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Are You Safe from a Fire?

According to a study by Underwriters Laboratory, modern homes burn up to eight times faster than comparable homes built between 1950 and 1970. This is due to quicker fire propagation, making escape possibilities slower, and quicker flashover time (all combustible materials reach their ignition temperatures at the same time). Newer homes are made of synthetic materials that burn faster emitting hydrogen cyanide, a chemical that can kill you.

Modern homes burn up to eight times faster than comparable homes built between 1950 and 1970. Synthetic materials in modern homes burn faster emit hydrogen cyanide, a chemical that can kill you.



During a fire, you have an average of 3-4 minutes to escape your home; the average time for a Firefighter to arrive at your home is 5-6 minutes, so relying upon First Responders for safety is not an effective strategy. In 2018, there were 1,318,500 fires; a home fire occurs every 87-seconds and were responsible for 11,200 injuries with 3,400 deaths and property losses at $23 Billion. Since 1977, the number of deaths per 1000 fires remains flat; from a high of 9.7 in 1996, to a low of 6.5 deaths per 1000 fires in 2013. (Source: NFPA).


"When the death rate per 1,000 home incidents is looked at, there is no steady decline, but rather the rate fluctuates considerably ... these results suggest that even though the number of home fires and home fire deaths declined similarly during the period, the death rate did not, and when there is a home fire, the home fire death rate has not changed much for the period."

(Source: NFPA Fire Loss 2009).


Today, over 90% of homes have ionization alarms, a 70-year old technology. In tests, ionization alarms respond in 15-50 minutes to a smoldering fire, the majority of home fires today. In the 1970's much of the home furnishings transitioned to polyurethane foam and other synthetic materials. This is important, because in all available data from the 1970's through today, the vast majority of home fires that involve upholstered furniture are ignited by a smoldering source. Ionization alarms are also notorious for nuisance alarms, cooking, shower steam, burning toast, etc., (Source: USA Today and Skip Walker).


"In 1995, researchers at Texas A&M University published the results in a 2 1/2-year study

on residential fire detection devices. The research showed that ionization alarms failed to provide adequate egress time in smoldering fire scenarios over 55% of the time ... "

So, what's the solution? Today, the only other real option is photoelectric technology. Photoelectric alarms detect smoldering fires that in tests respond much faster than ionization alarms. However, ionization alarms respond much quicker to fast flame fires than photoelectric alarms ... so why not get a combined unit? Well, according to Skip Walker, ACI, MCI, combination alarms use technology termed "Gated Logic". In one type, either sensor tripping will sound the alarm. In these units, the photoelectric portion will pick up the smoldering fires, so the ionization sensor does not become a factor. However, the ionization portion is still susceptible to nuisance tripping. The manufacturers do not want the customer to disable the alarm. So, to combat nuisance tripping, they often reduce (desensitize) the smoke sensitivity/response of ionization portion of these units. In effect, this type of combination alarms performs similarly to a photoelectric only alarm.


SAAM is developing a different kind of alarm using a proprietary technology that detects chemicals in the air indicative of smoke and fire, and will minimize nuisance alarms. The

S-Series software will allow the device to learn if an event is a nuisance alert by the user indicating on the app. The SAAM S-Series is a preemptive technology that will alert you via an audible voice in your home, and an alert on your smart device using proprietary algorithms before a potential catastrophic event. The S-Series will also monitor the quality of the air in your home, alerting you to several environmental factors. These include allergens such as pollen, dander, dust mites, mold spores, and more reaching an unacceptable level. SAAM will introduce two devices, the SC4, a ceiling-mounted device, and the SP4, a portable tabletop device that you can take with you as you travel.


The SCC4 and SP4 will change the smoke, fire, and air quality market as we know it.



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