Casual Argument Revised – PaulaJean

The World Around Us Is Creating a Biased Version of Ourselves

From the beginning of time, women have been looked at as inferior to men in one way or another. As the stereotypes slowly diminish, people still find themselves with certain thoughts towards females, whether they are one or not.

Women are strong and independent, but this does not make them immune to expectancy bias and stereotype threat. As extremely emotional beings, women may be seen as weak. And when emotion overrides logic, they can be seen as unintelligent. Although being emotional is nowhere near a bad characteristic, some stereotypes can make society think otherwise. Some of these attributes may not be prevalent in a woman’s head all the time, but there are ways that they can be triggered into becoming entertained.

Expectancy bias is a simple yet interesting concept. Say a sibling “never does anything wrong”, so when the mother sees the broken lamp, she automatically assumes it was the other sibling and grounds them, when it was really the other sibling. The mother expects it to be the other child being that the other one usually is well behaved. An expectation can really control the way we perceive and believe things.

A step further into expectancy bias is stereotype threat. Stereotype threat is a situational predicament in which people are or feel themselves to be at risk of conforming to stereotypes about their social group.

For example, Josh Aronson, a New York University professor, has done multiple studies based around expectancy bias and stereotype threat. A study (by Aronson) was done with high school students who were taking an AP calculus test. They were split up in to two different groups. One group was asked to confirm their gender before the test and the other afterwards. “Females who received the gender inquiry before the test scored an average AP Formula Score of 12.5, while males scored an average of 16.5. In the groups that received the gender inquiry after the test, females scored an average of 15, while males scored an average of 14.” (Anderson, 2011) Aronson’s study really sheds light on the importance of what we say and how.

They immediately start to think about the stereotypes about women and begin to subconsciously conform.These subtle triggers are everywhere and are causing women to become more incompetent in school and work without them even knowing it.

This occurs due to stereotypes created in the early 20th century. Women were not usually the ones going out and getting an education and making money for their family. Nowadays, women are very likely to be the bread winner of the family. Women have just as much potential and drive as men in their career of choice. Women and men are not the same, though. Each gender differs in their own way which is the reason why there is TWO genders, not one. “When women hear men say that women are not the same, they most likely hear that they are not equal, therefore hearing that they are less valued. Men, on the other hand, hear from women that they want equal treatment; however, men filter that to mean that they are ‘the same’.” (Torres, 2016)

We are not the same, yet we are equal. To think that we are not as good at something because of our gender is a very outdated way to think. There are different physical and emotional attributes that may favor one career, but this does not mean that the other gender is not equal or not as good. They could work a little bit harder and be just as good as the other.

“How Stereotypes Can Drive Women Away From Science,” by Shankar Vedantam is another article that proves stereotype threat in women is very real in the math or science field. Toni Schmader and Matthias Mehl are two experimenters who studied women and men at work. These subjects are math professors and were wired with a recording device while at work. The main thing Mehl was trying to record was the interaction between the female and male colleagues. This study was prompted by the fact that women are not only less likely to go in the science field, but less likely to stick with it. Women drop out of this type of career at a much higher rate then the male scientists.

The recording devices recorded 30 seconds of audio every 12 minutes. This was a good size sample for analyzing random and casual conversations between colleagues.

Mehl and Schmader immediately proved one stereotype wrong. They debunked the common thought that women talk a great deal more than men. “When Mehl actually measured how many words men and women speak each day, he found there was practically no difference — both men and women speak around 17,000 words a day, give or take a few hundred.” (Vedantam, 2012)

They also found that the more self conscious or worried a women was about whether or not a man (who they were conversing with) held the stereotype about women not being as competent in this particular field, the more incompetent they sounded.

When a woman spoke to another woman, they were fully engaged no matter what the topic was. Meanwhile, when a woman spoke to a man about work or research they were greatly disengaged. Though they could speak to males about other topics and be just as engaged as they would with another woman. Women who focus on the stereotype end up falling into the stereotype threat trap. They do not realize that their fear of not living up to expectations or their fear of being a stereotype, actually makes them a part of the stereotype.

Stereotype threat is caused by old ways of thinking and we must break through and eliminate all stereotypes to completely eradicate stereotype threat. Stereotype threat is a harmful thing to anybody’s life. Making somebody feel less than or not good enough AND making them act accordingly. It is a crazy concept, but is absolutely real and present in our lives. Society must create a better outlook on women if we want women to succeed to their full potential. Stereotype threat is a very dangerous thing, but with modern views and some perseverance, getting rid of stereotype threat will be simple.

