Our goal is to create as much public awareness about the dangers of ionization "smoke" alarms as possible and bring an end to the sale and use of dangerous and often deadly ionization alarms for all habitable structures in the U.S. and Worldwide. We hope to accomplish this via a proposed International Protocol , similar to the Montreal Protocol of 1989 which placed a ban on CFC's that caused a massive hole in the ozone layer. We are currently seeking guidance from United Nations & World Health Organization officials and participants of the Montreal Protocol to reach this goal. Contact has finally been made after 12 months and several emails to over 30 contacts with the UN and WHO but no change to their current policy of recommending " working smoke alarms" has been made despite all the evidence and peer reviewed articles. Below are recent emails sent to several WHO contacts mentioned in previous WHO Burn / Thermal Injury articles.
To All Concerned
I am writing again in regards to the current position WHO has on recommending "working smoke alarms". I had previously been in contact with Dr. Meddings and Laura Sminkey in regards to the dangers of ionization "smoke" alarms and recommending "working smoke alarms" as is current WHO policy and forwarded the email below to them as a follow up.
I had previously sent them peer reviewed articles written by two of the top fire safety experts here in the U.S. which I have attached to this email for your convenience. It is our opinion that WHO and U.N. need to reevaluate the current position of recommending "working smoke alarms" in light of all the evidence that ionization alarms do not sound siren in smoldering smoke conditions in time for safe evacuation, especially while occupants are asleep. See news videos and info on www.smokealarmsafety.org and other links in forwarded email below.
According to the WHO article linked below Chapter 6 Thermal Injuries ( box 6.1) it States, Key facts of thermal injuries - Thermal injuries killed 1700 children aged 0-19 years in the WHO European Region in 2004. Those that survive injury can be permanently scarred or disabled.
Inequalities exist; the rate in the worst affected country is 85 times that in country with the lowest rate. Within countries, the poorest are up to 38 more vulnerable than the richest.
If all countries matched the lowest rate in the Region , 9 out of 10 deaths could be averted.
( fig. 6.2) Deaths Per 100,000 Population it reveals Switzerland is the country referred to above with the lowest fire deaths rates in the Region. Switzerland is one of 3 countries that has banned ionization alarms due to the radio active content used within ionization alarms. Netherlands and Luxembourg are the other 2 of which Netherlands is ranked 7th in the graph and Luxembourg is not mentioned. Statistics vary from website to website but according to site below Luxembourg ranks lowest of 172 Countries listed with Netherlands 3rd lowest and Switzerland 4th lowest. Clearly both sites seem to suggest that in Countries where ionization alarms are not allowed the death rates are lower. There is no significant differences in fire sprinkler regulations for these 3 Countries compared to here in U.S. or other countries with higher death and injury rates.
( box 6.2 ) It states "Message to Policy Makers - Deaths and injuries resulting from thermal injuries are strongly linked to unsafe environments and products, especially in the home." Laws to enforce smoke-alarms installation, hot water regulation and cigarette-lighter standards are effective in preventing thermal injuries and need wide implementation."
The evidence clearly reveals one of the unsafe products is ionization alarms and although these devices can alert occupants in fast flaming and or heat conditions during cooking, it is inefficient in slow smoldering smoke and batteries for ionization alarms are often disconnected due to nuisance alarms while occupants are cooking. See NFPA statistics in email below as well as the fact 2 other heat detector technologies mentioned are superior to ionization technology yet not readily available to consumers due to manufactures monopoly of ionization alarms here in U.S.
We urge all WHO Burn Safety advocates to take a serious look at all the facts concerning the dangers of ionization alarms and vote on making changes to the current policy of recommending "working smoke alarms" which inevitable has led to majority of homes having the less costly ionization alarms which places lives at risk as statistics clearly indicate.
