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Old 05-24-2011, 07:03 PM
 
Location: Gilbert, AZ
3,401 posts, read 5,713,540 times
Reputation: 1559

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Currently, ionization-type smoke detectors are banned in three states: Massachusetts, Iowa, and Vermont. However, elsewhere they are the dominant type of smoke detector, due to their low price.

Now, what many people are unaware of is that there is a very serious problem with ionization-type smoke detectors: they are very poor at detecting slow smoldering fires. Ionization-type smoke detectors can take 15 to 30 minutes longer to sound than a photoelectric-type smoke detector, and sometimes won't even sound at all. Slow smoldering fires account for more deaths than fast flaming fires anually, most of which occur during the overnight hours.

Here is an in-depth explaination of the problems of ionization-type smoke detectors:
Smoke Alarm Lawsuits | Defective Smoke Alarm Lawyers Mobile AL (http://www.taylormartino.com/product_liability/smoke_alarms/smoke-alarm-lawsuit.cfm - broken link)

Luckily we installed photoelectric-type detectors in our house in Rio Rancho, and when we move to the Phoenix area, if the new house only has ionization-type smoke detectors, we will replace one of them on each floor with photoelectric-type detectors.

While manufacturers claim that ionization-type smoke detectors are faster at detecting fast flaming fires than photoelectric, studies have shown that the difference in response time is insignificant. However, with slow smoldering fires, the photoelectric-type smoke detectors are much faster at detecting them than ionization-type detectors.

Of course, there also exists dual sensor smoke detectors, which contain both a photoelectric and an ionization sensor, however, I don't think they are worth the price since they would only offer slightly better protection for fast flaming fires than photoelectric-only alarms, and would not make any difference for slow smoldering fires.

So, does anyone here think there should be a ban on ionization-type smoke detectors, considering the loss of lives they have caused due to poor detection of slow smoldering fires?
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Old 05-24-2011, 10:07 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
14,956 posts, read 44,524,743 times
Reputation: 21553
"So, does anyone here think there should be a ban on ionization-type smoke detectors, considering the loss of lives they have caused due to poor detection of slow smoldering fires?"

No. Because they have not CAUSED a loss of life. They have ALLOWED a situation where loss of life is possible. You may think I am being nit-picky, but if you are going to use the language - use it properly. I am fed up with media hype that is all based on incorrect use of the language and manipulating it to incur fear. If somebody stuffed an ionizing detector down your throat as a weapon and it cut off your air, it would be directly responsible for your death.

We have an ionization detecting alarm that I stuck on a bit of velcro directly over our stove. It works just dandy at telling us if a pot has overheated. It is a TOOL. Every tool has a best use. Would you ban pliers because wrenches work better in some situations?

Personally, if you want to go the FUD route, I think you are remiss. I have a detector that will detect smoke, propane, AND carbon monoxide. We use propane for our stove and backup heat, and I refuse to live in a house that has combustion unless I am sure that carbon monoxide won't be an issue.

Yeah I get grumpy. It happens whenever anyone suggests "We oughta make a law so you can't have this."
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Old 05-24-2011, 10:35 PM
 
Location: Gilbert, AZ
3,401 posts, read 5,713,540 times
Reputation: 1559
Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
"So, does anyone here think there should be a ban on ionization-type smoke detectors, considering the loss of lives they have caused due to poor detection of slow smoldering fires?"

No. Because they have not CAUSED a loss of life. They have ALLOWED a situation where loss of life is possible. You may think I am being nit-picky, but if you are going to use the language - use it properly. I am fed up with media hype that is all based on incorrect use of the language and manipulating it to incur fear. If somebody stuffed an ionizing detector down your throat as a weapon and it cut off your air, it would be directly responsible for your death.

We have an ionization detecting alarm that I stuck on a bit of velcro directly over our stove. It works just dandy at telling us if a pot has overheated. It is a TOOL. Every tool has a best use. Would you ban pliers because wrenches work better in some situations?

Personally, if you want to go the FUD route, I think you are remiss. I have a detector that will detect smoke, propane, AND carbon monoxide. We use propane for our stove and backup heat, and I refuse to live in a house that has combustion unless I am sure that carbon monoxide won't be an issue.

Yeah I get grumpy. It happens whenever anyone suggests "We oughta make a law so you can't have this."
But why would you want only minimal protection from an ionization-type alarm, instead of total protection from a photoelectric alarm?

Clearly, the ideal solution would a detector that detects smoke, propane, natural gas, and CO, but at least the smoke detecting part should use a photoelectric sensor.

And by banning ionization type detectors, I don't mean that everyone shourd replace theirs instantly, I simply mean that no new ionization type detectors should be manufactured or sold. This would be a gradual phase out,
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Old 05-24-2011, 10:38 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
14,956 posts, read 44,524,743 times
Reputation: 21553
"And by banning ionization type detectors, I don't mean that everyone shourd replace theirs instantly, I simply mean that no new ionization type detectors should be manufactured or sold. This would be a gradual phase out."

And I disagree. They have their purposes.
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Old 05-24-2011, 11:17 PM
 
Location: Gilbert, AZ
3,401 posts, read 5,713,540 times
Reputation: 1559
Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
"And by banning ionization type detectors, I don't mean that everyone shourd replace theirs instantly, I simply mean that no new ionization type detectors should be manufactured or sold. This would be a gradual phase out."

And I disagree. They have their purposes.
What purposes? Only a marginal advantage at detecting fast flaming fires? Clearly the the cons of ionization-type detectors outweigh the pros, and there is no argument against that. Three states have already banned them in new installations: Massachusetts, Iowa, and Vermont. In addition, they are banned in many European countries. And if fast flaming fires are more important to you than slow smoldering fires, get a dual sensor alarm.
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Old 05-25-2011, 10:10 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
14,956 posts, read 44,524,743 times
Reputation: 21553
I grew up in Vermont. I know what it has become. If that was meant to impress, it did the exact opposite.

