by John Gallant

David Boles,

I read your article “First Alert Cries Wolf” on the Internet about the CO detectors made by First Alert. What prompted me to your story was a show called W5 from CTV here in Canada. They were testing ionizer smoke detectors with a smoldering couch. ALL alarms FAILED!! They did not go off till 17 or 18 minutes after the smoke from the couch had reached the ceiling were the units were mounted. They to called First Alert for comments and they refused any kind of interview.

A man, who worked for First Alert, called W5 and told them that they were on the right track and refused to give his name. They traced the call and found the man and he gave an interview with W5. He told them that First Alert told him that if he wanted to keep his job that he was to say nothing to anyone about their detectors.

Bottom line, David, is that I am thinking of all the people, including myself, who thought that the ionizer detector was all that you needed. I had installed 5 of them in my home and bought an ABC fire extinguisher aswell. Mind you these detectors where a dual ionizer with a light from MasterCraft sold here by Canadian Tire but, they warned you in there owner’s manual that you would need a photoelectric detector for full coverage.

First Alert did not warn the public that the ionizer detector would not work with smoldering material. I have a friend that had a father that died in a house fire and the cause was a couch smoldering from a cigarette. Now had he been told to have a photoelectric detector for smoldering material, he just might be still alive today. Along with his dad a little boy, who tried to save him, also perished in the fire.

Thank you for warning the public with this very important life saving information.

Yours truly,

John Gallant
Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada