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Quantum Group Inc. at ISC West 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada

Blog by Olga Korchyga, April 15th, 2013

We would like to thank everybody who visited Quantum’s booth at ISC West! ISC West is one of the largest security industry trade shows in the world. This year more than 1000 manufacturers and providers of security equipment presented their new products and latest technologies at the show. The exhibit hall at the Sands Expo was completely full and nearly 20,000 people attended the show. The ISC West 2013 was definitely one of the biggest exhibitions in years.

Quantum Group Inc. had a great show. Hundreds of visitors stopped by our booth. Quantum has showcased the new ventilation control product, 24VC-e. We also had a lot of excitement and participation with our ISC West in-field CO Alarm test training that showed the professional installers how to test the carbon monoxide alarm after installation and annually thereafter. 

In-Field Testing Requirement by NFPA 720-2012 Edition

Blog by Mark K Goldstein, Ph.D. March 1, 2013

What do the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) ‘s new in-field carbon monoxide (CO) testing requirements mean to the average person with one or more standalone CO alarms? 

You do not need to test your alarms.  Not yet.  Only if you have a system carbon monoxide alarm connected to a central panel.  Then you must be sure your installer tests the alarm(s) after installation and annually thereafter.

What does the NFPA 720 requirement mean for professional installers of system carbon monoxide alarms?

More business and more profit will result if you learn how to run these tests.  Quantum will be offering free training on how to conduct these tests at ISC West 2013, Booth #14,143; the date is April 10, 11 &12, 2013 in Las Vegas, NV.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is a non-profit, standards writing organization established in 1896, made up of over 70,000 members of fire protection and other life safety experts that write standards on the installation of smoke alarms and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms along with installation and maintenance of most life safety equipment.  NPFA headquarters is located at 1 Battery March, Quincy, MA 02169-7471 with phone 617-770-3000 and fax 617-770-0700.  NPFA’s mission is to “reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education.”

The new NFPA 720 code

Doctors need a Device to Screen for Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Blog Feb 1 by Mark K. Goldstein, Ph.D.

Doctors need a Device to Screen for Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Are Carbon Monoxide Statistics Correct?

No, the problem is grossly underestimating the size of non-fatal carbon monoxide poisoning!

If you look at the literature your will find a key paper by Michael C. Dolan MD., his work showed that 23.6% of those people diagnosed with the Flu at the University of Kentucky Medical Center’s emergency room (ER) in Louisville, KY actually had carbon monoxide poisoning.  Paul Heckerling published several papers showing over 15% people being treated for headaches during winter months in Chicago had carbon monoxide poisoning.  These facts and other studies show that government statistics of 10,000 to 20,000 carbon monoxide injuries per year are greatly underestimating the carbon monoxide poisoning issue because the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning mimic a huge range of common health problems and are simply misdiagnosed.

This underestimate of the real problem misleads officials, survivors and health professionals, almost always leading to the wrong diagnosis.  Therefore there is a need for a low cost non-invasive, breath diagnostic device to be used in emergency rooms and in doctor’s offices.  If this was a part of screening every patient with Flu symptoms we would find many of the people suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning before they suffer permanent brain damage and other serious injuries.

Carbon Monoxide Deaths from Generators after Hurricane Sandy

by Phil Wright  

There were 12 deaths from carbon monoxide poisoning over a four state area 4 in PA, 5 in NJ and 3 in NY and CT in the aftermath of hurricane Sandy, according to various new reports. Many more people were seriously injured. In Newark, NJ two 19 year old women, Mudiwa Benson and Kenya Barber died from carbon monoxide because a generator was too close to their apartment window. The Center for Disease and Control (CDC) states you should never use a portable generator closer than 20 feet from the house

Carbon monoxide poisoning during power outages caused by Hurricane Sandy is responsible for five New Jersey deaths, including a 59-year-old Trenton woman found in a house. The generator was left running overnight in the basement. In addition, seven other family members barely escaped death and were hospitalized with serious injuries.  Carbon monoxide attacks the brain and many people never recover their previous mental capabilities. CO poisoning often leads to delayed brain damage (delayed neurological sequelae) effects and even though this phenomena is not well explained. It is seen over and over again in these types of CO poisoning cases. “It is a big problem stated, said Bill Kramer; New Jersey’s acting Fire Marshal (reference Jon Offredo, The Times of Trenton, Nov.17, 2012 and the New York Times Published Nov. 17, 2017).