You just shifted from a ban to allowing a dual sensor system. Look at the logic - X is so bad that we need to make a law against its use. We will allow the use of X because it can detect something that is deadly, but we will only allow it in a dual system. If X is clearly inferior in all aspects, the market can decide. If you want to weight the equation, slap a tax on ionization detectors so that the others are the less expensive option.

I suspect that you have not lived long enough or been aware enough to understand the greater issues with nanny state laws, and the need to limit restrictions on humanity.
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Old 05-25-2011, 12:34 PM
 
Location: Gilbert, AZ
3,401 posts, read 5,713,540 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
I grew up in Vermont. I know what it has become. If that was meant to impress, it did the exact opposite.

You just shifted from a ban to allowing a dual sensor system. Look at the logic - X is so bad that we need to make a law against its use. We will allow the use of X because it can detect something that is deadly, but we will only allow it in a dual system. If X is clearly inferior in all aspects, the market can decide. If you want to weight the equation, slap a tax on ionization detectors so that the others are the less expensive option.

I suspect that you have not lived long enough or been aware enough to understand the greater issues with nanny state laws, and the need to limit restrictions on humanity.
By your logic, we should legalize marijuana, cocaine, and other illegal drugs.

I don't see why you are being so defensive about ionization-type smoke detectors. The UL standards for testing smoke detectors is far out of date, and doesn't really represent real world fires. When these tests were made, most homes had furniture that had cotton filling. However, with the increased use of polyurethane filling, the fumes produced by furniture burning can actually be toxic. This is an important problem with ionization-type detectors, as a room can get filled with toxic smoke and the detector fails to detect it.

Trust me, I am not biased, I am just educated. You are the one who is clearly biased.
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Old 05-25-2011, 01:43 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
14,956 posts, read 44,524,743 times
Reputation: 21553
Again, you are bringing a new factor into the discussion. Again, it doesn't impress me. Consider what happened when an amendment was passed making alcohol illegal. Then consider how after it was repealed that the legal alcohol sales and the taxes on them, licensing fees, and government supervision have turned the mob and gangs away from illegal booze and on to easier pickings, turned a social negative into an overall neutral or positive in society - yes, with a lot of drawbacks attached - but still an educated and reasonable position. I've tried mj a couple times many many years ago and it gives me a nauseous headache, but as for others using it, I don't much care. If you had used meth or something more devastating in its effects, your point would be better taken.

I respond to that new point to ascertain that you seem to come from an absolutist point of view. In that mindset, something is either 100% good or 100% bad. I've been there. As a system of philosophy towards life, it doesn't work. I grew out of that stage quickly.

I regret that we don't see the issue the same way, and suggest that if you feel strongly you might consider moving to Vermont or one of the other places where the ban is in effect rather than someplace where you are ALLOWED but not REQUIRED to install a smoke detector that meets your standards. I am guessing that your crusade does not extend to plans for a worldwide ban?

As I stated earlier, I personally have a detector that ALSO detects carbon monoxide and leaking gas. If you don't have one, I am not about to mount a campaign or require by law that you get one of those instead of your simple photoelectric detector, or suggest that your simple photoelectric detectors be banned.

If you want to save lives, there are more profitable crusades. I have yet to see a decent and reliable system for early detection and suppression of chimney fires, or any mandate for gas companies to supply each customer with a leaking gas detector. Again, those are positive steps, not restrictions on technologies.
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Old 05-25-2011, 02:00 PM
 
Location: Gilbert, AZ
3,401 posts, read 5,713,540 times
Reputation: 1559
Quote:
Originally Posted by harry chickpea View Post
Again, you are bringing a new factor into the discussion. Again, it doesn't impress me. Consider what happened when an amendment was passed making alcohol illegal. Then consider how after it was repealed that the legal alcohol sales and the taxes on them, licensing fees, and government supervision have turned the mob and gangs away from illegal booze and on to easier pickings, turned a social negative into an overall neutral or positive in society - yes, with a lot of drawbacks attached - but still an educated and reasonable position. I've tried mj a couple times many many years ago and it gives me a nauseous headache, but as for others using it, I don't much care. If you had used meth or something more devastating in its effects, your point would be better taken.

I respond to that new point to ascertain that you seem to come from an absolutist point of view. In that mindset, something is either 100% good or 100% bad. I've been there. As a system of philosophy towards life, it doesn't work. I grew out of that stage quickly.

I regret that we don't see the issue the same way, and suggest that if you feel strongly you might consider moving to Vermont or one of the other places where the ban is in effect rather than someplace where you are ALLOWED but not REQUIRED to install a smoke detector that meets your standards. I am guessing that your crusade does not extend to plans for a worldwide ban?

As I stated earlier, I personally have a detector that ALSO detects carbon monoxide and leaking gas. If you don't have one, I am not about to mount a campaign or require by law that you get one of those instead of your simple photoelectric detector, or suggest that your simple photoelectric detectors be banned.

If you want to save lives, there are more profitable crusades. I have yet to see a decent and reliable system for early detection and suppression of chimney fires, or any mandate for gas companies to supply each customer with a leaking gas detector. Again, those are positive steps, not restrictions on technologies.
I do own a carbon monoxide detector (one that plugs into the wall). It was actually cheaper to get them separately rather than buying a combo photoelectric smoke/CO detector,
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Old 05-25-2011, 02:04 PM
 
Location: Hopewell New Jersey
1,389 posts, read 6,478,384 times
Reputation: 984
Harry:

Dam you...once again you insist on confusing ppl with logic.

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