand Fire Service

Saving Face or Saving Lives?'

Report sent to the New Zealand Fire Service's (NZFS) Dr Paula
Beever after her 9 May 2006 Press Release (above) undermined the warning
about ionization smoke alarms by Zealand Safety Council's CEO, Mr David Calvert

"In failing to provide appropriate information to the public, you have
ignored statistical information available from comprehensive international
data which paints a very different picture to that of your media release."

Mr David Isaac, fire industry expert,  | Page 1, Paragraph 5

"The failure of the New Zealand Fire Service to provide proper
  advice on smoke alarms appears entrenched within the Fire Service."

Mr David Isaac, fire industry expert,  | Page 2, Paragraph 5

"We recommend people use them (ionization alarms)
and we do not intend to move away from that advice."

Gary Talbot, NZFS Fire Safety Integration Officer | Page 3, Paragraph 1

"...we had no idea there were two types (of smoke alarms) ... why haven't we been told?"

Susan Wood, TVNZ Presenter  | Page 3, Paragraph 6

RIGHT CLICK
Download
Document
.05MB

World Fire Safety Foundation Comments:

 NZFS's "world recognized authority", Dr Paula Beever, claimed in her 9 May 2006 official Media Release:

"Smoke alarms do save lives. All of them give people sufficient warning time to get everyone out." (page 6, para 9)

 

However, Dr Beever was wrong as evidenced by AFAC's official position
which was released just three weeks later - Clause 3 states:

"Ionization smoke alarms (the type in most New Zealand homes) may not
operate in time to alert occupants early enough to escape from smoldering fires."

 

Dr Beever also claimed in her media Release:

"We will adopt the findings (AFAC's findings - see below) as soon as they are available" (page 6, para 9)

The NZFS Claimed it Would Adopt AFAC's Findings:
"...as soon as they are available."

Critical Question

Since 1 June 2006, has the NZFS ever warned the New Zealand public
about the life-threatening safety issue with ionization smoke alarms? i.e. that they

"may not operate in time to alert occupants early enough to escape from smoldering fires."

2006 June 1

AFAC - 'Position on Smoke Alarms
 in Residential Accommodation'

The Australasian Fire Authorities Council (AFAC) is the peak representative body for all Australasian fire
 brigades. There are over 50,000 full-time and volunteer firefighters throughout Australia and New Zealand.

AFAC's Official Position on Smoke Alarms

"That all residential accommodation be fitted with photoelectric
  smoke alarms . . . Ionization smoke alarms may not operate in time
  to alert occupants early enough to escape from smoldering fires."

  'Position on Smoke Alarms...' | AFAC | 1 June 2006 | Page 3, Clause 3

RIGHT CLICK
DOWNLOAD
DOCUMENT

.05MB

IAFF Official Position on Smoke Alarms | August 2008

 

"WHEREAS, there are two principle types of smoke alarms that are intended to alert occupants of building fires: ionization and photoelectric smoke alarms. Ionization smoke alarms predominantly detect the presence of extremely small particles of smoke – often invisible – typical of flaming fires, while photoelectric smoke alarms predominantly detect larger smoke particles – always visible – typical conditions found at smoldering fires; and

 

WHEREAS, research indicates that both ionization and photoelectric smoke alarms are intended to provide occupants time to escape. However, ionization smoke alarms may not operate in time to alert occupants early enough to escape from smoldering fires (emphasis added - exact same wording as AFAC's official position above); and

 

WHEREAS, current research indicates that ionization smoke alarms detect flaming fires marginally earlier than photoelectric smoke. However, ionization smoke alarms are far more prone to nuisance alarms increasing the probability that they will be disabled by building occupants; and

 

WHEREAS, photoelectric smoke alarms detect smoldering fires and fires starting in areas remote from smoke alarms significantly earlier than ionization smoke alarms; and

 

WHEREAS, dual alarms, also called combination alarms, that contain both technologies are available but the benefit over photoelectric in the response to fires is marginal. They are more costly, and they will experience the same nuisance problem as ionization smoke alarms; and

