Time to Simplify Combustion Safety Testing by Jim Gill PE

I have followed all the discussions on LinkedIn, and your SRMI blog, on Questioning Combustion Safety Testing and Combustion Safety Testing and Risk Elimination.

I am a civil engineer with many years’ experience managing commercial, institutional, and public infrastructure construction projects, and another number of years’ managing hazardous waste site-assessment and remediation projects.

In the haz-waste world, I gained knowledge and skills in  field detection instruments, hazard assessment, data gathering, integrity, validation, toxicology, and the fine art of balancing risks, benefits, costs, schedule and objectives against project challenges and human behavior.  I haven’t mastered all these, but like most engineers, I learned what I needed to in order to get the job done cost effectively.

Let’s make things reasonable

I’m relieved that virtually all the thoughts and points I chose not to share early in the blog posts have now all been expressed by John Krigger and other contributors. Thanks to you all for raising questions and points about balancing risk against benefit.  I  withheld my opinions initially, because expressing any opinion that criticizes the health and safety mandates might well be repudiated or ignored.

More energy specialists recognize that the standards for the home energy auditor’s job must be simple and effective enough to ensure sufficient safety and little more.  Striving to reduce risk to zero makes the job too complicated, too expensive, unreasonably stringent, or simply such a hassle that technicians ignore the protocol in order to get the job done.  I’ve read protocols that call for evacuating a home when the CO-level  is measured at 35 ppm and wondered whether evacuation was really necessary at that level.

There is an abundance of useful expertise, knowledge, and tools that already exists in the commercial-building world, which can be applied to residential buildings. Why don’t we bring this commercial knowledge into our residential knowledge base so it can help us create more reasonable standards?

 

 

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