The World Fire Safety Foundation
Positions on Smoke Alarms in Residential Accomodation: Australia & New Zealand
Australia and
New Zealand

Vermont, USA

Australia’s Flawed Smoke Alarm Standard
More > > >

Note: This webpage is provided in the public interest
         from information extracted from the public domain.

Positions on Smoke Alarms in Residential Accomodation

Australia & New Zealand

“That all residential accommodation be fitted with photoelectric smoke alarms ...
 Ionization smoke alarms may not operate in time to alert occupants early
 enough to escape from smouldering fires.”
“... all residential buildings should be fitted with photoelectric smoke alarms in the
 first instance in order to treat the highest fire safety risk ...”
“For both flaming fires and smouldering fires, photoelectric smoke alarms are
 more likely to alert occupants in time to escape safely.”
“Ionization smoke alarms should be banned and recalled. They have been unable to 
 pass Standard Australia’s scientific tests for visible smoke since 1993.  The US’s
 number one Standards organisation, Underwriters Laboratories (UL), is now being
 sued (Hosford vs BRK et al) for alleged  fraudulent testing of ionization smoke alarms.”ulsued.htmlshapeimage_19_link_0
“... the photoelectric alarm will detect that situation almost always far, far sooner
 than an ionization alarm ... it’s really important that you have photoelectric
 alarms in your house ... smouldering fires are real killers.”
Click to Play   or Play Continuous
Full Screen
Australia’s Flawed Smoke Alarm Standard
Darren Curtis Channel 9 News
QLD, Australia
10 May, 2011
“. . .the ionization alarms have failed* Australian Standards since 1993.”
Michelle Buckworth Channel 9 News
NT, Australia
11 May, 2011
“The photoelectric type of alarm is strongly favoured by fire services everywhere ...”
 Australia’s first, mandatory, photoelectric-specific legislation applies to all new homes,
 and removable dwellings.  It became law in the Northern Territory in December, 2011.
*Unable to pass the scientific test for visible smoke
“The ionization models were slightly better on average at detecting flaming fires,
 but were hopeless  for smouldering fires. Many of them didn’t sound at all ...
 That failing is potentially fatal.”
22 March, 2010
The Hon Kim Carr wrote to Greg Hunt MP after the WFSF requested the ABCB justify claims of “insufficient evidence” regarding the life-threatening problems with ionization smoke alarms.

Senator Carr responded (on behalf of the ABCB):

           “In the light of international research regarding the use of ionization and
            photoelectric smoke alarms, the ABCB considers there is insufficient evidence . . .”

Note: Standards Australia’s FP002 committee of over 20 technical experts have acknowledged the Australian smoke alarm standard is flawed (see film below) and want a critical amendment correcting the flawed standard to be incorporated into the Building Code of Australia (which the ABCB controls).
The Australasian Fire & Emergency Service Authorities Council (AFAC) is the peak representative body of all Australasian Fire Brigades. In 2005, AFAC commissioned Melbourne’s Victoria University (VU) to  study international scientific research  relating to ionization vs photoelectric smoke alarms.
After examining the VU’s report, AFAC published its landmark, official position statement on smoke alarms on 01 June, 2006.  Clause 3 states,
“The New Zealand Safety Council’s position is that ionization smoke alarms
 should be banned from sale in New Zealand.”
More > > >afac.htmlshapeimage_38_link_0
Why is the ABCB’s position on ionization vs photoelectric smoke alarms at odds with:
AFAC, Choice, Consumer, FPAA, NTFRS, NZSC, PHAA, QFRS, SA, VFFA and the WFSF?
Freedom of Information Requests
World Fire Safety Foundation’s (attempted) Freedom of Information Requests to the ABCB: Here > > >abcbfoi.htmlshapeimage_40_link_0

Pro Bono Help Wanted

The World Fire Safety Foundation is a self-funded, non profit organisation.

We are seeking an Australian law firm, or a retired lawyer or judge for

assistance with Freedom of Information Act Applications

Choice Australia  (Choice)
The number one advocate of consumer rights in Australia.choice.htmlshapeimage_41_link_0
Australasian Fire & Emergency Service Authorities Council  (AFAC)
The peak representative body of all Australasian Fire Brigades.afac.htmlshapeimage_42_link_0
Consumer New Zealand  (Consumer)
New Zealand’s trusted source of independent consumer information.
Northern Territory Fire & Rescue Service  (NTFRS)
Protects all urban and rural areas within the Northern Territory.legislation_au_nt.htmlshapeimage_44_link_0
New Zealand Safety Council  (NZSC)
Promoting best practice in health and safety management in all aspects of New Zealand life.nzsc.htmlshapeimage_45_link_0
Fire Protection Association Australia  (FPAA)
Australia’s major technical and educational fire safety organisation.fpaa.htmlshapeimage_46_link_0
Queensland Fire and Rescue Service  (QFRS)
Protecting all metropolitan and rural areas in the State of Queensland.qfrspromo.htmlshapeimage_47_link_0
The World Fire Safety Foundation  (WFSF)
A global non-profit founded in the year 2000 with a mission to ‘Stop the Children Burning’.position.htmlshapeimage_48_link_0
More > > >abcbol3.htmlshapeimage_49_link_0
“PHAA will advocate for Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments to
 enact legislation or regulations (where not currently in place) to mandate the
 installation of photoelectric smoke alarms in all residential facilities.”
Public Health Association of Australia  (PHAA)
Provides a forum for the exchange of ideas, knowledge and information on public health.phaa.htmlshapeimage_53_link_0
“FireFighters have not been told the truth.  Watch 'Smoke Alarm Recall' and see
 the facts about ionization smoke alarms for yourself.”home.htmlshapeimage_54_link_0
Volunteer Fire Fighters Association  (VFFA)
Represent volunteer fire fighters in Australia.vffa.htmlshapeimage_55_link_0
“That all residential accommodation be fitted with photoelectric smoke
alarms . . . ionization smoke alarms may not operate in time to alert
occupants early enough to escape from smouldering fires.”
Standards Australia  (SA)
The peak non government standards body in Australia.vffa.htmlshapeimage_58_link_0
“. . . the test fire specified by the standard is a slowly developing smouldering fire
 which will inherently favour detection devices that detect visible smoke over
 ionization type smoke alarms that do not detect smoke.”