 

WHEREAS, as many fires in residential occupancies begin as smoldering fires, particularly when occupants are sleeping, photoelectric smoke alarms provide more effective all-around detection and alarm than ionization alarms; and

 

WHEREAS, failure to detect a fire and provide an early alarm places building occupants at risk from an ever-escalating fire; and

 

WHEREAS, such escalating fires place the lives of firefighters responding to an increasing risk from such an escalating fire; and

 

WHEREAS, the increase in the use of photoelectric technology has the potential to save hundreds of lives each year and should be promoted as the technology of choice by members of the IAFF in their homes; and

 

WHEREAS, IAFF members should advocate for their mandatory requirement for placement and use of photoelectric alarms in fire and building codes, in a manner similar to recent legislation in Vermont and Massachusetts. . ."

2008 IAFF Convention | Resolution 15 | August 2008 | Pages 1-2

World Fire Safety Foundation Comments:

"Once a landlord, fire official, building owner, real estate agent or any official becomes
aware of the fact that ionization smoke alarms are not
Fit For Purpose . . . Failure to warn
 in these circumstances may lead to litigation in the event of death, injury or loss of property."

Adrian Butler, Chairman, WFSF | Queensland, Australia | March 2007

International Association of Firefighters (IAFF)
The IAFF is the official union representing over 300,000 U.S. and Canadian firefighters. In August 2008,
the IAFF published a Resolution taking the same official position as AFAC, i.e. that
"ionization smoke
alarms may not operate in time to alert occupants early enough to escape from smoldering fires."


This following extract from the IAFF's official position is a must-read for all fire service personnel:

2006 June 6

[CNZ: 1 of 4]

Consumer N.Z. (CNZ) Research | Ionization
 Smoke Alarm Warning on National Australian TV

CNZ publishes first smoke alarm report.

0:24  ". . .the vast majority of us have the wrong type of smoke alarm fitted in our homes."
Tracy Grimshaw | Presenter, A Current Affair | NSW, Australia | 6 June 2006.

3.41 " A larger scale study of twenty one alarms conducted by New Zealand's Consumer's Institute showed.
the same disturbing results. Both types of alarms picked up blazing fires quickly, but when it came to
.
 smoldering fires, some ionization alarms took up to ten minutes to go off, and some did not go off at all."
Elise Mooney | Reporter, A Current Affair | NSW, Australia | 6 June 2006.

In Testing Commissioned by Consumer New Zealand
Ionization Alarms Failed to Pass Critical Smoldering Fires Tests

Consumer New Zealand's Smoke Alarm Research
2006      |      2010      |      2014      |      2018

2007 February

World Fire Safety Foundation Report:

'Recommending, selling or installing ionization
smoke alarms, a Criminal Act of Negligence?'

"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.

RIGHT CLICK
DOWNLOAD
DOCUMENT

1.4 MB

2008 July - August

2008 July

 

[NZSC: 4 of 5]

New Zealand Safety Council
'Smoke Alarm Report' & Radio Interview:
'Renewed Calls for Banning 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

RIGHT CLICK
DOWNLOAD
DOCUMENT

.71 MB

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 neighbours 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

RIGHT CLICK
DOWNLOAD
TRANSCRIPT

Press 'Play' button above   |    Download MP3  (1.4MB)

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 New Zealand Consumer.

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)

2009 February

'Is the New Zealand Fire Service

Responsible for Fire Deaths?'