References

Men and Women Are Equal, But Not The Same. (2016, March 15). Retrieved from                      http://nquotient.com/2016/03/men-and-women-are-equal-but-not-the-same/

Vedantam, S. (2012, July 12). How Stereotypes Can Drive Women To Quit Science.                       Retrieved from https://www.npr.org/2012/07/12/156664337/stereotype-threat-why-women-quit-science-jobs/

Why Stereotype Threat Keeps Girls Out of Math and Science, and What to Do About It.              (2011, June 01). Retrieved April 18, 2018, from                                                                                http://theglasshammer.com/2011/06/01/why-stereotype-threat-keeps-girls-out-of-math-and-science-and-what-to-do-about-it/

Causal Rewrite- Thenaturalist201

When growing up in a multiracial household you are accepted by both families as soon leave that safety you become an outcast. Multiracial people do not belong anywhere they face the same amount of discrimination as anyone race because they are not in the same position as anyone race person. Being multiracial causes discomfort and makes them question themselves as people.

When in the world as a multiracial person is put in a position when examining themselves in the world of being privileged they feel uncomfortable because being light skinned is considered being privileged but yet they still face the same struggles that darker skinned people face.

Multiracial people may hold feature of one race but the skin color of another because of that they should not be held in a position where they are put in one category. Race does not equal skin color. Many times when multiracial people are asked what race they are they face forced to pick what matches their skin color this is wrong. In an article by Huffington post, Does Race Equal Skin Color by Aurelie Mathieu she discusses the problem she faced when applying for jobs and colleges. The fact that they ask what ethnicity you are. Mathieu recalls when she was asked by her employer during an interview if she mistakenly put down Black as she has light skin and green eyes. Stories like these are shared by many as people are judged when they are first seen. Because of this skin color becomes a big indicator for race which is a habit that will be hard to break but should indeed be broken.

Being multiracial is seen as the best of both worlds in many people’s eyes as they can experience a culture without the oppression that comes with it. But in reality, multiracial people are born into the world with the idea that they are more privileged than the race that is generally more oppressed. This is not true, they are experiencing if not more discrimination as they cannot express themselves. They are told they dress wrong or talk too much like one race when they appear to be from another.

Multiracial people suffer from identity problems from being told what they are and they are not. Going back to the study of  Multiracial challenges and resilience scale, the study showed that many of the people interviewed suffered from identity problems. On average 63% showed that they suffered from racial identity. Psychologically this isn’t right that multiracial people are being put in these uncomfortable racial situations that make them question their identity.

Rewrite Causal Argument- Myrtle View

Black fashion in the mainstream media causes cultural appropriation. The best thing about diversity is being surrounded by people and cultures that can be similar and very different from our own. The world is becoming more and more diverse and unfortunately things like cultural appropriation do occur. Cultural appropriation is when a race steals elements from a culture in an opposing race and uses it for financial gain or re-branded ownership. Usually the race being pillaged holds little to no power. During this time, black women and men are embracing their culture in a most positive way. Black fashion is one of the ways the black community speaks to the world without saying anything and will continue to inspire people. Although, this type of fashion is only acceptable when worn by someone not black. For example, in 2015 Zendaya, a famous celebrity teenager, graced the Oscars with her hair styled in faux dreads. Zendaya was then criticized for looking like she smelled of weed. Kylie Jenner also wore faux dreads for a Teen Vogue story and was labeled “edgy”, “beautiful”, and “raw.” These two examples show that even though one of these women are mixed she is still less than the white women. The more black fashion is exposed in the mainstream the more likely it is that the black community will lose black fashion and with it part of their identity.

Black fashion in the mainstream media causes black people to lose their identity. Since cultural appropriation effects how black people are first perceived it is hard for the black community to recognize what their identity is. A big majority of black culture is black fashion. Black fashion was and is still a major approach used by the black community to fight back against oppression and the conformity of society. The black community has to live with knowing that they exist only because of the 246 years slavery existed. They must also learn that after slavery the black community continued to feel pain because of segregation which lasted about 89 years. Through these years the black community has fought wars and forced laws all to make living a little easier for the next generations. Black fashion is what makes black people happy as well as surviving subjugation and racism. This explains why black people are so passionate and interested in incidents regarding cultural appropriation towards their culture. Knowing that black people would become just like everyone else is what pushes this group of people forward to stop this from happening. If the barrier between mainstream “trends” and black fashion was to be removed many black youths would grow up confused at how to define their style and where their sense of style actually originates.

