Lawmaker Advocates For Smoke Detector Changes - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

NC5 Investigates: An Alarming Failure

Lawmaker Advocates For Smoke Detector Changes

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State Rep. Mike Turner, who is also a firefighter State Rep. Mike Turner, who is also a firefighter
Harriette Wilson (in red), whose husband died in a house fire after their smoke detector failed to go off. Harriette Wilson (in red), whose husband died in a house fire after their smoke detector failed to go off.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - State lawmakers Wednesday got their first look at legislation prompted by a NewsChannel 5 investigation into smoke detectors.

The investigation exposed how the most common type of smoke detectors -- those with ionization technology -- often have trouble detecting smoke.

State Rep. Mike Turner, who is also a firefighter, wants ionization detectors phased out and replaced with photoelectric detectors. Tests have shown these types do a much better job at detecting smoke.

Turner shared Harriette Wilson's story to lawmakers. Her husband John died in a fire. Wilson blames their ionization detector for going off too late.

"When she finally heard her smoke detector go off, she opened the door and the smoke was already there," Turner said at the state Capitol. "She lost her husband in the fire. If she'd had the photoelectric detector, it possibly would have saved her husband's life. So, that's what we're talking about here. We're talking about saving lives."

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