World Fire Safety Foundation Report
by Karl Westwell, Co-Founder

"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

RIGHT CLICK
DOWNLOAD
DOCUMENT

.95 MB

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, WFSF | 'Is the NZFS Responsible For Fire Deaths?' | Page 9, Para 2 | February 2009

2010 March

[CNZ: 2 of 4]

Consumer N.Z. (CNZ) Research | All Ionization
 Smoke Alarms Fail Smoldering Fire Tests . . . Again
CNZ publishes 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 New Zealand's Smoke Alarm Research
2006      |      2010      |      2014      |      2018

2010 August

NZFS - Duty of Care Concerns

World Fire Safety Foundation Report

"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

RIGHT CLICK
DOWNLOAD
DOCUMENT
2.5 MB

2011 May

[NZSC: 5 of 5]

N.Z. Safety Council Interviews Retired U.S. Fire Chief
Marc McGinn During his Tour of Australia and New Zealand

"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

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

Chief McGinn Meets With NZSC

CEO in Auckland, New Zealand

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

Chief McGinn with New Zealand Safety Council CEO and Founder David Calvert
Auckland, New Zealand | 16 May 2011

Chief McGinn Interview: N. Z. Safety Council

Part 1 | 9 minutes - 48 seconds

Chief McGinn Interview: N. Z. Safety Council
Part 2
| 9 minutes - 58 seconds

San Francisco Chronicle | World Fire Safety
Foundation Behind Californian Smoke Alarm Legislation

"Switching fire alarms could save about 1,500 lives a year, he believes, but the
chief faces a mighty task to get the nationwide change he thinks is so badly needed."

San Francisco Chronicle | 'Albany Fire Chief Urges Switching Smoke Alarms' | CA, USA | 15 Aug 10

2012 Jan

Paul Baxter | Chief Executive & National
Commander New Zealand Fire Service. . .

 Paul Baxter

National Commander NZFS:

Commissioner FRNSW:

1/12 - 3/17

4/17 - Current

Mr Paul Baxter headed up the New Zealand Fire Service from Jan 2012 to March 2017.
In 2016 the NZFS misled a Coronial Inquest while under the leadership of Commander Baxter.

. . .before being appointed
Commissioner, Fire & Rescue New South Wales (FRNSW) | Australia

In April 2017, after moving to Australia, Mr Baxter took command of FRNSW.

In May 2017, under Commissioner Baxter's leadership, the stand taken by former
FRNSW Commissioner, Greg Mullins, to ban ionization smoke alarms was reversed.

2014 June

[CNZ: 3 of 4]

Consumer N.Z. (CNZ) Research | 'Silent Death'

Housing N.Z. Corporation Ionization Alarms Fail
CNZ publishes third smoke alarm report.

Consumer New Zealand
Smoke Alarm Research | Series Three | June 2014

Ionization Alarms Installed in Over 60,000 Housing
New Zealand Corporation Homes Fail Smoldering Fire Tests
Over 250,000 Universal Security Instrument's MDS300L ionization
smoke alarms installed in over 60,000 Housing N.Z. Corporation state
homes receive the same score as all
ionization alarms tested: '0 out of 10'.

Consumer N.Z.'s Testing

 IonizationSmoke Alarm Test Results

Extract: Consumer New Zealand Smoke Alarm Research Report | June 2014, page 2

"The ionization models were slightly better overall at detecting
 flaming fires, but they were hopeless for smoldering fires."

'Silent Death' | N.Z. Consumer | page  19, para 6 | June 2014

Conducted by:

The Building Research Association
of New Zealand (BRANZ) is an
independent, impartial research, testing, consulting and information company.

BRANZ Fire Laboratory
Judgeford, Porirua, New Zealand

BRANZ Scientific Research
for Consumer New Zealand

Extract: Consumer N.Z.'s 'Silent Death' Smoke Alarm Research Report

RIGHT CLICK
DOWNLOAD
REPORT

1
.3 MB

World Fire Safety Foundation Comments:

Consumer New Zealand's (CNZ) third smoke alarm research report, 'Silent Death' was published in June 2014.
The following extract is from the October 2019. 'Peer Review of Fire & Rescue NSW Smoke Alarm Studies':

'Peer Review of Fire & Rescue NSW Smoke Alarm Studies'
by Dr Vytenis Babrauskas | New York, USA | 29 October 2019

Quote by Greg Mullins, President of AFAC
the Peak Representative Body for all N.Z. Fire Brigades

"People have said that one is good for flaming fires (ionization) and one is..

  good for smoldering (photoelectric). In my experience as a firefighter just..

  about every fire I have ever been to started as a smoldering fire and went..

  through a stage until it became a flaming fire. To say that they are equal..

  and good for different circumstances is to me a fallacy, an absolute myth."
      