Dennis Fox & Supporters
From: Dennis Fox
Sent: Sunday, September 10, 2017 11:06 AM
To: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Cc: email@example.com; Vyto Babrauskas
Subject: Fw: Attention NAGTRI Center for Consumer Protection / Abigail Stempson & Blake Lee -
Hello Mr. Meddings & Ms. Sminkey
I thought I would forward this email I sent to the NAGTRI Center for Consumer Protection a division of the Attorney General office here in U.S. as I think U.N. and WHO need to seriously reconsider their current stance on recommending "working smoke alarms" only.
As you recall I had sent peer reviewed articles that reveal the dangers of ionization alarms written by the two top fire safety experts in the U.S. and from what I gathered from Mr. Meddings reply, was no action was to be taken as far as notifying the Ministries of Health about the dangers of ionization alarms. Out of curiosity, which peer reviewed articles were reviewed by anyone within WHO burn campaign department and U.N. that led to the recommendation of using a working smoke alarm which inevitably results in majority of consumers buying the less expensive ionization alarms, especially those who live in countries where most people are poor, of which WHO and U.N. are most concerned with.
We urge you to inform others within your organizations burn campaign and the Ministries of Health to read the email below, the peer reviewed articles sent previously and info showing all evidence and watch the news videos on www.smokealarmsafety.org . This issue should be voted upon by all involved with your burn campaign vs. decided upon by just one person. Many lives are at risk and many deaths and injuries will continue to occur as long as ionization alarms are the only type of protection in most habitable structures.
From: Dennis Fox
Sent: Friday, September 8, 2017 2:15 PM
To: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
Cc: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Subject: Attention NAGTRI Center for Consumer Protection / Abigail Stempson & Blake Lee -
Dear Ms. Stempson & Mr Bee - NAGTRI Center for Consumer Protection
There is a consumer fraud that has been going on for well about 50 years since smoke alarms became required by fire safety codes here in U.S. and 40 years since this fraud was exposed by Fire Protection Engineer Richard Patton in 1976. As a result most homes, apartments and condos have these less expensive and dangerous ionization alarms hanging on their ceilings vs. photoelectric and or photoelectric / heat alarms which cost more .
This device has been falsely advertised as a smoke alarm but is not, it is technically classified as a POC detector - Particles of Combustion. POC's are what triggers an ionization alarm not smoke and the temperature must reach point where combustion takes place in order for particles of combustion to be released which slows down the current of ion particles within the alarm chamber to trigger the alarm. This often occurs quickly in kitchens due to stoves, ovens and toasters reaching the temperature needed. However, in conditions such as smoldering sofa cushions, carpet, bedding or an electronic device that goes bad, it can take an average of 30 minutes or in some cases 60 minutes or longer depending on type of material smoldering and other conditions such as available oxygen content in the room, which has resulted in many deaths due to smoke inhalation and or burn injuries. See news video and aquarium test video at www.smokealarmsafety.org
Unfortunately, the CPSC that has known about this problem for at least 25 years according to CPSC own documents has not initiated a ban and recall or mandated that manufactures of ionization alarms place a warning label clearly explaining the dangers of these dangerous and often deadly devices. Letters also were sent informing the CPSC of the dangers and urging the ban and recall of this product from Boston Fire Chief Joseph Fleming in 2008 and follow up letter sent by then Senator John Kerry, as well as a presentations made to CPSC Board Members 2 years ago by Dean Dennis who lost his daughter along with 4 of her friends in a dorm fire. This fire started from a smoldering sofa, but yet again ionization alarms failed to sound alarm in time for safe evacuation by occupants. See http://www.smokealarmsafety.org/supporters-of-effort-.html
The manufactures of ionization alarms continue to falsely advertise these ionization alarms as smoke alarms and sell this dangerous and often deadly product without as much as a warning label, despite all the evidence and documented lawsuits by individual victims against the manufactures, one of which in 2001 filed against First Alert / BRK Brands, included UL - Underwriters Laboratories for not disclosing the dangers of ionization alarms. As a way around placing a warning label in clear view to consumers, on the back of packaging of ionization alarms since that lawsuit, the manufactures have placed a recommendation that both photoelectric and ionization alarms be used for best protection with a brief explanation that photoelectric alarms respond quicker to smoldering smoke conditions and ionization respond quicker to fast flaming fires.No where do they mention that the time difference in smoldering smoke conditions is on average 30 minutes longer for an ionization alarm to activate and death and injuries have and can occur using only ionization alarms.
