On Thursday, October 1, 2015 at 3:47:16 PM UTC-4, Don Y wrote:
There you go changing the subject again. What does "length of time" have to
with my comment related to use of word "common". Perhaps you haven't grasped
the point I am discussing or perhaps you are trying to confuse the issue.
You said it's a common practice for people to leave the batteries out. I say
it's not "common" in relation to how many detectors there are installed across
Whether the batteries are left out for a night, a day or a year before the
fatal fires starts has nothing to do with the commonality of the practice.
How often they are left out as compared how often they are not is all that
counts when determining how "common" the practice is.
Right, in 70% of homes *in which the smoke alarms were present but did not
operate* dead or missing batteries was the cause. No one denies that dead
or missing batteries will cause a smoke detector not to operate. The problem
is (once again) that that is not what we are discussing.
I'll try again: You said that the practice of leaving batteries out after
they are removed due to chirping is "common". I, once again, say that when
compared to all the cases where the batteries are *not* left out, the
practice is *not* common. The *practice of leaving the batteries out* is not
common. Does it happen? Yes. Do bad things happen when someone does that? Yes.
Is it common? Not in the grand scheme of all detectors everywhere.
Can you stick to that statement and tell me how you know that the practice is
common? Tell me how many times batteries are left out vs. how many times
they are replaced. Citing statistics related to how many smoke
detectors didn't operate due to missing batteries (46%) does nothing to
support your claim that the practice of leaving batteries out is "common". All
that does is tell us that missing batteries is a common cause for smoke
detectors not to operate. Well, yeah. I think that's pretty obvious.
Now, citing statistics that show 55% of the millions upon millions of smoke
detectors that needed batteries did not have them replaced would indeed
indicate that the practice of leaving the batteries out is common.
See above. Please cite relevant statistics.
So, if I understand you correctly, the one sitting on the box of CAT5 wire is
no longer needed? If that is correct, then once again, your example isn't
When you walk by that *un-needed* detector, you may say to yourself "I really
should dispose of that (properly)". When someone removes a smoke detector
that can't be reinstalled until the batteries are replaced and places on a
table, they are likely to say "I really should get batteries for that
before I die in a fire."
Which statement holds more emotional weight and will probably get acted upon
You mean that *un-needed* one? Please try to stay relevant.
Nice stretch! Yep, I'll bet *that* is a common practice. "Let me locate a
completely dead battery so I can reinstall this detector that was chirping
from weak batteries. Good thing I have that stash of non-chirp causing,
completely dead batteries lying around."
It seems pretty obvious to me that the above statistic cites that 46% of those
FIRES had smoke detectors with batteries "missing or disconnected". Do you
think the "smoke detector police" are going to arbitrarily survey homes
where NO FIRES HAVE BEEN REPORTED to see if their smoke detectors have
batteries in place? If a battery is left out for a year (assume a battery
normally *lasts* a year, does that count as *one* event? Or, more than one?)
Will the smoke detector police ensure that you *have* smoke detectors in
a residence if the residence is not offered for sale?
What criteria would you use to claim this practice was *RARE*? (!common)
"Common" doesn't mean "in a majority of cases". Common means "of frequent
occurrence". "Daniel" is a "common" name. By no means are 50.0001% of
the people in the world/country named "Daniel". In fact, it is the
*10th* most common name in the US -- yet LESS THAN 1% of the population
having it! There are no names that rise to the "55% level" that you
seem to suggest would constitute 'common-ness'
Why don't *you* come up with a criteria to indicate what *NUMBER* you
consider to be representative of the term "common". Then, *justify*
that number (in an OBJECTIVE sense).
You can start by obtaining NUMBERS for the actual number of
residences/occupancies that have/require smoke detectors, then
the number of smoke detectors currently deployed in those areas,
then, the NUMBER you would consider to be representative of
the adjective "COMMON".
On Thursday, October 1, 2015 at 10:26:59 PM UTC-4, Don Y wrote:
Thank you! You have finally made my point that the statistic you cited,
while true, does nothing to support your claim that leaving batteries
out is "common". That statistic is not relevant to this discussion. It
took us a while, but we're finally there.
That number was just an example to get you to understand that your 46%
statistic was not relevant. It was not the actual value (my fictitious 55%)
that matters. What matters is the comparison of detectors that didn't
operate because the batteries were left out to detectors that operated
properly plus those that didn't operate for other reasons.
You can't use a percentage of a subset to come to a conclusion about the
entire set unless you adjust the percentage to match the size of the subset
in relation to the entire set. (I'll do that below)
It looks like you have finally gotten my point. Alleluia!
The following comment is paraphrased from:
"In fires considered large enough to trigger an alarm, battery-powered smoke detectors operated 80% of the time."
That leaves us with 20% of the installed battery-powered base that didn't
Paraphrasing your statistic from earlier:
"In fires in which the smoke alarms were present but did not operate, 46% of the smoke alarms had missing or disconnected batteries"
Doing the math and taking 46% of the 20% that didn't operate we end up with
9.2% of detectors involved with a fire that were disabled because the user
left the battery out. Even though we are still using a subset of all
installed detectors, I'm comfortable saying I wouldn't consider 9.2% to be
"common", even if that number applied to the entire installed base. But,
wait, there's more...