Greg Mullins, Commissioner FRNSW, President of AFAC |  Australian Senate Smoke.Alarm Inquiry | Hansard Transcript  | page 3, para 9 |  4 Dec 2015..

'Peer Review of FRNSW Smoke Alarm Studies' | Dr Vyto Babrauskas | Page 3, Para 3 | 29 Oct 2019

Important Conclusions from BRANZ 2014 Research

"Some important conclusions can be drawn from these findings:
 (a) Ionization detectors were essentially incompetent at detecting smoldering fires,
       successfully alarming in only 15% of the tests.
 (b) Photoelectric and multi-criteria detectors, by contrast, alarmed in 100% of the tests.
 (c) All detectors were 100% successful in alarming during flaming-fire tests."

'Peer Review of FRNSW Smoke Alarm Studies' | Dr Vyto Babrauskas | Page 14, Para 3 | 29 Oct 2019

- All Universal Security Instrument's MDS300L ionization alarms failed the smoldering fire tests scoring 0 out of 10.

-  HNZC purchased more than 250,000 ionization alarms after seeking advice from the N.Z. Fire Service.

-  After the release of CNZ's report, what did the Fire Service and/or HNZC do to warn HNZC's tenants and the public?

-  After two fire deaths in a HNZC home in October 2015 (18 months after the publication of the report), the NZFS misled
   the Coronial Inquest claiming they believed the ionization alarms were a combination ionization/photoelectric alarm.

-  Consumer New Zealand knew they were ionization alarms. How did the NZFS not know? (see below)

Consumer New Zealand's Smoke Alarm Research
2006      |      2010      |      2014      |      2018

2014 November 10

60 MINUTES

'THE ALARMING TRUTH'

Producer: Rebecca Le Tourneau | Aired: Australia: 19 Oct 2014 - New Zealand: 10 Nov 2014

THE ALARMING TRUTH - Trailer  | 30 Seconds

“Why the smoke alarm in your home won't save you.”

THE ALARMING TRUTH - Part One  | 8 Minutes

 

0:29  "As our special investigation reveals, Australia's (and New Zealand's) most
          popular fire alarm, the one that's likely fitted in your home, is unlikely to save you."
Karl Stefanovic | 60 Minutes Reporter | The Alarming Truth | 10 Nov 2014

THE ALARMING TRUTH - Part Two  | 10 Minutes

0:05  "But what I've just seen is shocking - a house
                           billowing with smoke and the fire alarm failing to go off."

Karl Stefanovic | 60 Minutes Reporter | The Alarming Truth | 10 Nov 2014

Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB)
Flawed & False Statements

7:15  "Every study that been done of late has said that the photoelectric alarms gives you valuable minutes; valuable minutes on top of ionization alarms . . . It's good enough for most commercial buildings in this country, it's good enough for hospitals to be used, why wouldn't it be good enough to be used in households where people are most vulnerable?"

8:37  "It hasn't been
demonstrated to the Board's satisfaction that
one performs
better in
all circumstances
over the other.
The Board doesn't delineate between different types of products."

(emphasis added)

Karl Stefanovic

60 Minutes Reporter

Neil Savery

General Manager, Australian
Building Codes Board (ABCB)

See World Fire Safety Foundation Comments

BELOW

EXTRA MINUTES | Frustration with Authorities Failure to Warn | 2 Minutes

0:36  "And the average consumer thinks he’s safe . . .
              Not if he’s relying on an ionization smoke alarm..."

