The World Fire Safety Foundation
Standards Australia International Limited
Australia and
New Zealand

Standard Australia International Limited
Australia’s Flawed Smoke Alarm Standard - The Case for Closing the ‘Deadly Loophole’

February, 2006

  Standards Australia’s Fire Protection Committee (FP-002) oversee Australia’s Smoke Alarm Standard, AS3786.  In February 2006 the FP002 Committee were made aware of a ‘Deadly Loophole’ in the Standard regarding flawed scientific testing of ionization smoke alarms.
     Scientific test data held by the Australian Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), the Australian Government’s scientific testing agency, proves ionization smoke alarms were unable to pass the existing, valid, smoke test set for photoelectric smoke alarms since 1993.

     Appendix A of the document below shows ionization smoke alarms do not detect (visible) smoke in smouldering fires until 2-3 times the maximum safe limit set for photoelectric smoke alarms.
(Note: ionization ‘smoke’ alarms detect hot, invisible particles of combustion such as those emitted while
           cooking toast or when opening the oven door while cooking a roast.)

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“Please note that 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.”

Standard Australia’s Case to rectify Australia’s flawed smoke alarm
standard. Appendix A, CSIRO Data, Page 8, para 4. emphasis added
Read the complete nine page article embedded below . . .
Standards Australia
exposing the flawed ‘scientific’ testing of ionization smoke alarms
Standards Australia’s
Corrected, Draft Smoke
Alarm Standard - AS3786
Draft for public comment
released August, 2008


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Standards Australia’s Existing,
Dangerously Flawed, Smoke
Alarm Standard - AS3786

AS3786-1993  Free Sample (6 pages)

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Purchase AS3786
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    The draft document was published and distributed widely to invite public comment for the proposed revision to Australia's Smoke Alarm Standard, AS3786 - 1993.
   Following the public comment, it was proposed that Standards Australia would publish the standard.  However, because the
Australian Building Codes Board refused to reference the proposed revised standard in the Building Code of Australia the project was cancelled by Standards Australia.

   The FP002 committee in charge of this standard is currently working on the adoption of the ISO Standard, '12239 Smoke Alarms' to replace AS3786  for Australia.

   For the latest information on AS3786's revision,  Email Standards Australia

The ‘Draft For Public Comment’ Australian
Smoke Alarm Standard - August, 2008

Why has the Australian Building Codes Board
blocked the adoption of the amended smoke alarm standard into the Building code of Australia?
The Documented Acknowledgement
of Australia’s Flawed Smoke Alarm Standard
Standards Australia’s Case to Rectify Australia’s Flawed Smoke Alarm Standard
Rejected (without just cause) by the Australian Building Codes Board
Full Screen
Australia’s Flawed Smoke Alarm Standard
The Case for Closing the Deadly Loophole
Darren Curtis Channel 9 News
QLD, Australia
10 May, 2011
“. . .the ionization alarms have failed* Australian Standards since 1993.”

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Michelle Buckworth Channel 9 News
NT, Australia
11 May, 2011
*Unable to pass the scientific tests for visible smoke

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