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Underwriters Laboratories (UL)  - 2 of 4
How Safe Are Products Bearing the UL Mark?

Underwriters Laboratories (UL) is the  worlds largest independent product testing company.
The integrity of UL’s scientific testing of ionization smoke alarms has been under scrutiny
since UL said they would address their flawed testing in a 1978 Business Week Magazine
article.  Twenty years after failing to fix their flawed testing, UL stated:

                “All UL standards are developed to anticipate real-world events,
                  if we don’t anticipate everything . . . we change our standard.”

Chief Jay Fleming of the Boston Fire Department stated:
         “...While an alarm may sound in UL Labs it may not go off in a home... “

UL is not a government agency - approximately 90% of its income is from its testing
services.  UL has grown into, “... an international
corporation with $512 million in
assets, $407 million in annual revenue, more than 5,200 employees and 13
laboratories worldwide.”

The UL Mark
How safe is UL’s ‘Safety Mark’

UL’s John Drengenburg
“The fact is we know if it's a
working smoke alarm, when the
 smoke hits that alarm, it will sound.”
UL Fiction
FireFighter Fact
State Fire Marshal Roger Johnson
"I thought the ionization smoke
alarm would have activated in
the first few few seconds . . . forty
 two minutes, that's a real surprise.”
After an ‘Aquarium Test’ and
full-scale, real-world, testing:
After three decades of
alleged ‘Scientific Misconduct’:
  1.   Steve Berman

  2. Managing Partner,  HBSS LLP 

“Early warning is the key to surviving smoldering fires,

the  deadliest kind of home fire.
“Ionization-only” smoke detectors ... are slow to warn
if they warn at all of smoldering fires,
which typically occur while occupants are sleeping.”

Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP

Proposed Class Action Law Suit

Dr B. Don Russell
“After an hour, we had 50%
of the [ionization] smoke
detectors not sounding.”
Scientific Evidence
After ten years of empirical,
real-world, scientific evidence:
The problem with ionization smoke alarms always comes back to the standards.  If standards organisations give their mark/seal of approval,
surely they must be safe?  But what if ‘Scientific Misconduct’ (i.e. fraudulent scientific testing) has been committed?

In January 2008, during a 90 minute conversation with Mr John Drengenberg, UL’s Consumer Affairs Manager, Mr Drengenberg stated that if there
was a problem with UL217, America’s smoke alarm standard, UL would fix it.  I responded by saying that despite repeated claims that it would
correct UL217 since 1978, UL can not fix its flawed standard.  The Foundation believes the reason UL won’t conduct legitimate, real-world
tests, is because under legitimate testing, all ionization smoke alarms would fail (as evidenced by Australia’s scientific testing) and UL could be
exposed to crippling litigation from manufacturers and fire victims from around the world.  A decade has now past since UL’s 1999 claims.

Fortunately when Standards Australia were approached with the same issue they put public safety first.  They went beyond acknowledging that the
existing Australian Smoke Alarm Standard was flawed - they corrected it.  AS3786 has now been rewritten.  The corrected standard eliminates the flawed, ‘Mic X’ testing that has allowed ionization alarms to pass.  Scientific data held by Australia's CSIRO since 1993, confirms that it is unlikely
any ionization smoke alarms will be able to pass the corrected/valid testing.

Photoelectric smoke detectors have been mandated in commercial buildings in Australia since April 2004 (AS1670.1).  However, the corrected
Australian Smoke Alarm Standard, which will effectively mandate photoelectric alarms in Australian homes (AS3786), has been blocked, without
just cause, by the Australian Building Codes Board.  Compelling evidence indicates Australians have already paid for this needless bureaucratic
delay with their lives.

Adrian Butler, Chairman, The World Fire Safety Foundation, Gold Coast, Australia, July, 2010

UL Fiction vs FireFighter Facts and Scientific Evidence

from Indiana's ‘Deadly Delay’ Investigative TV series  deadlydelay.htmlshapeimage_22_link_0
What did Mr Drengenberg say when the Indiana State Fire Marshal
discovered UL listed ionization smoke alarms did not activate until
dangerously high and totally unacceptable levels of smoke?
“The fact is we know that if it’s a working smoke alarm, when
  the  smoke hits that alarm, it will sound.”

        Has UL deceived the public and our Fire Departments?
Has UL Committed Scientific Misconduct?

UL’s Chief Legal Officer, Debra Rade stated UL had, “set the entire foundation for
product-safety certification.”  
Is UL in any way responsible for the standards testing of ionization smoke alarms in Australia given that Australia’s Smoke Alarm Standard has
been rewritten in acknowledgement of the fact that it is
dangerously flawed?

“Don’t they have to please these
  folks who pay them for the tests?”

Mark Chubb, South East Association of Fire Chiefs

UL’s World Headquarters
Chicago, Illinois, USA

“The ‘gold standard’ of American safety,
  the Underwriters Laboratories seal, may
  be tarnished, say some fire officials.”
‘How Safe are Products  Bearing the UL Mark?’

Scroll to see all 5 pages

How Safe Are Products
Bearing the UL Mark?

Download:  Here > > >

John Drengenburg
UL Consumer Affairs Manager

Caroline Meyer, Washington Post Consumer Reporter, Dec, 1999

As at the date of updating this webpage (April, 2010), despite assurances of doing

so for three decades, UL has failed to correct its flawed Smoke Alarm Standard (UL217).
UL’s ongoing negligence in failing to correct it’s flawed Smoke Alarm Standard and its
failure in it’s Duty of Care to warn the public about the known danger in ionization smoke
alarms will continue to lead to countless, needless fire deaths around the world.

Note: Read the ‘Special Duty of Care’ letter in The S.A.F.E. Report.

The CAN Report
Sent to UL by registered

mail in February 2007

The following article is a reprint from the Washington Post’s December 1999 issue:

Washington Post’s:
‘How Safe Are Products Bearing the UL Mark?
Hear UL’s Testimony at 
Albany City Council Hearing . . .
UL 3:  > > >ul3.htmlshapeimage_41_link_0
“Have you ever heard the term “the fox guarding the hen house?”.  The UL Standards will not change
  unless or until the smoke alarm. manufacturers are forced to change by jury verdicts or legislation.”
Richard Taylor, Taylor Martino, Mobile, Alabama, USA
‘The Defect in Smoke Alarms’, Aug, 2009 page 4, para 4
More > > >disa.htmlshapeimage_44_link_0
by Caroline E Meyer, Washington Post Consumer Reporter
December, 1999
< < <  UL1 - ‘False Sense of Security’ Interview ul.htmlshapeimage_46_link_0
UL4 - The UL Letters:  > > >ulletters.htmlshapeimage_48_link_0
 UL3 - UL Testimony at Albany:  > > > ul3.htmlshapeimage_49_link_0
< < <  UL1 - ‘False Sense of Security’ Interview ul.htmlshapeimage_50_link_0
UL4 - The UL Letters:  > > >ulletters.htmlshapeimage_51_link_0
 UL3 - UL Testimony at Albany:  > > > ul3.htmlshapeimage_52_link_0