David Isaac | Australia's Leading Fire Safety Expert | The Alarming Truth | 10 Nov 2014

RIGHT CLICK
DOWNLOAD
TRANSCRIPT

.54 MB

World Fire Safety Foundation Comments:

Industry Politics - Wasting Time and Risking More Lives

"It soon became clear that they (the Fire Service) actually did want
to help but were frightened and concerned at the industry politics
involved in this issue and the ramifications for them if they spoke
out - industry politics which are wasting time and risking more lives."

Rebecca Le Tourneau, Producer, 60 Minutes | Submission to the

Australian Senate Smoke Alarm Inquiry | 28 Aug 2015 | page 2, para 8

  Read60 Minutes Submission

HERE > > >

Rebecca Le Tourneau

Producer, 60 Minutes

60 Minutes Submission

to Australian Senate Inquiry

60 Minutes
We worked closely with Rebecca Le Tourneau providing technical assistance, video footage and rebutting fire service and fire industry misinformation. After almost all fire brigades refused to help, the Foundation organized to have the testing done in the U.S.  However, at the midnight hour, the Northern Territory Fire Service agreed to help. Read 60 Minutes Submission to the Australian Senate Smoke Alarm Inquiry expressing concerns with ionization alarms.

 

ABCB's Flawed & False Statements

Flawed Statement:                "It hasn't been demonstrated to the Board's satisfaction that

                                                 one performs better in all circumstances over the other."  (Emphasis added)

Jurisdictions in Australia, N.Z. and the U.S. that have passed photoelectric-specific legislation, have done so because:

1) Photoelectric alarms perform considerably better than ionization alarms in most life-threatening fires,

2) Due to incessant false alarms, ionization alarms have an unacceptably high disconnection rate, and

3) Ionization alarms contain radioactive material, Amerecium-241. Photoelectric alarms do not.

False Statement:              "The Board doesn't delineate between different types of products."

This statement was made after Karl Stefanovic mentioned how the ABCB had adopted legislation (AS1670.1-2014) into
the Building Code of Australia that mandated photoelectric smoke alarms in commercial buildings.

 

IMPORTANT

1) Read the WFSF's dedicated ABCB web pages which explains how the ABCB failed to adopt Standard Australia's
    correction to Australia's flawed Smoke Alarm Standard.
If the ABCB had adopted the proposed amendment
    ionization alarms would not have been able to pass the amended standard.

2) Hear ABCB General Manager, Neil Savery defending ionization alarms in the ABC's Special Investigation which
    exposes ABCB funded, flawed testing of ionization alarms.

2014 November 25

WFSF Warns HNZC about Ionization Alarms

"The ionization type of smoke alarm in most New Zealand homes has
been proven by Australian government (CSIRO) and Consumer New
Zealand scientific testing (by BRANZ), to have life-threatening defects."

Adrian Butler, Chairman, WFSF in message sent to HNZC | 25 Nov 2014

RIGHT CLICK
DOWNLOAD
TRANSCRIPT

.3 MB

2015 September 3

Bessie Tokona (61) and Eunice  Felton (6) Perish in Housing
N.Z. Corporation Home Fitted with Ionization Smoke Alarms

Tokona/Felton Tragedy | Palmerston North, New Zealand

Ionization Smoke Alarm Victims

Bessie Tokona and her granddaughter Eunice Felton

Fatal Palmerston North Fire: Bodies Believed
to be Grandmother and 6-Year-Old Girl Removed

". . .McKay said they had received word there were active smoke alarms in the house."

Kelsey Wilkie, Kirsty Lawrence and Tom Hunt | Manawatu Standard | 3 Sept 2015

World Fire Safety Foundation Comments:

June 2014 | Consumer New Zealand's Warning:

The ionization smoke alarms fitted in over 60,000 state homes across New Zealand failed the smoldering fire tests
in Consumer New Zealand's June 2014 '
Silent Death' report. Consumer N.Z. has been conducting scientific research
on smoke alarms since 2006. All ionization alarms have failed all smoldering fire tests in all four series of tests:


                                                             
     Consumer New Zealand Smoke Alarm Research
                                       
2006     |     2010     |     2014     |     2018

 

10 Nov 2014 | 60 Minutes Warning:
'
The Alarming Truth' which aired across New Zealand warned:
"The (ionization) smoke alarm in your home won't save you."

