Experiments were conducted to assess the performance of various residential smoke alarms to kitchen fires and nuisance alarm cooking scenarios. A structure representing a kitchen, living room and hallway was constructed to conduct the experiments. Eight different residential smoke alarms types, two photoelectric models (P1 and P2), two ionization models (I1 and I2), two dual sensor photoelectric/ionization models(D1 and D2), and two multi-sensor, intelligent models (M1 and M2) were used in this study. The data gathered provided insight into the susceptibility of alarm activation from exposures to typical cooking events and alarm times for actual kitchen fires. The effects of alarm technology and installation location on the propensity of an alarm to activate were examined. In the kitchen fire experiments, all smoke alarms responded before hazardous conditions developed. An ionization alarm (I1) tended to respond first compared to other co-located alarms. Results show smoke alarms placed greater than 6 m from the kitchen range may provide less than 120 s of available safe egress time, which suggests the importance of a more central alarm location closer to the kitchen for this configuration. Experiments were conducted to determine an alarm’s propensity to activate when exposed to particulates generated from eight typical cooking activities including toasting, frying, baking and broiling. In most cases, the propensity to nuisance alarm decreased as the distance from the cooking source increased. Two alarms, I1 and D2, experienced more nuisance alarm activations across the eight cooking activities than the other alarms. The remaining alarms experienced about the same combined nuisance alarm frequency by averaging all cooking events for installation locations outside the kitchen. Experiments showed combustible materials typically found on a counter top can spread flames to overhead cabinets, and a single empty 0.6 m wide 1.0 m tall wood-framed, pressboard cabinet can produce a peak heat release rate nearly sufficient to flashover a small room. Alternatively, protective metal barrier on the bottom and side facing the range tended to limit the spread of flames to the cabinet and reduce the heat release rate.
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Kim Warner got the scare of her life behind the wheel of her Jeep Wrangler. "I saw a flash under the hood," she remembers. She says she was driving at a low speed when her brakes went out and the shifter jammed. "I had both feet on the brake and my tires were spinning. I noticed flames coming out the passenger side," she says.
Her boyfriend who was nearby ran, jumped in, and pulled her out of the SUV before it got worse. "As I pulled her out that is when the flames came thru the dash," he said.
Chrysler sent an inspector, but the automaker said in a statement: "The cause of the fire was deemed inconclusive by the investigator."
Loose engine cover could cause fire
Fiat Chrysler is recalling 350,000 Dodge Journey crossovers due to a problem with the vehicle’s engine cover that could lead to a fire.
The covers can become dislodged and come in contact with exhaust components preventing them from moving. If that happens, it could cause a fire. The company has reports of three fires in Chile, involving one injury and no deaths.
This recall involves battery-operated night lights with an AC adapter included. The night light collection includes a pink hedgehog, a blue bird, a yellow rocket, an orange dino egg, a white soccer ball and a green shark. The model numbers are printed on the bottom side of the night lights.
This recall involves Polaris Youth RZR® 170 EFI recreational off-highway vehicles with model number R15YAV17AA/AF and VINs between RF3YAV170FT000076 and RF3YAV17XFT005141. To see the complete list, visit the firm’s website. The VIN is on the left-hand front frame tube. They were sold in both blue and red. The blue models have a “170 EFI” decal on the right and left side of the hood and an “RZR” decal on the right and left front fenders. The red models have a “170 EFI” decal on the right and left front fenders and a “RZR” decal on the right and left rear fenders.
See the full details at the Polaris website.
This recall involves GreenWorks 12 amp electric blower/vacs. The blower/vacs have a green motor housing and a black blower tube and restrictor nozzle. They measure 12 inches high and 34 inches long. Recalled blower/vacs have model number 24022 with a serial number between GWS0350001 through GWS2280500 or model number 24072 with a serial number between GWR1310001 through GWS2281100. The model number, serial number, “greenworks” and “ELECTRIC BLOWER/MULCHER WITH BAG” are printed on the side of the motor housing. Model 24022 has a two-speed switch. Model 24072 has a variable speed switch.
Read the full details at CPSC
This recall involves indoor 2-light fluorescent light fixtures that range in size from 18 inches to 4 feet long. The fixtures were sold in white and can be mounted from heights between 8 and 12 feet. A date code between 182 11 (July 1, 2011) and 090 15 (March 31, 2015) is affixed to the fixture near the ballast in a DDD YY format. Catalogue and model numbers are located on the second line of a label affixed to the inside of the fixture. Catalogue and model numbers included in the recall: DLE217RLP, DLE217RLPB, DLE 232RLP, DLE232RLPB, SL232R, SL232R/1, SL232RPC, SL232RTP, SLNR232R, SLNR232R/1, SLNR232RCHR, SLW232R, SLW232R/1, SNF115R, SNF117R, SNF125R, SNF217R, SSF217R, WP217R, WP217RNKLLU, WP232R, WP232RLU, WP232RNKL, WP232RNKLLU and WP232RNKLRL.
Click here for full details from CPSC.
The aim of this investigation is to develop a new tool for the investigation of hydrocarbon accelerants. The chemical analysis of fire debris in an arson investigation has gone through several developmental stages. The nature of the analysis has been divided into three essential components due to the complexity of the samples. The first has been the extraction of the accelerants from the debris. The second has been the development of instrumental techniques for the analysis of extracted samples. The interpretation of the results is the final stage. In our investigation, we have used comprehensive two-dimensional gas chromatography-quadrupole mass spectrometry (GCXGC-qMS). GCXGC-qMS is well suited for the analysis of complex hydrocarbon accelerants. We applied the resolution and separation powers of the GCXGC with the high precision mass scanning capabilities of a quadrupole mass spectrometer to investigate these complex samples. Total and selective ion scans were performed on samples obtained from an arson investigation. By using this process, we were able to conclusively determine the presence of hydrocarbon accelerants in fire debris.
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Almost every consulting engineer works with codes and standards on a daily basis, but do you know the difference between a code and a standard?
According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Circular No. A-119, Revised, a standard is "[t]he definition of terms; classification of components; delineation of procedures; specification of dimensions, materials, performance, designs, or operations; measurement of quality and quantity in describing materials, processes, products, systems, services, or practices; test methods and sampling procedures; or descriptions of fit and measurements of size or strength." In plain English, a standard consists of technical definitions, procedures, and/or guidelines that specify minimum requirements or instructions for manufacturers, installers, and users of equipment. This can be done by specifying either the methods or the results; the latter is known as "performance specifying." Most importantly, a standard provides standardization or agreement within the industry, which translates to a common reference among engineers, manufacturers, and bidders.
Since the 1989 Montreal Protocol and its successor agreements, the world of refrigerants has been marked by change. In the search for more environmentally-preferable refrigerants, technology has moved from chlorofluorocarbons to a host of alternative substances. Many of these substances are serving as interim measures, until the phase-out of ozone-depleting and global-warming refrigerants meets the targets set by the U.S. Clean Air Act. The journey toward compliance has caused the HVAC equipment and appliance industries to revisit the potential use of substances that have good environmental and thermodynamic properties as refrigerants, but which are also, unfortunately, flammable.
This recall involves Cree LED T8 lamps used indoors to replace traditional two pin T8 fluorescent tubes. The white lamps have a cylindrical shape and measure 48 inches long. The affected units are marked as “BT848 Series Lamp” with the product part number on the lamp itself or printed on a white label affixed to the lamp. A four digit date code is printed on the lamp under a statement that reads “Compatible with Instant Start, Rapid Start and Dimmable Electronic Ballasts.”
Read the details at CPSC
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