Both UL and NFPA are endorsers of the American Red Cross Fire Safety Campaign as well and the Red Cross donates and installs only ionization alarms in lower income housing because they cost less, except where fire codes require photoelectric alarms in new homes and remodeled homes ( older homes excluded ) in 5 States. I have corresponded with the ARC President and 2 of the directors of their Fire Safety Campaign and have been sent an explanation from some Red Cross Chapters referring me to a link that states either alarm is sufficient according to CPSC website. The UL, NFPA and CPSC websites all recommend that both Photoelectric and Ionization alarms be used for best protection but seem to advocate a working smoke alarm of either type is efficient in providing adequate escape time and evidently the UL and NFPA do not recommend the Red Cross install both, which seems contrary to recommending both types for best protection.
Clearly it seems obvious for the manufactures to place a warning label on the packaging and or the CPSC to ban and recall the ionization alarms is not in the best interest of the manufactures monopoly for this technology and would be an admission that they have sold and or allowed to be sold a smoke alarm that is not technically a smoke detector yet advertised as such for the last 50 years. The CPSC , UL and NFPA also omit recommending the other two heat sensing technologies, rate of rise and set temperature heat sensors that are superior to ionization sensors as well without the nuisance alarm issues that ionization alarms have. ADT the largest and oldest alarm company in the world along with most other home security companies only market the photoelectric / heat combo ( ror & set temp) heat alarms in order to avoid their monitoring stations from being flooded with false alarms every time someone over cooks or lightly burns toast. No major U.S. retailer that I am aware of carries these type of combo alarms due to the monopoly the manufactures have had on the inferior ionization technology.
In 1976 FPE, Richard Patton exposed the fact that the Manufactures of ionization alarms and the UL fraudulently rigged the smoldering smoke test in order for these devices to gain UL seal of approval. The UL did not use any material that smoldered in the tests but instead used dried out pine needles placed on a hot plate at approximately 700 degrees which creates instant particles of combustion. That was the UL smoldering smoke test for the next 50 years until last September when it was put up for vote whether or not polyurethane foam cushions should be added to the smoldering test. The vote to add the cushions was approved with 31 Fire Chiefs and Fire Protection Engineers voting yes against the 5 major manufactures voting no.
This change to the UL smoldering smoke test will not go into effect until September 2019 and will not be nearly as effective as a ban and recall and or a mandate by the CPSC to have manufactures include warning labels on the packages. The manufactures already sell a combination photoelectric / ionization alarm which will likely be the only device aside from a photoelectric stand alone alarm that will pass the new smoldering smoke test and it will take another 12 more years for ionization stand alone alarms to be phased out being the alarms have a 10 year life span and consumers will likely not be required to replace the ionization alarms they bought until 10 years from purchase. Many more lives will remain at risk and lives will be lost and or severe burn injuries sustained because the CPSC has failed to do what is needed to protect the public as their duty of care requires.
According to http://www.nfpa.org/news-and-research/fire-statistics-and-reports/fire-statistics/fires-in-the-us
The 2015 U.S. fire loss clock a fire department responded to a fire every 23 seconds. One structure fire was reported every 63 seconds.
One home structure fire was reported every 86 seconds.
One civilian fire injury was reported every 34 minutes.
One civilian fire death occurred every 2 hours and 40 minuteshttp://www.nfpa.org/public-education/by-topic/smoke-alarms/reports-and-statistics-about-smoke-alarms
Ninety-six percent of all homes in the United States have at least one smoke alarm, according to a 2010 telephone survey. Based on these results, almost five million households still do not have any smoke alarms.
Smoke alarms by the numbers
In 2007-2011, smoke alarms sounded in half of the home fires reported to U.S. fire departments.
Three of every five home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.
No smoke alarms were present in more than one-third (37%) of the home fire deaths.