 

25 Nov 2014 | World Fire Safety Foundation's Warning:

After 'The Alarming Truth' aired across New Zealand, the WFSF wrote to HNZC warning that:

"The ionization type of smoke alarm in most New Zealand homes has been proven by Australian government
  (CSIRO) and Consumer New Zealand scientific testing (by BRANZ), to have life-threatening defects."

 

NZFS Misrepresentations at Coronial Inquest

The NZFS misrepresented the facts at the Tokona/Felton Coronial Inquest.

2015 December 4

Fire Protection Association Australia Testimony:
'Ionization Smoke Alarms are Not Fit For Purpose'

FPA Australia's Testimony at Australian Senate Smoke Alarm Inquiry

MORE > > >

"Again, it (the ionization alarm) is not fit for purpose."

Chris Orr, Technical Director, FPAA | Australian Senate Inquiry
Canberra, Australia | 4 Dec 2015 | Hansard - Page 14, Para 3

"If I get an alert, I get woken up and I want to find my way to

 the exit, I have got to be able to see the exit. At 50 to 60%

 obscuration, if an ion did go off, then you are not going to
 see it. Again, it is not fit for purpose."

Mr Chris Orr, Technical Director

Fire Protection Association Australia

Products Not Fit For Purpose:
Litigation and Life-Safety Concerns

Fire Protection Association Australia (FPA Australia) is the national peak body for fire safety, providing information, services and education to the fire protection industry and the community.

2016 July

New Zealand: The World's First,
Nationwide, Residential, Photoelectric Legislation

From 1 July 2016 All New Smoke Alarms In All New Zealand Rental Homes Must:

  • Be photoelectric,
  • Have a battery life of at least eight years, or be hard-wired,
  • Be installed according to the manufacturer’s instructions, and
  • Meet international standards.

Note: Failure to Comply is an Unlawful Act and Could Result in a Financial Penalty of up to $4,000

Information extracted from the New Zealand Government's Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment website  4 August 2019:

www.tenancy.govt.nz/maintenance-and-inspections/smoke-alarms

New Zealand Government Advice:

Changes to the N.Z. Residential Tenancies Act for Smoke Alarms

DOWNLOAD
CLICK HERE

Residential Tenancies Act 1986

(PDF 1.1Megs)

2016 October

NZFS Misrepresents the 
Facts About Smoke Alarms at
Tokona/Felton Coronial Inquest

Palmerston North, New Zealand | 5 Oct 2016

"It is possible that if the alarms had been photoelectric rather than ionization

alarms that they may have sounded earlier and whenau may have responded earlier

and had that happened Bessie and Eunice may have been able to make their escape."

Tokona/Felton Coronial Inquest | Reserved Decision of Coroner Tim Scott | Page 8, Para 3 | 19 Dec 2016

After two tenants died in a Housing New Zealand Corporation (HNZC) state home in September 2015, a Coronial Inquest was held in Palmerston North, New Zealand.

 

HNZC had relied on Fire & Emergency New Zealand (FENZ) advice before installing smoke alarms in over 60,000 state houses. FENZ's official position on smoke alarms since June 2006 was to recommend the installation of photoelectric smoke alarms. The ionization smoke alarms installed in over 60,000 HNZC homes cost tax payers approximately five million dollars.

World Fire Safety Foundation Chairman, Adrian Butler testified at the Coronial Inquest as an expert witness. He advised the Coroner that the smoke alarms installed in HNZC homes did not have a photoelectric sensor despite repeated claims by the N.Z. Fire Service that they were combination ionization/photoelectric alarms.

Butler's evidence, the user manual downloaded from the Internet, established they were ionization alarms, i.e. the same MDS300L alarms that failed Consumer New Zealand's smoldering fire tests in June 2014.

