This report was
scanned from hardcopy.
Defect in Smoke Alarms,
May 1996, on
ABC 20/20, Gary Lederer a Senior Vice
smoke alarm manufacturer BRK was questioned
about a 15 minute delay in Ionization alarms sounding:
photoelectric will sound an alarm sooner than an
ionization, but both will provide an alarm in
sufficient time to allow you to evacuate the
much sooner would the photoelectric sound in a
slow, smoldering fire?"
"Fifteen minutes prior to the ionization
I want that extra 15 minutes to go wake up other
members of my family, to go make sure
everybody's safe, to herd them outside."
have an answer for you. We have a
combination unit that has both detection
principals in one unit."
"UL is a
non-profit organization, but UL's funding comes from
the manufacturers whose products UL tests. The
majority of the UL-217 committee consists of
representatives from smoke alarm industry
consultants paid for by the manufacturers and UL
employees...... The UL Standards will not
change unless or until the smoke alarm manufacturers
are forced to change by jury verdict or
"The smoke alarm
manufacturers often times rely on government studies
to defend these cases. One of their favorite
studies is the National Institute for Standards and
Technology (NIST) report dated February 2008.
The abstract to this study and one of the
Smoke alarms of
either ionization type or the photoelectric type
consistently provide time for the occupants to
escape from most residential fires, although in some
cases the escape time provided can be short.
Consistent with prior findings, ionization alarms
provide somewhat better response to flaming fires
than photoelectric alarms, and
alarms provide (often) significantly faster response
to smoldering fires than ionization alarms.
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