Those percentages only account for the detectors that were involved in a
fire. It's a safe assumption that the number of detectors *not* involved
in a fire is ridiculously huge compared to the number that were involved.
While I'm comfortable in saying that 9.2% is not "common", I'm just as
comfortable is saying that the percentage will get even smaller as the
sample size grows. I may be going way, way out on a limb here, and it's
nothing more than wild speculation on my part, but here's my theory on why
those numbers won't scale linearly:
I postulate that a fire is more apt to happen in a home where the residents
leave the batteries out than in a home where they are replaced promptly.
If I look at it from a "behavioral" perspective, I can imagine that, for the
most part, people that would leave the battery out have other dangerous
habits, maintenance issues, etc. In other words, there will be more fire
causing factors in those homes. Frayed extension cords, combustible
materials near the furnace, etc.
If that assumption is true, then the 9.2% is going to get even smaller
as we include more and more detectors from non-fire impacted residences.
In other words, we will move even farther away from the practice of leaving the batteries out as being "common".
No, you haven't defined "common"!
It is COMMON for people to run red lights!
(sit at any intersection in ANY city and you WILL see someone run a light!)
It is COMMON for people to be murdered with firearms (in practically any city)!
(listen to the news in any city and, chances are, today or yesterday
*someone* was murdered)
It is COMMON for gunmen to go on rampages at schools, malls, etc.
(how many times does it have to NOT happen to be considered a "rare" event)
If you look at the *probability* of any of these events happening, they
can be surprisingly LOW. But, that doesn't make them LESS COMMON!
It is RARE for us to find evidence of life on other planets!
It is RARE for us to find $100 bills on the sidewalk in front of us!
It is RARE for long lost relatives to show up on doorsteps!
You seem to think "common" means "a majority of the time". That's
not what "common" means:
- of frequent occurrence; usual; familiar:
- occurring or appearing frequently : familiar <a common sight>
- Occurring frequently or habitually; usual: It is common for movies
to last 90 minutes or more
- happening frequently, or existing in large amounts or numbers
You want "common" to mean:
- the greater part or number; the number larger than half the total
(opposed to minority)
If that were the case, there would be no "common" names, "common"
foods, "common" practices, etc. as very few things occur in a MAJORITY!
Put a NUMBER on your criteria. Or STFU.
On Friday, October 2, 2015 at 3:04:44 PM UTC-4, Don Y wrote:
Gee...you seem upset. Perhaps if you'd calm down, you could read what I
posted and grasp it.
Let me ask you a simple, straightforward question just to get us on the
If something happens 9.2% of the time, would you consider that to be
a common occurrence?
All I require is a simple "Yes" or "No". Can you do that?
You are confusing likelihood with frequency.
My chance of being MURDERED is essentially ZERO! Yet, murders are
FREQUENT and *common* occurrences!
I am *surrounded* by $20 bills. And, people carrying them. Yet,
I *rarely* encounter "loose" $20 bills on the sidewalk, in stores,
We have electrical storms pretty frequently. Yet, I have NEVER
encountered a person who was struck by lightning. It's a RARE event!
50,000 cars per day travel a half mile stretch of road a few blocks
from here. Some *small* fraction of those encounter a "red light".
An even smaller fraction of them encounter a "questionable" red
light (i.e., "MAYBE I can sneak through a long yellow"). Yet,
I can watch probably 50 people run red lights there in any given
24 hour period. That's 0.1%. FAR LESS THAN YOUR 9.2%!
YET, it is a COMMON OCCURRENCE! It happens frequently -- even if it
only happens some teeny-tiny fraction of the time that it *could* happen!
On Friday, October 2, 2015 at 6:34:39 PM UTC-4, Don Y wrote:
Why am I not surprised that you couldn't stay on topic? Now you're starting to yell and make comparisons that are so far off topic as to be as irrelevant as the statistics you brought up earlier.
(sigh) You truly don't get it, do you? A percentage is a *portion*;
a likelihood. It has nothing to do with a common-ness... a frequency...
which is a "per unit time" measurement.
My *chance* (likelihood) of being murdered (or, *anyone's* chance of
being murdered) is a probability. OTOH, the *frequency* of murders in
a community is a number of events per unit time. It is a separate and
independent metric from "probability".
A city with 100 million population may have a murder rate (likelihood,
probaility) that is effectively *zero* (0.0001%) yet have a murder EVERY
NIGHT on the evening news! It is a COMMON occurrence. It happens FREQUENTLY!
A city with 1000 population may have a murder rate that is much, much higher!
Maybe *1* percent (i.e., 10,000 times MORE LIKELY), yet murders happen
*monthly* rather than *daily*. It is far less COMMON. Yet, living in
that city is much RISKIER than the first city! You are 10,000 times
more likely to be one of those monthly victims than one of the DAILY
victims in the first location!