Documents/Evidence: NZFS Misrepresentations

The NZFS claimed it believed the ionization smoke alarms in the Tokona's state home were combination ionization/photoelectric alarms. Given Consumer N.Z. and the WFSF knew they were ionization alarms,
should the Fire Service have known? Did they know? What does the evidence show?

 

After the Coronial Inquest, the Fire Service were forced to acknowledge the wrong type of alarm (ionization)
had been installed in over 60,000 state houses. The NZFS's official position on smoke alarms since 1 June 2006 is: "That all residential accommodation be fitted with photoelectric smoke alarms."

World Fire Safety Foundation Comments:

Housing N.Z. Corporation sought and relied on the NZFS's advice before they installed the wrong (ionization) smoke alarms in over 60,000 state homes across New Zealand. The NZFS's official position since June 2006
is that all homes be fitted with photoelectric alarms. The MDS300L model alarms installed in HNZC homes
are made by Universal Security Instruments (USI). USI's marketing claims these alarms have the benefits of a
photoelectric alarm. However, the user manual clearly states they are ionization alarms, i.e. they do not have
a photoelectric sensor and they do not have the benefits of a photoelectric sensor. The MDS300L alarms failed Consumer N.Z. smoldering fire testing in June 2014. Consumer N.Z. published evidence that they were ionization alarms 15 months before the Tokona/Felton fire tragedy, and that they failed the smoldering fire tests.

 

NZFS Misrepresents the Facts

The WFSF Chairman was scheduled to testify as an expert witness at the Coronial Inquest. Two days before the Inquest, the New Zealand Fire Service sent the Coroner a 58 page report that falsely claimed the ionization smoke alarms in Bessie Tokona's state house were a combination ionization/photoelectric alarm, i.e. that they had an ionization and a photoelectric sensor.


WFSF Almost Blocked from Testifying

The day before the Inquest, after receiving the NZFS's 58 page report, the Coroner advised us that he no longer wanted it to testify at the Inquest as he "preferred the evidence" of the NZFS. However, the evidence that resulted in the Coroner allowing us to testify is  HERE > > >

2018 May

[CNZ: 4 of 4]

Consumer New Zealand (CNZ) Research | Ionization
Smoke Alarm Warning on Radio New Zealand National

CNZ publishes fourth smoke alarm report.

'Why You Need to Avoid Ionization Alarms'

Extract: Consumer N.Z.'s Fourth Smoke Alarm Research Report

FREE* ONLINE

Consumer New Zealand's
Fourth Research Report. . .

 

CLICK HERE

 

*Funded by the Ministry of
Business, Innovation
and Employment


(see below)

Consumer New Zealand's Smoke Alarm Research
2006      |      2010      |      2014      |      2018

2018 May 5

Smoke Alarms - The Safest and the Best

Press 'Play' button above   |    Download MP3  (12MB)

Interview: Radio New Zealand
National with Consumer N.Z.'s
Head of Testing, Dr Paul Smith

0:32  "Photoelectric in a nutshell is the technology that you
          want to go for and ionization is the one you want to avoid."
                      
Dr Paul Smith, Head of Testing | Consumer New Zealand

0:39  "OK, so photoelectric gets the green light, ionization gets the

          red light . . . Why is one so good and the other one is so bad?"
  
            Simon Morton, Presenter, Producer | Radio New Zealand National

Dr Paul Smith

Head of Testing

Consumer New Zealand

Simon Morton

Presenter, Producer

Radio N.Z. National

New Zealand Government Advice

2018 May 16

"Consumer New Zealand Warns about Ionization Smoke Alarms"

More > > >

"Fire and Emergency New Zealand Recommends People Only
  Install Photoelectric Smoke Alarms"

More > > >

Media Reports

2018 May 16

"Consumer New Zealand Calling for Ionization Smoke Alarms to

  be Pulled from Shelves"

New Zealand Fire Service - DEFENDING THE INDEFENSIBLE

More > > >

2018 May 16

"Are You Safe? Smoke alarms 'so poor they shouldn't be sold'."