Popular white celebrities and black fashion causes cultural appropriation. These trends in mainstream fashion do not come out of nowhere. Most of the trends in fashion are determined by popular celebrities who are seen by the media.  They are also more likely to set a “trend” if they are white. The Kardashian family is infamous for cultural appropriation since they draw inspiration from black culture and profit from it or rename a fashion in black history. A recent example would be Kim Kardashian’s “boxer braids” show in Teen Vogue’s article “This Hairstyle Is Not Called “Boxer Braids” and Kim Kardashian Didn’t Make It Popular.” The author Britni Danielle writes that “girls have worn cornrows before, or that most of the early 2000s were filled with celebs like Alicia Keys, Tyra Banks, Ludacris, Bow Wow, and even Justin Timberlake rocking the style” but the reason it received attention “is because white women have finally caught on.”

Popular white female celebrities wearing black fashion causes cultural appropriation which also causes black people to lose their identity in society. White women wearing black fashion does not cause them to be a victim in the negative side effects of being black. Since there is an imbalance in power white women are less likely to be ridiculed or treated unfairly if they wore box braids in the workplace or fashioned an athletic suit on Instagram. This same imbalance in power makes it harder for black women to wear their natural hair at work without “causing a scene” or having offensive demeaning labels attached to them. White women need to understand that society holds them on a higher pedestal than minorities. For this reason, they should be more aware of the message they are putting out into the world to work together to bring growth instead of tearing women apart.

  1. https://www.teenvogue.com/story/boxer-braids-hairstyle-history
  2. http://people.com/tv/zendaya-blasts-giuliana-rancic-for-criticizing-her-oscars-dreadlocks/
  3. https://www.teenvogue.com/gallery/kylie-jenner
  4. https://www.brookings.edu/articles/an-american-tragedy-the-legacy-of-slavery-lingers-in-our-cities-ghettos/

Definition Rewrite- Nreina34

Since the creation of team policing or “community” policing, establishing a healthy relationship with the public has been a main priority.  Creating a good relationship with the public made it easier to work with them, build trust and possibly have less crime on the streets.  Fortunately, police related violence has been declining in numbers in the last decade but there have been some major instances that can cause a threat to a possible rise in those numbers one day.  It seems monotonous that every week there is another headline in the news regarding a controversial topic with law enforcement. An example of how this relationship is becoming more is the shooting of Dallas police officers in 2016 which ended up killing five officers and injuring nine.  This attack on police was the deadliest event for law enforcement in the U.S. since 9/11. The shooter of this catastrophic event plead that he was angry and upset with police shootings of black men and wanted his revenge on white police officers. The abundance of police related shootings with the public led to this fatal shooting and was the direct result of the hostile environment between the police and the community.

 The Black Lives Matter and Blue Lives Matter movements have been sweeping over the United States and the media has been there the whole time covering it every step of the way. The media has been known to usually be negatively portraying the police in incidents with the public or do a poor job fully explaining it, for years now and this is how they can be defined as the “fuel” to the fire. In a recent article “Retaliatory violence between police and citizens is primed by social media”, Veronica Pozo of Utah State University states that ““Black Lives Matter-related tweets were associated with increases in both the numbers of minorities and law enforcement officers killed. This implies that that social media can rapidly spread a negative message and act as a contagion.”  As you can see there is a direct relationship involving what goes down on social media and what goes on in the streets.  The problem with this is that almost everyone nowadays has access to the internet so by these topics circulating the web, you are bound to read about them at some point.   But, in a situation like this it is impossible to define one instance or reason to be the cause to this madness but it is very easy to see that these groups and the publicity they receive definitely does not help the situation.  These anti-law enforcement groups berate and discriminate police officers all over the internet and by publicizing it on the news it is giving the exactly what they want, attention. This has a negative impact on society because they believe what they hear on the news, and these headlines are the way people form opinions about certain topics.  The news really shouldn’t skew the information for their benefit, it should be told how it really is because if all the news is showing is hatred towards cops and controversial police topics, it is going to have people formulating the wrong ideas about law enforcement. So as you can see, the media has a major influence with the ongoing issues between the community and law enforcement.  The news should just focus on getting their story across to the people who watch, not just a company for headlines.

References

Retaliatory violence between police and citizens is primed by social media. (n.d.). Retrieved from

https://phys.org/news/2018-01-retaliatory-violence-police-citizens-primed.html

Stoughton, S. (2016, July 08). Is the police-community relationship in America beyond repair? Retrieved from http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/is-the-police-community-relationship-in-america-beyond-repair/2016/07/08/595c638c-454b-11e6-bc99-7d269f8719b1_story.html?utm_term=.e58d4def990a.

Causal Rewrite- Ugandanknuckles

SHMHBS

If I told you that whenever you were sad or felt bad about yourself, you could just sit down and chant some magic words to be happy, would you believe me? There are people who actually think you can do just that. While the practice is rather old and dates back to the early modern era, possibly earlier, we know now that there is no such thing as magic.

An excerpt from an article written by Lori Majewski on the benefits of mantras titled “9 Empowering Mantras to Shift Your Mindset,” will help give you can idea of how bs the whole “mantra” movement is:

I didn’t “get” Kaur or her mantras right away, though. The ones on her album Feeling Good Today! initially struck me as too simple, too obvious, and, dare I say, hokey. “Feeling good today, I am feeling good today,” she sings on the title track. “I am happy, I am good. I am happy, I am good,” she intones on “I Am Happy.”

Still, I kept the songs on in the background as I went about making myself breakfast, during my morning yoga practice, and throughout the workday. Ever since, I’ve started most days singing along to Kaur’s mantras. Whenever I get up on the wrong side of the bed, a dose of “I am happy, I am good” right-sides my mood; it helps me to approach the work day with confidence and anticipation. Far from corny, I now see these, yes, simple phrases—and mantras in general—as quite powerful.

She has no evidence to back up the idea that these songs that sound like something off of a children’s CD were the reason she felt better, nor does give a specific example. She could just be trying to promote Snatum Kaur’s CD as part of a business deal. Majewski and many others subscribe to the idea of chanting or mantras as a way to feel better, rather than finding something more effective.

Hard facts, however have proven her to be wrong- mostly. A study done by The University of Waterloo and the The University of New Brunswick shows that the only people mantras actually help are the people who don’t need them. People who already have high self-esteems or feel good about themselves don’t need to feel better. People like to try and prescribe people with poor self-image/self-esteem cure-all mantras, but it has the inverse effect. It doesn’t help that a highly publicized and praised figure promotes this system. Oprah Winfrey is a proponent of the mantra movement for anyone and everyone, but I doubt she’s ever done much research on the topic.

Sas Petherick, a well known self-help blogger from New Zealand, explains why mantras are bullshit fairly well.

Our super-smart brains see straight through us wanting to want to believe something we actually don’t.

So you might find yourself saying a version of ‘I am: loved, whole, fit, abundant, free, successful, strong, beautiful, joyful, unlimited, powerful, creative, expansive, sexy, thriving, rich… I am enough!’ *ends with dramatic flourish*

Except actually: its Lady Moon Time, he’s left a wet towel on the bed AGAIN, you suspect Little Miss might be being bullied at school, the car needs new tyres, you have four missed calls from Mother, no pension plan, your favourite frock is feeling a bit tight, you’ve spent three days ignoring the ominous letter from The Bank, you can’t have a family holiday this year without extending the overdraft, you’ve found yourself having a tiny cry in the loo after every meeting with that bloke from sales who makes you feel about nine years old….

Its no wonder that after a few days of repeating an affirmation, we start to think – actually, this is bullshit.

When our reality is in such contrast to our mantra – those  hopeful thoughts of a different result – we end up feeling trapped in a circuitous loop of repeating the same crappy patterns.

You are not going mad – this is exactly what is happening. Because our brains are hard-wired to look for patterns and make connections. So when thing X happens we believe it will result in outcome 56 – we focus on the evidence that reinforces what we think about X.

We expect these things to work, but then our lives prove the opposite. We need to confront the issues in our lives before we attempt to try to move passed them. Sitting there repeating that you’re a good person isn’t gonna help if you’re an asshole to everyone around you, and telling yourself that you can be successful is useless if you’re not gonna take steps to try and better yourself. At the end of the day, action speak louder than words, but if you do manage to get your actions right, some words are alright.