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission there were about 600 carbon monoxide deaths between 1999 and 2010. “If you do not wake

Record Cold Temperatures in the Western USA leads to increases in CO Poisoning

Blog: Mark K. Goldstein, Ph.D., CEO

Date: Jan. 17, 2013

San Diego, CA, January 17, 2013- The risk of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning increases in cold weather.  The western USA has set numerous cold temperature records recently.  Many people are supplementing their gas furnace with room heaters.  Other people do not have adequate gas heat and must rely on oil, coal or wood heating systems.   In addition to heating systems, water heaters, ranges and stoves, BBQs, clothes dryers, fireplaces and engines all serve as a possible carbon monoxide poisoning source using fossil fuels for combustion. Quantum Group, the leading manufacturer of the most reliable carbon monoxide safety products, urges all homeowners to take action as part of their home improvement projects and install CO alarms in every bedroom to meet the new National Fire Protection (NFPA) Standard 720.  NFPA 720 2012 edition requires 75 decibels at the pillow and to accomplish that you must install a carbon monoxide alarm or detector in every bedroom.

Statistics from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) indicates that CO is the leading cause of poisoning deaths in the USA.  Over half of all CO poisoning occur between November and February, according to the CDC.  The CDC tracks only non-fire, non-automotive, non-workplace accidents regarding CO. Fire is the biggest carbon monoxide killer according to Cobb and Etzel, JAMA.  Nearly 1550 people per year die from CO poisoning in fires.

More than 40 students were

USA Today Cover Story: Exposes Carbon Monoxide Poisoning in Hotels

Blog by Olga Korchyga

Almost 200 people were poisoned by a deadly gas known as carbon monoxide (CO) in hotels in the past 3 years in North America.  Recently eight people were killed by CO in the past three 

years, according to USA TODAY.  Hotels and motels rarely have carbon monoxide detectors even in cities where they are required.

Very few states and municipalities require CO alarms in hotels because of a very strong lobbying effort.  Dr. Goldstein, former President of the Carbon Monoxide Health and Safety Association, who testified in Chicago in 1992 and 1993 regarding the need for carbon monoxide alarms in homes, hotels, dormitories and other places where people sleep stated, “the hotel industry opposed us at every step”. 

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) have stated that there should be a CO alarm close to every bed. Please see NFPA 720, the 2012 edition, which states you must have 75 dB at every pillow, which means you must put the CO alarm in every bedroom or sleeping area.  If someone closes the bedroom door for any reason a unit in the hall will not meet this NFPA requirement.

Carbon monoxide in any multistory structure can kill many people as it did in the infamous MGM Grand Hotel Fire November 21, 1980 in which there were 85 fatalities and over 700 injuries.  Las Vegas and Nevada have yet to act, requiring carbon monoxide alarms in hotels or homes.

Because CO moves very quickly ahead of smoke it is

The New 2012 NFPA 720 Edition

Carbon Monoxide (CO) Standards Effects the Entire Nation

Blog by Mark K Goldstein, Ph.D.

Introduction: What does the NFPA 720 requirement 75 dB at the Pillow mean?

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is a non-profit standards writing organization established in 1896, made up of over 70,000 members of fire and other life safety experts that write standards on the installation of smoke alarms and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms along with installation and maintenance of most life safety equipment.  NPFA headquarters is located at 1 Battery March, Quincy, MA 02169-7471 with phone 617-770-3000 and fax 617-770-0700.  NPFA’s mission is to “reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating consensus codes and standards, research, training, and education.”

Answer: You must install a carbon monoxide alarm in every sleeping area.

NFPA 720 is the standard for the installation of carbon monoxide alarms.  It calls out that there be 75 dB at the pillow.  We have determined that this cannot be obtained reliably with carbon monoxide (CO) alarms outside the bedroom.  This is because if one closes the door the sound drops to such an extent that many people do not wake up.  This has a profound impact on rental properties and home owners trying to sell their homes as the must now install CO alarms in every bedroom to meet code.


CA Bill SB1394 written by Senator Alan Lowenthal

BLOG by Mark Kingston Goldstein, Ph.D.