In one-quarter (23%) of the home fire deaths, smoke alarms were present but did not sound.
In reported home fires in which the smoke alarms were present but did not operate, almost half (47%) of the smoke alarms had missing or disconnected batteries. Nuisance alarms were the leading reason for disconnected smoke alarms. ( Note: these statistics are reflecting the inefficiencies / failures of ionization alarms for most part as it was estimated by other sources that 90% of alarms were of the ionization type when these statistics were calculated due to lower cost vs. photoelectric smoke alarms, and no warning labels on ionization alarms packaging and the fact photoelectric alarms do not have the nuisance alarm issue as ionization alarms do and will detect smoldering smoke on average 30 minutes sooner than ionization alarms giving occupants time to escape safely ) See http://www.smokealarmsafety.org/-news-videos---statistics.html
The cost of treating a burn victim, which is the one of the most terrifying and painful injuries a human being can experience, according to http://www.paradigmcorp.com/blog/treatment-costs-of-severe-burn-injuries/ can range from... "For severe burns treated without complications, the average cost tops the million dollar mark at $1,617,345. With complications, a severe burn can cost more than $10 million to treat successfully." ....
"According to the National Business Group on Health, fires and burns in the year 2000 caused $6.2 billion in productivity losses. In 2010 dollars adjusted for inflation, that’s $8.6 billion. Those productivity losses are highest among men 24-44 years of age and women 45-64 years of age. Hospitalizations for burns represent only 1 percent of all injuries in the U.S., but treatments cost more than $10.4 billion per year, according to the same source."
This is the worst case of consumer fraud / tort liability we are aware of next to the tobacco companies case of which the Attorney General offices in multiple States won the lawsuit in 1998 where $206 billion settlement was awarded. "The Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) was entered in November 1998, originally between the four largest United States tobacco companies (Philip Morris Inc., R. J. Reynolds, Brown & Williamson and Lorillard – the "original participating manufacturers", referred to as the "Majors") and the attorneys general of 46 states. The states settled their Medicaid lawsuits against the tobacco industry for recovery of their tobacco-related health-care costs, and also exempted the companies from private tort liability regarding harm caused by tobacco use. " Source https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tobacco_Master_Settlement_Agreement
In light of tobacco products causing a burden on the government funded health care plans which prompted the multi - State Attorney General lawsuit and the fact that costs of treating burn victims and lost wages not only can heavily burden families of burn victims financially but also burden the Government funded health care programs paid for by tax payers, it would seem logical that the Attorney General offices in all 50 States file a lawsuit against the U.S. manufactures of ionization alarms. The individual lawsuits are very few in number in relation to how many victims over the last 50 years, being the majority of public consumers are unaware of the danger of these devices that have been hidden and covered up for decades. Over the last 2 years I have told over 5000 consumers face to face about the dangers of ionization alarms and less than 30 of them were aware of the problem.
Please kindly reply to this email and inform us as to what will be your plan of action in regards to this consumer fraud / tort liability that continues to result in death and burn injuries on a daily basis.
Dennis Fox & Supporters
Previous and ongoing efforts to establish legislation State by State to mandate use of photoelectric alarms has been successful to a degree in Vermont, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts and Ohio as well as a few city's in California and Queensland Australia, with pending legislation in a few other States. Three European Countries, Switzerland, Netherlands, and Luxembourg have bans on these dangerous devices and Lithuania, Cypress have 'Not for sale" restrictions on ionization alarms due to the radioactive element used in them. The 3 countries that have banned them completely have the lowest fire death rates in the world.
In light of the ongoing high fire death and injury rate due to the failure of ionization alarms to warn occupants early enough for safe evacuation, this effort has proven to take far to much time and with the exception of Queensland AU, the legislation excludes older homes from being required to have photoelectric alarms and no legislation thus far actually ban ionization alarms. This dilemma is due to ionization alarms are still approved by UL and other agencies and still are recommended by NFPA , UL , IAFC - International Association of Fire Chiefs and many State Fire Marshall's and others within the "Fire Club" still going along with this ionization fraud cover up.
