Ionization 'Smoke' Alarms "Should Be Replaced"

The World Fire Safety Foundation's Red     Alarm Campaign

Are Ionization Smoke Alarms
"The Greatest Success Story in Fire Safety?"

July 2004

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce. NIST's technical reports are relied on by Fire Departments and the fire industry around the world.

NIST's 2004 'Performance of Home Smoke Alarms' report claimed:

"...home usage of smoke alarms rose from less than 10% in 1975 to
  at least 95% in 2000, while the number of home fires deaths was cut
  nearly in half. Thus the home smoke alarm is credited as the greatest
  success story in fire safety in the last part of the 20th century..."

NIST's 'Performance of Home Smoke Alarms' Executive Summary

Page xix, paragraph 1  |  July 2014

Note: Most smoke alarms installed in homes around the
           world up to and since 2000 were ionization alarms.

NIST Technical Note 1455

'Performance of Home Smoke Alarms' NIST Report   |   July 2004

October 2009

Dr Vytenis (Vyto) Babrauskas has three university degrees. He was the first person ever
to receive  a Ph.D. in Fire Protection Engineering. He conducted fire research at NIST for sixteen years. In March 2009, Dr Babrauskas revealed that claims made in the Executive Summary of NIST's 2004 report about the success of ionization alarms were not supported by the data contained within it.

Alarm Bells Ring for the
Most Common Smoke Detector

In September 2009 Dr Babrauskas appeared on TV Exposing False
Claims in NIST's 2004 Report

December 2014

Ten years after NIST's report, when almost all U.S. (and Australian) homes had been fitted with ionization 'smoke' alarms for over a decade, the American Red Cross revealed these alarming facts:


Red Cross Helped More People Affected by
Home Fires Than All Other Disasters Combined

June 2014

World Fire Safety Foundation (WFSF) Chairman, Adrian Butler, Standards Australia Committee member, and Australia's leading fire safety expert, David Isaac and world smoke alarm expert, Dean Dennis were interviewed on Beasley Allen Law Firm's 'The Law And You' radio program in Montgomery, Alabama. Three young girls had died in a home fitted with working ionization smoke alarms. The case was settled out of court with a Confidentiality Order to keep the truth about ionization alarms from the public.


October 2014

The American Red Cross launched its Home Fire Preparedness Campaign to "reduce  deaths and injuries by as much as 25% over the next five years."  Tragically, many Red Cross volunteers are unwittingly installing ionization alarms.


May 2015
The  WFSF discovers a media report where Red Cross volunteers were installing installing ionization alarms in Montgomery Alabama. After contacting volunteers, the WFSF found they are unaware of life-threatening defects and litigation concerns when recommending, selling or installing ionization alarms.


July - August 2015

The WFSF will launch its Red Cross Alarm Campaign across Ohio, New York, Alabama and California.

'The Law & You' Radio Interview

Montgomery, Alabama, U.S.A.

Beasley Allen Law Firm interview after Confidentiality Order placed on smoke alarm campaigners  |  June 2014

The inspiration for the Foundation's
Red Cross Alarm Campaign

a) Watch a Trailer

Australia/New Zealand  |  84 seconds

U.S.A./Canada  |  73 seconds

Renowned U.S. Fire Chief Warns
Ionization Alarms Should be Banned

Sounding The Alarm - Serious Safety Issue

with the Most Common Type of Smoke Detector

Chief Marc McGinn, 'Today Tonight' National T.V. Excerpt

Sydney Australia  |  08 June 2011  |  Full Report: 5:17

Jeff Rossen, NBC's News Investigation T.V. Excerpt

New York, U.S.A.  |  Oct 2012  |  Full Report 4:02

1:01 "This is not about recommending one over the other. It's about
         denouncing. It's about recall. It's about banning the ionization

         technology and only having the photoelectric technology."

0:11 "The problem is, as you're about to see, even when the

         deadliest fires erupt, they may not deliver the warning

         needed to save lives."

b) Hear the Interview: |  10 minutes, 44 seconds

ABC - WFSF |  Smoke Alarm Campaign Interview | 25 May 2015

c) Stage 1: Queensland


"The world is a dangerous

  place to live; not because

  of the people who are evil,

  but because of the people

  who do nothing about it."

Albert Einstein

"Ignorance, allied with..
power, is the most.. ferocious enemy..
 justice can have."

James A Baldwin

"The only thing..

necessary for the.. triumph of evil is that..

good men do nothing."

Edmund Burke