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From out of the Abyss...

This week's article from the past is from the April 1959, Vol. V - No. 3, issue and is titled Arson Laws and Courtroom Procedures .  It was written by Robert H. McCreary, Assistant District Attorney-Alameda County.  The subject was presented at the Arson and Fire Investigations Seminar, June 16-20, 1958 in Berkeley, California.

SUMMARY:

Bugatti is recalling certain model year 2006-208 Veyron vehicles manufactured October 3, 2006, to December 22, 2006. In the affected vehicles, the positive battery (B+) cable and the connection to the alternator may corrode.

CONSEQUENCE:

The corrosion may result in the battery positive cable overheating, increasing the risk of a fire.

Click here for details.

 

Abstract

Polyurethane is widely used, with its two major applications, soft furnishings and insulation, having low thermal inertia, and hence enhanced flammability. In addition to their flammability, polyurethanes form carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide and other toxic products on decomposition and combustion.
The chemistry of polyurethane foams and their thermal decomposition are discussed in order to assess the relationship between the chemical and physical composition of the foam and the toxic products generated during
their decomposition. The toxic product generation during flaming combustion of polyurethane foams is reviewed, in order to relate the yields of toxic products and the overall fire toxicity to the fire conditions. The methods of assessment of fire toxicity are outlined in order to understand how the fire toxicity of polyurethane foams may be quantified. In particular, the ventilation condition has a critical effect on the yield of the two major asphyxiants, carbon monoxide and hydrogen cyanide. 

Read more...

From Out of the Abyss

This week's article from the past comes from the January 1959, Vol. V - No. 3, issue, titled "Cause Unknown" .  It was written by Daniel F. Talbot, Captain of the Los Angeles County Fire Department.  This topic was presented at the Arson & Fire Investigation Seminar June 16-20, 1958 at the University of California, Berkeley.

SUMMARY:

Jaguar Land Rover North America, LLC (Jaguar) is recalling certain model year 2010 Jaguar XF vehicles manufactured December 17, 2008, to April 15, 2009. The affected vehicles have a fuel tank with an outlet flange that may crack, allowing fuel to leak onto the ground.

CONSEQUENCE:

A fuel leak in the presence of an ignition source may increase the risk of a fire.

Click here for details.

The recall covers 39 models of Toshiba laptops that use Panasonic battery packs that might overheat and melt.

Back in February, Toshiba issued a worldwide recall and replacement program for an impressive amount of batteries, over 50 part numbers and at least 1,400 SKUs being affected. Now, it is happening again. Last time, the batteries were in danger of overheating and igniting when facing extreme conditions, but now there is no fire involved.

Toshiba recently received four reports of battery packs overheating and melting. Fortunately, these reports did not say anything about fires or injuries. The recall covers no less than 39 models of Toshiba Portege, Tecra, and Satellite laptops that use Panasonic-made lithium-ion batteries. Unfortunately, these are not only parts that came with the laptops but also sold separately and installed by Toshiba as replacements for defective ones.

The affected battery packs have part numbers that start with G71C. The complete list is available online, at go.toshiba.com/battery. Consumers can check the part and serial numbers manually, but can also download and use the battery pack utility software from Toshiba.

Related articles

Arson Laws and Courtroom Procedures

From out of the Abyss...

This week's article from the past is from the April 1959, Vol. V - No. 3, issue and is titled Arson Laws and Courtroom Procedures .  It was written by Robert H. McCreary, Assistant District Attorney-Alameda County.  The subject was presented at the Arson and Fire Investigations Seminar, June 16-20, 1958 in Berkeley, California.

The Fire Toxicity of Polyurethane Foams

 

Abstract

Polyurethane is widely used, with its two major applications, soft furnishings and insulation, having low thermal inertia, and hence enhanced flammability. In addition to their flammability, polyurethanes form carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide and other toxic products on decomposition and combustion.
The chemistry of polyurethane foams and their thermal decomposition are discussed in order to assess the relationship between the chemical and physical composition of the foam and the toxic products generated during
their decomposition. The toxic product generation during flaming combustion of polyurethane foams is reviewed, in order to relate the yields of toxic products and the overall fire toxicity to the fire conditions. The methods of assessment of fire toxicity are outlined in order to understand how the fire toxicity of polyurethane foams may be quantified. In particular, the ventilation condition has a critical effect on the yield of the two major asphyxiants, carbon monoxide and hydrogen cyanide. 

Read more...

Expert Challenges and the Revised NFPA 1033

Introduction

In the world of fire investigations, most professionals turn to the National Fire Protection Association ("NFPA") as the premier organization for establishing guidelines and standards for investigating a fire loss.  The best known fire investigation standard developed by that organization is NFPA 921, Guide for Fire and Explosion Investigations, which sets forth standards for the proper methodolocy of fire investigations.  The 2014 Edition of NFPA 921 is now up to 402 pages long.

Less lengthy is NFPA 1033.  It is also less cited in the cause law and may be lesser known.  That soon may change.  NFPA 1033 establishes standards for the most fundamental hurdle of a fire investigator: basic and mandatory expertise in fire investigations.  Failure to thoroughly understand and follow NFPA 1033 and its recent changes from 2014 can leave a fire investigator, and the case, vulnerable to attack before ever touching the issue of whether the investigator followed the methodology of NFPA 921.

Read more... 

Toshiba recalls 100,000 laptop batteries

The recall covers 39 models of Toshiba laptops that use Panasonic battery packs that might overheat and melt.

Toshiba recalls 100,000 laptop batteries due to risk or overheating and meltingBack in February, Toshiba issued a worldwide recall and replacement program for an impressive amount of batteries, over 50 part numbers and at least 1,400 SKUs being affected. Now, it is happening again. Last time, the batteries were in danger of overheating and igniting when facing extreme conditions, but now there is no fire involved.

Toshiba recently received four reports of battery packs overheating and melting. Fortunately, these reports did not say anything about fires or injuries. The recall covers no less than 39 models of Toshiba Portege, Tecra, and Satellite laptops that use Panasonic-made lithium-ion batteries. Unfortunately, these are not only parts that came with the laptops but also sold separately and installed by Toshiba as replacements for defective ones.

The affected battery packs have part numbers that start with G71C. The complete list is available online, at go.toshiba.com/battery. Consumers can check the part and serial numbers manually, but can also download and use the battery pack utility software from Toshiba.

Related articles

Brunton Outdoors Recalls Battery Packs

 

Impel_Rechargeable_portable_battery_packs

Description

This recall involves Brunton’s Impel and Impel 2 rechargeable, portable battery packs that are used to charge cell phones, tablets, laptops and other devices. The Impel battery came in a rubberized shell in dark gray with orange or blue and the Impel 2 in light gray with black trim. The battery packs can be plugged into an A/C wall outlet, a 12 volt car charger or an attachable solar panel for recharging. They measure about 7.5 inches long by 7 inches wide by 1 inch thick. The lithium ion polymer battery packs have 16, and 19 volt outputs and a USB port. The Impel model also has a 12 volt output. Brunton is embossed on the top of the battery pack, along with the power button and five LED lights.

Click here for more details.

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