These organizations, all officially recommend the use of both photoelectric and ionization alarms for best protection on their webpages, yet, ironically and to the detriment of those they are supposed to be protecting from fire danger, do not enforce this recommendation and even contradict their own recommendation by claiming either type of alarm provides adequate protection. Many fire departments , Red Cross and United Way still donate and install only ionization alarms in lower income housing. The Red Cross rationalizes their donating of ionization alarms with the false claim either type of alarm provides adequate protection despite being aware of all the proof to the contrary. The NFPA and UL are both endorsers of the Red Cross Fire Safety Campaign and despite recommending both types of alarms be used for best protection, knowing the dangers of only using ionization for over 40 years, do nothing to advise the installation of both types of alarms. For this reason and the fact ionization alarms are sold world wide, we are asking the UN and WHO to enact an Ionization Alarm Protocol to hopefully ban these dangerous devices and establish international law making the sale of ionization alarms for habitable structures a criminal offence.
Senator John Kerry , now U.S. Secretary of State, sent a letter to CPSC in 2008 telling them if these ion alarms don't work " it's a no brainier" they shouldn't be sold and they did nothing about it except send him a "thank you for your letter" reply. Richard Patton who exposed this fraud in 1976, still at 90 years of age, sends letters out to Governors, FBI & Attorney Generals and others asking for a criminal investigation and Dean Dennis who lost his daughter in an off campus dorm fire in which 4 other students lost their lives, recently made 2 presentations before the CPSC, yet no recall / ban of ionization alarms and not even a mandate for warning labels were issued.
Despite all the evidence regarding health hazards from smoking tobacco, it took the Government and Attorney Generals over 50 years to get around to suing the tobacco companies in 1998 for $206 billion, which was spread out over 25 years, yet unlike marijuana which they made illegal in 1930's, they still allowed the product to be sold which kills millions of people every year. All the tobacco companies did was raise the price to $5 - $10 or more a pack, passing the buck to those addicted to cigarettes who are still paying the fine off. The Government makes so much $ off the tax revenues from tobacco sales and then off estate taxes when smokers die from cancer, their motivation for lawsuit, for most part, seems to of been to get the tobacco companies customers to cover some of the cost incurred from medical treatment from all the diseases caused from smoking.
Are the Government agencies as corrupt as the tobacco companies, for allowing this to take place or are the people who choose to smoke knowing the risk to blame ? The tobacco companies after several lawsuits, did at least eventually provide a clear warning label after many years of hiding how dangerous cigarettes are, unlike the ionization alarm manufactures who have yet to place a warning label on their packaging warning users of smoke inhalation death and possible severe burn injuries from using only ionization alarms. To be clear, in no way do I believe selling toxic hazardous tobacco products are justified just because some people choose to smoke cigarettes, no more than spraying pesticides on food products that have been known to cause cancer. Tobacco kills and injures more people than all other drugs combined and a Government that profits from the tax revenues from the sale of tobacco, in my opinion, is as corrupt as the companies that sell the drug.
In my opinion the ionization alarm manufactures, UL, NFPA and the government agencies such as the CPSC are more corrupt to a higher degree than tobacco companies and responsible for having done nothing to stop this ionization fraud and conspiracy that has resulted in millions of deaths and injuries world wide over the last 40 + years. Tobacco has killed and injured more people than the use of ionization alarms by far, but users knew the risk, where the users of ionization alarms did not and most consumers still do not despite letters and presentations made to the CPSC and other government officials and news stories over the years. Also, in the U.S. smoke alarms are required by all States Fire and building codes, but due to lower cost of ionization alarms and many builders not aware of the dangers, most install ionization alarms in news homes and homeowners opt to buy the less expensive ion alarms thinking a smoke alarm is a smoke alarm and that it will detect smoldering smoke and protect their families. See DOCUMENTS AND LETTERS TO OFFICIALS
Use Monitored Interconnected Photoelectric Alarms or Photo / Heat Alarms For Very Best Protection Install Fire Sprinklers if Possible
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