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Petitioning Chairman Elliot F. Kaye, The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission

Demand the CPSC mandate warning labels on ionization smoke alarms.

On Palm Sunday 2003, I lost my daughter, Andrea, in an off-campus overnight fire at Ohio State University. Five students died in this fire. On Palm Sunday 2005, there was yet another off-campus overnight fire. This time at Miami of Ohio University. Three students died in this fire. Between the two houses there were over 20 ionization smoke alarms, yet eight students died. If you're wondering how this could happen, it's because ionization alarms have a fatal flaw. Ionization alarms can sit in smoke from a prolonged smoldering stage fire for sometimes over an hour and still not sound. People die in their sleep from smoke inhalation. Still these seriously flawed alarms are permitted to be sold to the public without so much as a warning label. Watch this video to see how lives are changed. When done watching, please hit the upper left arrow to return to the petiton.  http://vimeo.com/114950780 

Your family is very likely at risk. This flaw has been concealed from the public by the smoke alarm manufacturers and testing agencies. It is not in dispute that ionization smoke alarms are inadequate at detecting the smoldering stage of a fire. Shockingly, these alarms are in over 90% of our homes. The National Institute of Standards and Technology in their testing of smoke alarms has determined that ionization alarms are on average 30 minutes slower to respond to the early, smoldering stage of fires than photoelectric alarms, and may completely fail to sound (This information shall constitute the warning label related to this petition). This information has been known for over a decade.

Even worst, Underwriters Laboratories (UL) has been using a singular flawed smoldering test to approve ionization smoke alarms that is over 40 years old.  They smolder pine strips on a hot plate and equate this to the cushions in our homes. How does this work?  Well fires that start in cushions account for 2% of fires but over 20% of fire deaths. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) needs to hold manufacturers accountable and start protecting our families. UL is a client of the manufacturers in the approval process and together they are placing profits ahead of the lives of our families.  

The CPSC has been ignoring the fatal flaws of ionization smoke alarms for many years.  As far back as 2008, Boston's Deputy Fire, Chief Joseph Fleming, and Secretary of State, John Kerry, wrote to the Consumer Product Safety Commission documenting their concerns about ionization alarms. They were thanked in a letter, but the agency essentially hasn't taken any action to date..

Here you can see the agency sweeping the problem aside when approached. (Again, when done watching, hit the upper left arrow to return to the petiton)

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  • Chairman Elliot F. Kaye, The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission


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