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THE EARLY YEARS AFTER THE SMOKE DETECTOR FRAUD REPORT I believe that many of those in the fire

services do not understand how the smoke detector fraud was able to be covered up for decades. The cover-up required much effort by those who were hiding the fraud. I enclose an invitation to give a talk to the Philadelphia Fire Department on the smoke detector fraud. After I exposed the fraud many fire officials across the nation were concerned about the device. Fire department officials are interested in saving lives not killing the children. So, I was confirming what they were seeing. The devices were failing to warn and dead kids were being carried out of homes. This concern regarding the devices grew to where the Cal-Chiefs with the help of the IAFC ran the test program in Los Angeles during 1978 to evaluate the device. Following the testing John Gerard, Fire Chief of Los Angeles warned in an article that the device would have a 50 to 80 percent probability of failing and during September 1980 the IAFC had their Residential Smoke Alarm Report published by The International Fire Chief magazine. See this web site ( for information on this report. So, as of 1980 it appeared that the smoke detector fraud would be brought to a disreputable conclusion. However, things do not always go as planned. Mr. Richard Bukowski was working for Underwrites Laboratories when he was assigned to conduct the federally financed Dunes tests that began during 1974. The fire series of tests (40 tests) proved that the manufacturers had blatantly lied about its ability to warn early of a fire. It was proven to be a fraud and a deadly one at that. But there was a major problem. UL had been certifying the device for approximately 10 years by then. And the NFPA had been accepting full page ads promoting the device. The ads were blatantly false. And the NFPA had assigned Mr. Richard Bright of the National Bureau of Standards to become the new chairman and to rewrite the residential fire detection code, NFPA 74. Standard 74 required heat detectors for flaming fires and smoke detectors for the smoldering fires only. It appears that the NFPA had some kind of an agreement with the ionization detector manufacturers because Mr. Bright was instructed to revise the code so that smoke detectors only would be required by the code. The code was largely rewritten to do that and then Mr. Bright was assigned to be the Washington (NBS) monitor of the Dunes tests. Here was the situation going into the Dunes Tests: Bright and the NFPA were already committed to a detection code where smoke detectors alone (no heat detectors) would protect against all categories of fire. According to the ionization detector manufactures the ionization device would do that, they so advertised their product and no other detector was considered at that time to have the broad ability of detection as claimed by the ion device makers. Hence, UL, NFPA and Richard Bright were all locked in to the concepts of the ionization detector manufacturers. Richard Bukowski worked for UL so he too was already caught up in the fraud. The test program was blatantly rigged and falsified and the report prepared was even worse. The NFPA code was eventually revised to fit the lies of the smoke business. Of course, with an NBS research report falsified the federal government became ensnared in the fraud. Richard Bukowski left UL and was hired by the NBS.

Now getting back to the Cal-Chiefs fire tests of 1978 and the Cal-Chiefs report prepared based on the testing. A copy of that report landed on Richard Bukowskis desk in Washington. Apparently the conclusions of the fire chiefs and the conclusions of Mr. Bukowski and his fellow engineers were worlds apart. Apparently Mr. Bukowski believed that he would be in big trouble if the later report contradicting his findings was published. Also, at that time the truth could have devastating results for important people within the NFPA, UL and the manufacturers of the device. And the feds were involved in a phony test program thanks to Mr. Bright of the NBS. So, according to sworn testimony, Mr. Bright took out his trusty pen and began to cross out the computer generated numbers in the report and insert his own. This was somewhat remarkable because, or so I have been told, Mr. Bukowski never attended any of the Cal-Chiefs tests. When the Los Angeles fire department received its report back with the numbers changed, with instructions to rewrite the report as per the new numbers, they tried to comply to a degree. As I understand it, two times the report was returned to Bukowski with some revisions and twice he turned down the revisions and demanded further changes. So, the report was buried never to surface again. I tried for years to get a copy without results. I even convinced Senator Mitchell, the majority leader of the Senate to write to the Mayor of Los Angeles to try to get a copy without success. I finally got in touch with an engineer here in California who had attended the test and said he had a copy. But he would not let me have a copy and when I pressed he wrote me and said he had destroyed it. The underlying reason for the lid on the report was, presumably, the results would have had very serious consequences to the NFPA, UL, the manufacturers and to the federal bureaucracy. With seemingly the entire power fire bureaucracy lined up against the fire chiefs the IAFC surrendered and gave up on fighting the fire science experts. Note that most fire officials are firefighters who rose up through the ranks. They are not engineers or technical experts; generally they simply enforce codes created by others. So, I can see why they caved in. However, when I researched and developed absolute evidence of fraud behind the ionization detector sales, and then specifically provided many fire officials with the evidence, I believe they had a duty of care to provide the public with the truth. After all, the lies were killing children and the job of the officials is to protect the public. So, those who were never informed of the truth cannot be blamed. But those who knew the facts and continued to lie to the public (as the children burned) will have to answer to the parents of the children burned. R. M. Patton

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