NSW Fire And Rescue Quotes Research On Alarm Safety, Critics Doubtful

The whole point of home safety is allow the homeowner peace of mind in their home sweet home, whether from external threats, like burglars, or internal ones, like failing wiring or fire. Home safety, consequently, is a big topic with experts on home security Perth and across the world treat any discussion on the matter with the utmost seriousness.

Which is why the raging debate over fire alarm systems in Australia has been a little disconcerting to many. Notably, one alarm model is so heavily criticized and doubted, that it’s outright banned in certain areas, yet remain in common use everywhere else.

The Fire and Rescue New South Wales, however, has released a research paper aimed at quelling doubt towards the most commonly use alarm system (ionisation and photoelectric), which they say should calm down people worried about the topic.

Critics, including a notable expert that’s handled home security Perth and across Australia, are unsatisfied with the data from the paper, citing it as dangerously flawed.

The three year study conducted by the FRNSW tested four different types of alarms, due to their differing configurations and ideal environments. They are as follows:

  • ionisation: noted for being better at detecting flaming fires;
  • photoelectric: noted for being faster at detecting smouldering fires;
  • dual photoelectric & ionisation, and;
  • dual photoelectric & heat sensing alarms.

According to Mark Whybro, FRNSW Assistant Commissioner, they tested the response times of the different smoke alarms via creating a mock up of a standard two-bedroom apartment with actual furnishing, and repeatedly set fire to it as a test with different scenarios each time, with 81 confirmed test iterations. According to them, the research shows that no particular classification of smoke alarm works best in all situations.

Experts, however, criticize the experimentation, as they noted that the more common ionisation alarms warn of a fire when it hits the flaming stage, which should be avoided. Ideally, a fire must be detected early in the smouldering phase, and that is the problem with the alarms and the testing methodology.

These experts reiterate the argument that ionisation alarms are dubious at best, with several points against the type of alarm. One such point is the fact that ionisation alarms are banned in certain jurisdictions across the world, including Queensland and the Northern Territory, and that, for a fact, Former NSW Fire Commissioner Greg Mullins even went on record saying that they should be outlawed everywhere.

Regardless of the debate, which continues to rage, both sides agree that home alarms need to be able to signal one another, and that homes need more of them.