CSIRO Taken To Tribunal Over Alarm Data

The recent data by the Australia’s Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation regarding smoke alarms has not gone over will with companies handling alarm repairs Bunbury and across the country, so much so that they’re being taken to the administrative appeals tribunal.

The country’s chief scientific research body is being taken to the tribunal by critics as part of a campaign for data on home alarms. The critics claim that the test data from CSIRO allege that releasing their data, which says that ionisation smoke alarms, the most common alarm types, are too slow to trigger during smouldering fires, will have serious ramifications for the alarm industry, affecting not only manufacturers, but suppliers and alarm repairs Bunbury and across the country.

Mr. Isaac, a member of the Australia Standards committee on smoke alarms, says that he saw the data from CSIRO, which he says show that ionisation smoke alarm don’t trigger until the obscuration or smoke level in the room is four times than the level allowed for a photoelectric alarm to meet standards.

There are two main kinds of smoke alarms; photoelectric and ionisation. The former is mandated by the Australian Building Code in all hospitals and hotels, whilst the latter is used in about 90% of all Aussie homes. Ionisation alarms have responded well to the more common, fast-flaming blazes like kitchen fires, but fire experts claim that those are less dangerous.

In the CSIRO’s tests, Mr. Isaac pointed out that the photoelectric alarm triggered at around the 7 minute mark, whilst the ionisation alarm triggered at around the 16 minute mark, but it was not deemed a failure. This is due to the fact that the CSIRO was, in fact, not testing it for smoke detection, but for sub-micron particles; invisible combustible fumes akin to a heat haze.

The problem, Mr. Isaac says, is that these fast-smouldering fires were the ones that, statistically, kill more people. With such fires, if the fire hits the flaming stage, residents only have 3 minutes to vacate the premises, or odds are good that they’ll probably never get out.

Many are saying that ionisation alarms are outright dangerous, with the CSIRO’s report taking a lot of heat from critics, not only Mr. Isaac but also the World Fire Safety Foundation, who claims that their methodology was severely flawed and that the CSIRO did not understand the tech behind it.

They say that the actual test data from the CSIRO could put the matter to rest, but the CSIRO declined to reveal that info, or entertain interviews ahead of the hearing in the Freedom of Information Division of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, to be held in July.

 

Share Button

Comments are closed.