More > > >

2018 June 16

"Consumer Watchdog Calling for Ionization Smoke Alarms to be
  Pulled from Shelves Due to Slow Detection of Smoke"

More > > >

2018 June 19

“Ionization alarms give much less warning of smoldering fires
making it less likely you can get out of your home safely."

More > > >

World Fire Safety Foundation Comments:

IMPORTANT

DEFENDING THE INDEFENSIBLE

Fire & Emergency New Zealand

"Any working smoke alarm is better than none."

"We do not believe that ionization alarms are unsafe, as any working
smoke alarms will provide some degree of early warning."
(emphasis added)

Consumer New Zealand:
"We think Ionization alarms should not be sold and are working with retailers to remove them from their shelves."

"Photoelectric in a nutshell is the technology that you want to go for and ionization is the one you want to avoid."

Scientific Research:

In all four series of Consumer New Zealand's scientific tests, all ionization smoke alarms failed to
operate in the early, smoldering stage of fires. They did not provide any degree of early warning.
The official position on smoke alarms of all Australian and all New Zealand fire brigades states:



"Ionization smoke alarms may not operate in time to alert
    occupants early enough to escape from smoldering fires."

AFAC 'Position on Smoke Alarms in Residential Accommodation' | 1 June 2006

 

"The New Zealand Fire Service Should Tell the Public the Truth.
Ionization Smoke Alarms are a Defective, Unsafe Device."

 

                                                                       MORE > > >

2020 May

2020 - A New Era in Home Safety:

New U.S. Smoke Alarm Standard

Supersedes Old, Flawed Standard

Smoke Alarms Get Smarter in 2020

Underwriters Laboratories (UL) is the world's largest standards testing organization.


UL certification is accepted in New Zealand. From 29 May 2020, to be 'UL Certified',
all smoke alarms must pass UL's new, legitimate smoldering fire test - unlike the old, flawed standard which allowed ionization alarms to be certified -
see below.

 

However, the existing ionization smoke alarms in most New Zealand homes and  millions of homes around the world, many of which are 'UL Certified' under the old, flawed standard, may continue to fail to operate in time to alert occupants early
enough to escape from smoldering fires.

 

The public needs to know the truth; that ionization smoke alarms are not safe and
that their families' lives are at risk.

More > > >

World Fire Safety Foundation Comment:

The Forty Year Battle to Correct Flawed Smoke Alarm Standards

1976 - Richard Patton distributes report, 'The Smoke Detector Fraud' warning about flawed US standard, to 0ver 3,000 fire chiefs.

1999 - Washington Post publishes, award-winning, ionization smoke alarm exposé, 'How Safe Are Products Bearing the UL Mark?'
2005 - Feb: WFSF Warning on TV New Zealand: "...the standards themselves are faulty."

2005 - Oct: WFSF Chairman's Letters to UL warning that their UL217 smoke alarm standard is flawed:

Letters Warning UL about their Flawed Smoke Alarm Standard
Note: Letters Sent from WFSF's Production Company - MC2E Productions

RIGHT CLICK
DOWNLOAD
UL LETTERS

.3 MB

2010 - UL's flawed smoke alarm standard used by Richard Patton in testimony for first US cities photoelectric-only legislation

2011 - UL Sued: UL settles out of court after allegations that it was "wanton or negligent" by modifying the smoldering fire test.

2013 - WFSF Report: 'Can Australian and U.S. Smoke Alarm Standards be Trusted?'

2016 - New Zealand introduces world's first, nationwide, photoelectric smoke alarm legislation.

Thank You. . .

for taking the time to read about the campaign
behind New Zealand's photoelectric legislation.

 

We started in New Zealand, however, most of
 our work's been done in Australia and the U.S.

 

Because we don't solicit or accept donations,
we rely on you, the public, to help spread the word.

. . .Please Help, Because Together, We Can


Stop The Children Burning

 

"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