CA Bill SB1394 written by Senator Alan Lowenthal

This bill passed the Senate and Assembly and was sent to Governor Brown 8-30-2012.  He is expected to sign the bill but one can never predict Jerry Brown.

This bill, SB1394 does a number of things that will impact smoke alarms and carbon monoxide (CO) Alarms in the near future.

1.       Carbon monoxide alarm impact: The purpose of SB 1394 (Lowenthal) SMOKE AND CARBON MONOXIDE DETECTORS AS AMENDED 4/10/2012 is to delay the effective date for hotels and motels. SB183 is the law requiring carbon monoxide alarm in homes, hotel, motels, medical facilities and dormitories, which is effective January 1, 2013.  The carbon monoxide law will be delayed for 3 years for hotels and motels if Governor Jerry Brown signs this bill.

2.       The smoke alarm impact is in 2014.  SB1394 will require battery operated smoke alarms to use a 10 year life battery that are tamper resistant by 2014.

This has been done by the state of Oregon years ago and the technology is now well proven by putting tamper proof lithium batteries onto the circuit board inside the case. The smoke alarm portion of bill SB1394 requires all smoke alarms listed by the California State Fire Marshal shall include:

“1. The date of manufacture of the alarm on each device and provide a place on the alarm that the installer can print the date of installation of the alarm

2. A “hush” feature which silences the device for nuisance

Low Frequency Alarms are more likely to wake Inebriated People, People with Impaired Hearing and Older Folks

By Mark K. Goldstein, Ph.D., May 15th, 2012

According to the Research study by Bruck and Thomas of Victoria University in Australia we need to change the alarm signal for most life safety alarms.  The study entitled "Waking Effectiveness of Alarms for Adults who are Hard of Hearing," most audible signals used by life safety products such as carbon monoxide and smoke alarms did not wake up 43 percent of tested subjects.  These subjects have only mild to moderate hearing loss. Today alarms use about 3000 Hz to 4000 Hz.

Many of these subjects were unable to hear the 3100 Hz tone when awake.  By adding a strobe light to the alarm in the test an additional 27 percent of the hard of hearing subjects were awakened.

In another test using a different frequency (520 Hz) and using a square wave output signal from the alarm, 92 percent were awakened.  Other frequencies were tested but 520 Hz was the most successful at just a sound level of 75 dBA and alerted 100 percent at 95 dBA.

The study, authored by Dorothy Bruck and Ian Thomas of Victoria University, Australia, estimated at least 34.5 million people in the United States have partial hearing loss and projected that this number would increase due to the aging of the baby boomer generation.

The NFPA 720 Committee accepted a proposal to require a 520 Hz low-frequency tone to awaken people with hearing loss.  This means that sleeping areas required to have CO alarms will need to use 520 HZ.

End-of-life is a Problem for Life Safety Products: A Call to Action!

By Mark K. Goldstein, Ph.D.

Even the Sun has a limited life. So does your life safety alarms! Yes, even your smoke alarm has a limited life. Most smoke alarms stay alive and well for ten years. But read your manual to be sure. In carbon monoxide alarms the life is usually from 5 to 7 years depending on the manufacturer. All CO alarms and detectors have limited lives so CO/smoke combination alarms should be replaced according to the CO sensor life. Each instruction manual should alert you to the alarm’s useful life.

All CO sensing technologies (electrochemical, metal oxide and biotechnology) in use today have been in the broad US consumer market from the mid to late 1990's to the present. Some technology such as the fuel cell technology was invented over 172 years ago by Sir William Robert Grove in England. The Biotechnology based SIR technology was invented by Dr. Mark Goldstein in 1989. Taguchi was awarded a Japanese Patent for his tin oxide Metal Oxide Semiconductor (MOS) in 1962.  

It was only in 2009 that end-of-life signals were established by the ANSI/UL 2034 standard. UL 2075 requires the end-of-life signal be sent to the central panel. What about all the alarms that are in the field with no end of life signal? Some of them have no warning about the CO end of life. For example First Alert’s original CO/smoke combination Model SCO1 gives a 10 year life (the life of the smoke alarm) but the CO sensor has a published 6 year life.  

For about 20 years ANSI/UL 2034