If you're thinking in terms of percentages, you're on entirely the
wrong track! Percentages have no concept of time -- of FREQUENCY!
("per unit time")
On Friday, October 2, 2015 at 7:53:49 PM UTC-4, Don Y wrote:
Oh, I get now. You can use your percentage of 70% to Vote "Yes" on commonness,
but I can't use 9.2% to vote "No".
Does this sound familiar?
You: So, in response to your comment, below:
Me: "Common? Until I see the numbers, I'll vote No."
You: I vote *yes* (70% of the fires!) -- unless you'd care to offer
some OTHER numbers?
Like I said, but neglected to do...moving on.
The percentages pertain to ACTUAL FIRES! You can count the number of ACTUAL
FIRES in any particular time period. From that (events per unit time) you get
FREQUENCY OF OCCURRENCE. Has nothing to do with how LIKELY a home is to
catch fire! I'm looking at a PORTION (percentage) of a FREQUENCY. So,
it's a measure of "common-ness".
That's the only NUMBER you are going to get -- there are no "smoke detector
police" who will check every residence to see *if* they have a detector and
*if* it has batteries and *if* the batteries are operational. *But*, the
cited report indicates the portion of those ACTUAL FIRES that had battery
powered smoke detectors that DID NOT OPERATE (20% of those fires). Of
these ACTUAL FIRES in which BATTERY POWERED DETECTORS failed to operate,
70% of those were the result of missing, disconnected or dead batteries.
Do the math and you can see that this isn't a small number -- IN A GIVEN
PERIOD OF TIME (ha nothing to do with the likelihood of a fire!).
As such, it is COMMON.
Chance of winning the lottery is essentially ZERO -- 0%! Yet, someone ALWAYS
seems to win! So, winning is COMMON -- but not LIKELY!
This is why so many folks are suckers for gaming machines; failing to
understand what the numbers *mean* and reading more (or less!) into them than
the actual math implies!
Sorry. While purse snatching and fare jumping are crimes that occur quite
frequently, murder is not. In fact murder is one of the least common
criminal acts. Starting out with such a "stretched" definition of "common"
is bound to lead right where it ended up: a WTF?/STFU!argument.
P.S. There's a limit to 3 capitalized words per paragraph in AHR before
you're labeled as contumacious. (-:
I don't replace mine. I have a washable electrostatic filter (not a
powered unit) that fits in place of the 1 inch pleated filter. I wash
it every couple months, shake it dry, and put it back in place.
On the old furnace I had the replaceable depth filters - I used a
filterfresh spray on them that made them sticky so they caught more of
the fine stuff like polen etc.
I had electrical discharge electrostatics in my previous house - they
were MISERABLE to clean - they'd get blacker than black - pretty well
needed a dishwasher dedicated to cleaning them
On 10/2/2015 6:56 PM, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
We simply replace ours every month -- toss the old unit in the trash.
In the summer, it's filtering stuff running through the air conditioner's
A-coil; in the winter, it filters stuff that is running through the
furnace's heat exchanger. Roughly the same total volume of air in each case.
The swamp cooler makes things worse when we opt to run it as it brings
outside air directly into the house (through a very porous "wet" filter).
But, it is impractical to filter as it moves many thousands of cubic feet
I've seen homes (smokers) with electrostatic air filtration that had
"smoke-plated" walls (remove the picture frames from the walls and you can
see where they *were*.
On 10/2/2015 8:25 PM, email@example.com wrote:
Our cooling season starts in April and ends in October -- we're still seeing
100F temperatures. The cooler is an excellent device during the dry months
(April, May, June, October, November) but brings lots of "dirt" into the
house (as there is often airborn dirt: google "haboob") as well as pollen
(we have essentially a continuous growing season). When using the cooler,
its fan essentially runs continuously (low vs. high, maintained automatically
by the thermostat) as turning the fan *off* allows hot air to blow *into*
the house (you need to leave windows cracked open for the cooler to function
as it works by *replacing* the air in the house, continuously). The cooler
keeps "positive pressure" in the house to prevent hot, dry air from outside
infiltrating through those open windows.
In recent years, we have opted to just run the ACbrrr continuously instead
of having to deal with *removing* the humidity that the cooler injects into
the building (e.g., doors swell, bath towels "never dry", carpet feels
During the rainy parts of winter, the ACbrrr comes on, again, despite
moderate temperatures -- mainly for dehumidification.
firstname.lastname@example.org posted for all of us...
+1000 Claire, I agree with you. The threads usually start out okay, then
others ask questions, then others question the questioners as to what they
meant, posts are made saying I did this 30 years ago, and then we get
personal experiences, attacks on others, health matters, politics and so on.
I am guilty some times myself but I tried labeling them and I got complaints
because I was messing up the subject line. What I do is if I see two wild
posts then I move on to the end of that hierarchy and start reading and
repeat. I have certain posters KF and others marked as important; as they
usually follow the thread topic. This thread isn't moderated but I don't
know of any good way to get rid of the blather. Sometimes there is a pearl
but it's sure hard to find.
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