CPSC Joins the Call
On June 29 & 30,2004, the UL STP 2034, [Standards Technical Panel], met at the UL Headquarters in Northbrook, IL, to Resolve the following items:
1. Resolution of comments resulting from the ANSI ballot of UL 2075, the Standard for Gas and Vapor Detectors and Sensors.
2. Resolution of comments resulting from the ANSI ballot of UL 1484.
3. Discussion Items and proposals submitted for UL 2034.
In addition to the above, the STP is to also discuss the RESULTS of extended Testing of C O Alarms conducted by the CPSC Staff.The Comments included in this report are those of the CPSC Staff, have not yet been reviewed or approved by, and may not necessarily reflect the views of, the Commission
This CPSC Report is Especially Pleasing to me Personally since it CLEARLY Indicates that CPSC is FINALLY calling for UL to take ACTION on a number of the IMPORTANT WEAKNESSES of UL-2034, and UL GAS / VAPOR Testing Procedures in general, that I have been calling for year after year.
Please REVIEW the following Items on my Website at: www.coexperts.com “The Chicago Story“, “Be Aware / Sensor Info” and “CO Alarm Standards“, which will help you to have a better understanding of C O Alarms, and the Standards to which they are manufactured.
CONCLUSIONS and RECOMMENDATIONS
CPSC staff believes that CO alarms that are certified to UL 2034 offer a level of safety to the consumer. The results of the most recent CO alarm testing programs reveal that further improvement in the standard is desirable. When challenged with rising CO concentrations typical of the conditions found in a home, 12 of the 40 CO alarms exceeded the 10 percent COHb level prescribed in UL 2034. However, because of the safety margin built into the standard and when the Coburn-Foster-Kane equation, only one sample would have put the consumer at risk of significant health effects. Nevertheless, staff believes that the following recommended changes to UL 2034 could improve alarm performance:
1. The alarms should activate at or before 10 percent COHb level regardless of the concentration-time profile. This would assure that the products would properly activate when faced with rising CO levels in the home.
2. A sensitivity test should be included that incorporates a rising CO level to certified performance to the requirement to alarm at or before 10 percent COHb, as recommended above.
3. Alarms should include standardized integrating algorithms to insure that all manufacturers use appropriate coding in their products.
4. Alarms should have a warning signal that alerts consumers when the sensor in the product is nearing the end-of-life to insure that out of calibration or inoperative CO alarms are removed from service.
5. A minimum digital readout accuracy should be specified for alarms incorporating this feature.
CPSC staff plans to submit recommendations to amend UL 2034 in accordance with these findings.
Complete Staff Test Report can be found at: http://www.cpsc.gov/LIBRARY/FOIA/FOIA04/os/Alarmtet.pdf