About Us
Viewing Problems?sorry.htmlshapeimage_2_link_0
The World Fire Safety Foundation
The World Fire Safety Foundation was founded in 2000 by Adrian Butler (former full-time fire-fighter) and Karl Westwell.

In 1993 Butler & Westwell founded and ran Maximum Security, a multi-national, award-winning franchise.  In November 1997 Maximum Security launched Maximum Fire & Safety which sold and installed thousands of ionization smoke alarms throughout Australia and New Zealand.
Maximum Fire & Safety’s
Launch in New Zealand’s
Franchise Magazine, Nov, 97
Numerous consumers complained that whilst their smoke alarms activated during cooking they had failed to activate
in smouldering fires.  As the number of complaints increased it became obvious there was a very serious problem.
Co-Founders Adrian Butler (left) and Karl Westwell (right)
during filming of ’Stop The Children Burning’  July, 2003stcb.htmlshapeimage_9_link_0
In January 2000 Canadian TV broadcast an exposé about inherent defects with the ionization type of smoke alarm installed in most homes around the world. ‘Silent Alarms’ was based on the 1998 Mercer vs Pittway case where the world’s largest smoke alarm manufacturer was fined over US$20M for “Failing to disclose the known limitations of the (ionization) detector to the consumers.”  BRK appealed.  In 2001 the case was settled out of court with a confidentiality order.

Further research revealed the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) had warned about ionization alarms in 1980.  Their ‘Residential Smoke Alarm Report’ stated, “In fact, they [ionization alarms] might be
so slow to activate in a smoldering fire that lives may be in danger.”
The IAFC said they could “take no other course but to recommend the installation of photoelectric smoke detectors.”mercercase.htmlshapeimage_10_link_0
International Association
of Fire Chief’s 1980
Report Warning About
Ionization Smoke Alarms
Dangerous Defects
More > > >iafc.htmlshapeimage_12_link_0
Butler and Westwell decided to distribute ‘Silent Alarms’ in Australia and New Zealand to warn Fire Departments about ionization smoke alarms and advise of the safe alternatives.  However, ‘Silent Alarms’ had been silenced by threats of litigation and Fire Departments refused to believe there were any problems with ionization smoke alarms.  Butler & Westwell decided to make their own documentary ‘Stop the Children Burning’.

After Australian Fire Departments saw ‘Stop The Children Burning’ the Australasian Fire & Emergency Service Authorities Council (AFAC), the peak representative body of all New Zealand and Australian Fire Departments, commissioned the Victorian University of Technology (VUT) to examine world-wide research into ionization and photoelectric smoke alarms.  In early 2006 the VUT released their report exposing the life-threatening problems with ionization alarms.
AFAC’s Official Position  STILL Hidden
from Most Fire Fighters and the Publicafac.htmlshapeimage_14_link_0
As a result of VUT’s report, in June, 2006 AFAC released its official position:
“That all residential accommodation be fitted with photoelectric smoke alarms.”
AFAC’s report warned:
“Ionization smoke alarms may not operate in time to alert occupants early enough
  to escape from smouldering fires.”

However, despite over eighteen years of campaigning (we started in March 2000), and overwhelming scientific evidence proving ionization smoke alarms have deadly defects, the truth STILL remains hidden from most fire fighters and the public.

When will those paid to protect us warn the public?

What is more important, Saving Face or Saving Lives?
An interview with  Adrian Butler, Chairman,
Co-Founder, Former Full-time Fire Fighter
The World Fire Safety Foundation
“It’s Time to Tell the Public the Truth”
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“After going through these cases we dealt with a few big
  companies and we noticed that all of them are hiding
  and sneaking and keeping things from the public that
  the public need to know about in order to remain safe.”
Nathan Mercer, Mercer vs Pittway, ‘Silent Alarms’, January 2000mercercase.htmlshapeimage_22_link_0
‘Silent Alarms’
Silenced by litigation
Some of the Foundation’s work:wfsfwork.htmlshapeimage_24_link_0

The World Fire Safety

Foundation is non profit

Our Mission
Stop The Children Burning

What are we really about?aboutus.htmlshapeimage_27_link_0
  1. is a non-trading not-for-profit.

  2. does not solicit nor receive donations.

  3. has no income, no assets, and all expenses are met directly by private individuals who are not in any way contracted to, nor in the employ of, the smoke alarm industry, testing laboratories, standards or regulatory bodies.

  4. does pay any fee of any type to any individual or entity, all staff and advisors are volunteers.

The World Fire Safety Foundation
15 Kurara Ct, Narangbar, QLD, 4504  AUSTRALIA
Karl Westwell
CEO, Co-Founder
kw@theWFSF.org  Ph: +61 7 808 0725
Adrian Butler 
Chairman, Co-Founder
ab@theWFSF.org  Ph: +61 409 782 166mailto:ab@theWFSF.org?subject=World%20Fire%20Safety%20Foundation%20Queryshapeimage_31_link_0