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All across the United States, Canada, and beyond, deeply controversial “smart meters” for electricity have been catching on fire and even exploding, sparking a major scandal that in at least one Canadian province has forced authorities to start removing all of the more than 100,000 devices. In Oregon, utility officials also announced that tens of thousands of smart meters were being replaced following numerous reports of fires. With the manufacturer saying the problems are systemic in the industry, experts predict more disasters to come as governments continue foisting the “smart grid” on the world in the face of growing opposition.

With the latest news of fires and explosions, it now seems to critics and politicians that in the frantic rush to impose the "smart" electric meters in defiance of public resistance, serious safety concerns were pushed aside — along with growing fears about the health and privacy implications surrounding the technology. With the latest news about the potentially deadly consequences, officials across the continent are scrambling for answers, and taxpayers are likely to be stuck with a massive bill.


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Description

This recall involves Giggles International Animated Sing-Along Monkey toys. The monkey is made of brown and beige plush material and is about 9 inches tall. The toy is designed to hold a song book titled "5 Little Monkeys" and to sing the song when activated. A red music note is on the bottom of the monkey's right foot and the face of a child with its hands covering its eyes are on the bottom of the money's left foot. Recalled sing-along monkeys were manufactured between 6/7/2014 and 7/5/2014 and have batch code GP1410028.  The manufacture date in the M/D/YYYY format and batch code are printed on the bottom of a white fabric label attached near the base of the monkey's tail. The monkey toys came in a tan colored box with words "Animated Sing-Along Monkey," "Sing along with me!" and "I play peek-a-boo with you!" on the front. The age advisory "For ages 3+" and the warning that batteries are included are also on the front of the box.


See the full details at CPSC.

Description

The recall involves PowerPact J-frame molded case circuit breakers with thermal-magnetic trip units.  The circuit breakers are made of black plastic and have a three-position breaker handle that indicates whether the breaker is off, on or tripped.  The recalled circuit breakers are rated for 150 to 250 amps, have interruption ratings of D, G, J, L and R.  They were manufactured in two pole and three pole configurations with either lug-in/lug-out or plug-in (I-Line) style connectors.

Brand name “Schneider Electric” or “Square D” is on a yellow sticker above the breaker handle and on the top of a label on the side of the circuit breaker.  A label on the front of the circuit breaker to the left of the breaker handle has the catalog number at the top.  The number also appears on a label on the side of the breaker.  Schneider Electric catalog numbers begin with “NJ” and Square D catalog numbers begin with “J.”

A label on the front of the circuit breaker to the right of the breaker handle has the date code in the lower right corner.  Recalled circuit breakers were manufactured from March 26, 2014 through September 26, 2014 and have date codes 14131 through 14395. The date codes are in the YYWWD format (example: 14131 = year 2014, week 13, day of the work week 1/ Monday).

See the full details at CPSC.

In the new issue of NFPA Journal®, President Jim Shannon said the Association will focus on the leading causes of home fires, including cooking. "We also need to continue to push hard for home fire sprinklers. That's still a large priority for NFPA, and we plan to work very aggressively in 2014 on our residential sprinkler initiative," he said.

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Fire Protection Research Foundation report: "Development of Standardized Cooking Fires for Evaluation of Prevention Technologies: Data Analysis"
Authors: Joshua Dinaburg, Daniel Gottuk – Hughes Associates, Inc.

July 2014 report

Beginning in 2010, the Foundation began a program to review the potential effectiveness of various technologies potentially capable of preventing cooking range top fires. A workshop conducted as part of that project considered the emergence of commercial products on the market and identified the need to develop standardized tests and criteria to evaluate the performance and effectiveness of such devices. This report summarizes and analyzes the results of two live fire test series conducted to form the basis for such a test protocol.

Download the report. (PDF, 5 MB) Download the executive summary. (PDF, 20 KB) October 2013 report

Cooking-equipment related fires are a leading cause of U.S. fire loss. Beginning in the mid 1980’s, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Consumer Product Safety Commission, and home appliance industry undertook a comprehensive review of strategies to mitigate death, injury and property loss from cooking fires. All strategies were engineering strategies defined by a condition to be detected (e.g., overheat of pan or food in pan, absence of person actively engaged in cooking process, early-stage fire on stovetop) and an action to be taken (e.g., shut off cooking heat, sound alarm, suppress fire). As part of this study, a comprehensive review of existing technologies was done.

In 2010, the Foundation conducted a study supported by NIST to develop this action plan. The study focused particularly on prevention technologies suitable for use on or with home cooking appliances. and consisted of a literature and technology review; the development of an enhanced technology evaluation methodology based on an in-depth review of cooking fire statistics; and the evaluation of currently available technologies using this methodology. The project culminated with a one day workshop of 35 leaders from the kitchen appliance, fire service, and user communities who met to review the above findings and identify gaps in information. The highest priority action item identified at that workshop toward implementation of commercially available cooking fire mitigation technologies was: "Develop standard fire scenarios and create test methods and performance criteria which can feed into standards development"

This report presents the results of a follow on project sponsored by NIST to gather data towards this goal.

Download the report. (PDF, 2 MB)

SUMMARY:

Kia Motors America (Kia) is recalling certain model year 2014 Kia Forte vehicles manufactured December 5, 2012, to April 17, 2014. In the affected vehicles, the cooling fan resistor may overheat and melt.

See full details at NHTSA

Scholarship Application

The California Conference of Arson Investigators offers scholarships to each of their training conferences. Both the “SKI” and “CAMPY” scholarships are a result of generous contributions from our corporate sponsors.

Application Process

  • Applicants must fill out and submit an application to the CCAI office. (Mail, E-mail, or Fax) Applications will be forwarded to the Scholarship Committee to award the scholarships.
  • The application must include a letter from your supervisor indicating the need for you to receive this training and your agency’s financial circumstances that require you to apply for a scholarship.
  • Although it is not required, applicants that participate in their local Roundtables will receive preference. Applicants that participate in their local Roundtable are encouraged to contact their Roundtable Coordinator for an endorsement. Roundtable Coordinators are encouraged to nominate Roundtable participants through the application process, but must guarantee that the applicant is aware of the nomination and the applicant’s financial needs are documented.
  • Applications are only valid for the next conference. Applications will not be carried over for the following conference.
  • Applications must be submitted to the CCAI office within 45 days of the next scheduled conference. Selection(s) will be made and awardees will be notified at least 30 days before the conference.
 

Please contact me with regard to any questions, comments or suggestions.

Respectfully,

Bill Kilpatrick
Chairperson Scholarship Committee
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