Comments by Dr. Steve J. Wiersma

Comments by Dr. Steve J. Wiersma, Ph.D., former Group Leader, Health and Safety Programs, GRI (Gas Research Institute) in the January/February 1999 issue of the NFPA Journal.

“However, there are still some outstanding issues that must be resolved in the short term.  For example, GRI’s Wiersma points out that the UL certification doesn’t always ensure in-service reliability because UL doesn’t buy detectors off the shelf and test them.  Instead, manufacturers CHOOSE which detectors to send UL for testing – so they could conceivably pretest and send the ones that perform well.  Wiersma says a change must be made to ensure in-service reliability for the entire lifetime of the product.”

“Another issue is whether decreasing detector sensitivity in an attempt to cut down on alarm frequency will unnecessarily put people at risk, especially children, the elderly, pregnant women and people with cardiac and respiratory illnesses.”


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