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Abstract

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.

Access the full paper  here .

DETROIT (WXYZ)

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."

Read more...

 

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.

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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.

 

Name Model Number
Color
Size
Hedgehog 060-02-1397 Pink 3.5”(h)x 5.5”(w) Bird 060-02-1398 Blue 4.0”(h)x6.5”(w) Rocket 060-02-1399 Yellow 6.0”(h)x4.75”(w) Dino Egg
060-02-1400 Orange 6.0”(h)x4.75”(w) Soccer Ball
060-02-1401 White 5.0”(h)x5.25”(w) Shark 060-02-1402 Green 3.5”(h)x6.9”(w)

Description:

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.

Description

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

The next CCAI Training Seminar will be held November 2 - 4, 2015

Wildfire Origin and Cause Investigation

Part 1

As the spring fire season approaches, fire investigators across the country will be responding to wildfires to conduct origin and cause investigations. In many jurisdictions, investigators are assigned to a type of investigation that is unfamiliar. During the response, the investigator may be thinking that it is no big deal, having already investigated hundreds of structure fires. How hard can a wildfire be? The answer is simple; you must be trained in wildfire investigation to understand the process.

Read more...

Part 2

In Part 2 of “Wildfire Origin and Cause Investigation,” we will continue to discuss the main points for the local fire investigator to focus on when conducting a wildfire investigation. Hopefully, last month’s article was an eyeopener for some local investigators to expand their education. The topics we will cover this month will be fire cause determination and fire cause categories/ignition sources. Investigators should become familiar with NFPA 921 and NWCG Wildfire Origin and Cause Determination Handbook.

Read more...

Zero-clearance fireplaces a main source of fires

Chief: Almost one-third of High Desert house fires caused by zero-clearance fireplaces

A Helendale house fire earlier this month that caused $50,000 in damages was the latest in a string of residential blazes to be traced to a zero-clearance fireplace, a County Fire official said.

Battalion Chief Warren Peterson blames zero-clearance fireplaces for roughly 30 percent of house fires responded to by San Bernardino County Fire.

Read more...

USDC Pennsylvania Permits Vaporizer Fire Case to Proceed to Trial

In MUTUAL BENEFIT INSURANCE COMPANY v. KAZ, INC.,Civil Action No. 1:12-CV-2108 (Feb. 20, 2014) at http://www.leagle.com/decision/In%20FDCO%2020140221C81 was a civil action filed by plaintiff Mutual Benefit Insurance Company ("MBIC"), as subrogee of Betty and Allen Miller, alleging strict liability, negligence, and breach of warranty against defendant Kaz, Inc. ("Kaz"). MBIC seeks reimbursement of monies paid pursuant to an insurance policy issued to the Millers, whose house was damaged in a fire. MBIC alleged that Kaz designed, manufactured, distributed, and sold a vaporizer that caused the fire. Presently before the court is Kaz's motion in limine to exclude the testimony of one of MBIC's submitted experts, Randolph Marshall of Marshall Forensic, LLC. For the following reasons, the court denied the motion.

Read more... 

The Six Motives for Firesetting

At any point during your career as a fire investigator you will be assigned to investigate an incendiary fire. When the investigator arrives on the scene, information about the incident will be coming from a variety of sources, including police, firefighters, witnesses and the occupants or owner. It is critical to sort all of the information and analyze it properly. During the investigation we must use critical thinking and ask many questions such as, why was this fire was deliberately set? Why was the home, business or vehicle the target of an arsonist? What was the motivation of the arsonist?

Read More...

BRP Recalls Ski-Doo and Can-Am Lithium-ion Rechargeable Batteries and Heated Gloves Due to Fire Haza

Description

This recall involves BRP Ski-Doo and Can-Am heated gloves and replacement Lithium-Ion rechargeable batteries. The gloves are only available in black and are sold with two lithium-ion rechargeable batteries and a charger. The gloves have either “ski-doo” or “can-am” on the pointer finger and on the wrist band of each glove. Both gloves come in size XS, S, M, L, XL, 2XL, 3XL. The battery pack is located on the zipped pouch on the wrist of each glove. Each battery is wrapped in white plastic with black writing which includes the warning information.  The recalled product codes can be found on the label sewn inside of the gloves. Recalled product codes are 446247 for the Can-Am heated gloves, 446248 for the Ski-Doo heated gloves and 4880580001 for the two Lithium-ion rechargeable batteries that are sold separately.

 

Read more...

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