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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.



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.


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.


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)


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

Seminars - Webinars - Training

March 2015 Training Seminar

CCAI Training Seminar

March 30 through April 3, 2015

Major changes are in effect within the field of fire and explosive investigations.  The National Fire Protection Association has established the standard that must be met by all Professional Fire and Explosion Investigators (NFPA 1033 - 2014 Edition).  It is important that any fire investigator who may offer expert testimony is intimately familiar with all industry standards that apply to the qualification of fire investigators.  If they do not obtain this necessary training, they many not be successful in their court testimonies.  All California courts require expert witnesses to establish that they are qualified as experts in their field.  NFPA 1033, section 1.3.7 requires that the investigator shall have and maintain at a minimum, an up-to-date basic knowledge of the following topics:

1. Fire Science
2. Fire Chemistry
3. Thermodynamics
4. Thermometry
5. Fire Dynamics
6. Explosion Dynamics
7. Computer Fire Modeling
8. Fire Investigation
  9. Fire Analysis
10. Fire Investigation Methodology
11. Fire Investigation Technology
12. Hazardous Materials
13. Failure Analysis and Analytical Tools
14. Fire Protection Systems
15. Evidence Documentation, Collection, and Preservation
16. Electricity and Electrical Systems


Section 1.3.8 states the fire investigator shall remain current in the topics listed in 1.3.7 by attending formal education courses beyond the high school level such as, workshops, and training seminars.

Only with the support of you, the membership, can CCAI continue to provide quality educational training.  For the first time in California, in an effort to meet the needs of the professional fire investigator, the California Conference of Arson Investigators is presenting a training seminar where all 16 topics, listed above, will be presented.  At the conclusion of this training, attendees will be tested and a certificate will be issued stating that you are compliant with the educational requirements mandated in NFPA 1033.

The above referenced topics will be presented by some of the most highly respected Fire/Arson Investigators in the State of California; such as Investigator Jim Allen, California State Fire Marshall’s Office Arson/Bomb Unit Retired and Dr. John DeHaan, California Department of Justice Retired and author of Kirk’s Fire Investigation and other immensely qualified instructors.

No one is immune:

… in November of 2014, a 44-year-old man filed a lawsuit against Phoenix alleging that the Fire Department’s Investigators violated his constitutional and civil rights in 2009 when he was indicted on suspicion of arson.  The defendant, who now lives in Illinois, spent more than 14 months in a Maricopa County jail awaiting trial for allegedly setting fire to a home he shared with two other men.  Prosecutors dismissed the case the day his trial was set to begin.  The suit, filed in Maricopa County Superior Court, alleges that the city failed to properly train the investigators and allowed them to use discredited investigation techniques.  The suit also alleges that fire investigators approached investigations with a preconceived idea of whether a fire was arson.  The lawsuit names former Phoenix Fire Chief Robert Khan, former Fire Marshal Jack Ballentine, and Captains Sam Richardson, Fred Andes and William Nelson.  The suit claims that the investigator spoke with one firefighter and one witness before deciding the fire was arson, did not investigate the possibility the fire was electrical and failed to follow up on a pawnshop receipt that would have provided an alibi.  The District Attorney publicly questioned the investigators competence and credibility last month, announcing that he would not prosecute any future cases they investigated.  A review of about 30 past and pending cases the men worked is ongoing, said a county attorney spokesman.
An Arizona Law Enforcement Agency investigated both Andes and Richardson regarding a different residential fire in which Richardson was the lead investigator and Andes was an investigator/K-9 handler.  This investigation has resulted in both individuals being removed from any future investigation responsibilities and the possibility of other sanctions.

CCAI Training Calendar:

Staying Compliant with NFPA 1033 Educational Requirements

  • When:                       March 30 through April 3, 2015  (40 hours)
  • Where:                      Embassy Suites Hotel in San Luis Obispo, California
  • Registration fee:       $495.00, includes breakfast and lunch (no lunch on Friday)
    •   A $50.00 discount will be applied (per attendee) for agencies or companies sending      registrations for three or more attendees


Upon completion, a certificate will be issued stating that you are Compliant with the Educational Requirements Mandated in NFPA 1033.

Hotel rooms at Embassy Suites are limited, register as quickly as possible.  There are also many near-by hotels.

Register online or call 909 865-5004 and the staff at the CCAI office will be happy to assist you.

We look forward to, and appreciate, your future involvement at CCAI training events.

Tom Pierce
CCAI President 2014-15




1279 North White Avenue 
Pomona, California 91768 
Phone:  (909) 865-5004
Fax (909) 865-5024 
8:00 am - 5:00 pm 
Monday - Friday