References

Wood, J. V., Perunovic, W. E., & Lee, J. W. (2009). Positive Self-Statements. Psychological Science, 20(7), 860-866. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9280.2009.02370.x

Majewski, L. (2015, March 27). 9 Empowering Mantras to Shift Your Mindset. Retrieved February 26, 2018, from http://www.sonima.com/meditation/mantras/

The stuck record: why mantras feel like bullshit. (2014, August 21). Retrieved February 26, 2018, from http://www.saspetherick.com/the-stuck-record-why-mantras-feel-like-bullshit/

Causal Rewrite- Dancers

Bullying is one of the most common traumatizing phenomena among children and adolescents and is recently being recognized as a growing problem.

In grades 6 through 12 one in every five students reports being bullied according to the National Center for Educational Statistics taken in 2016. Out of the students who reported being bullied 33% said they were bullied at least once or twice a month during the year. Statistic of the students that have been subjected to bullying reported that 13% were made fun of, 12% were subjected to rumors, 5% were physically abused, and the last 5% were deliberately left out of activities. The percentage of students who admitted to being bullied is much higher than the percentage of students who report being bullied to someone within the school. Due to this huge gap in the percentages the bullying problem within schools is worse than we thought.

It is difficult to fully determine why children have bully like tendencies when interacting with others. But arguments can be made that children tend to pick up these tendencies at home. When parents treat their children poorly from a young age the child is going to grow up thinking that’s the way to treat others around them. If a child knows nothing about care and affection of course they will treat their peers poorly.

Its stated “Bullies tend to have aggressive behaviors designed to obtain goals and these goals often begin first in their home environment.” from “Four Marker Questions in Identifying Bullying Behaviors.” Children are most vulnerable to learning the appropriate behaviors at a very young age. Most of the behaviors that bullies tend to pick up on are due to the way their family acts. The home situation of most bullies is quite harsh, punishment is often within the home either verbal or physical. If the child makes a minor infraction it could lead the parent to overreact in a verbal, emotional or physical way. Children being raised in an environment like this often don’t gain approval or praise at any time.

If the primary caretaker has a negative attitude toward the child at a young age with lack of warmth and involvement in this child, it increases the risk that this child will grow up with hostile or aggressive behaviors towards others. Not just people in their family but towards people in general. If the child does become aggressive and the parent becomes permissive of these behaviors, without setting clear limits to the behavior towards peers, siblings, and adults the child’s aggression will most likely increase. If the parent of a child uses physical punishment and violent emotional outburst when trying to get their point across, this child is more likely to become more aggressive than the average child.

It has been concluded that bullies often stem from families where the parents are authoritarian, hostile, and rejecting, have poor problem solving skills and advocate fighting back at least at the least provocation. Children being raised in a hostile home environment could often feel neglected and unwanted. This could lead to the child becoming aggressive and act out in order to try and gain attention from their parents.

The parents of these children probably don’t realize that their behaviors toward their child leads them to act the same way they do towards others. Some of these children who bully may not know any better because they were raised in a home with negativity and where they were constantly put down. So they may see it as normal behavior when they are treating others this way not realizing that they are actually bullying.

According to “Four Marker Questions in Identifying Bullying Behavior” “Out of a home environment of negativity emerges a personality steeped in the belief and justification that intimidation and brute forces are ways to interact with obstacles that are encountered in life.” It has been said that violence begets violence. If a child is treated with violent behaviors they most often turn and treat others with violent behaviors.

The aggression and anger of these children often builds up because they are not able to speak out at home in which it grows. So when they arrive at school and have to deal with some sort of situation they may just explode and go off on others within this environment. It is hard for teachers and peers to deal with children who do not know how to act properly, fearing they will always act out when something bad happens.

Justifying bullies is not what is happening but these children that bullies often can’t take all the blame they are raised in a sense where negativity towards others is normal. Parents of children who bully often don’t acknowledge their tendencies as bullying, just children being children and one sticking up for themself in a situation.

Linda Goldman from “Raising Our Children to be Resilient” claims “Thousands and thousands of boys and girls are sitting in their homes, schools and communities with unresolved, unrecognized grief issues that all too often get projected out in the world in a form of bullying, abuse, violence, and homicide, or inwardly in the form of victimization and low self-esteem, depression, suicidal idealization, and suicide.”

Children could bully just because they have lost someone near and dear to them within their family and aren’t able to cope with the idea and grieve over it. Imagine being put down constantly within the home environment, never having the moment to grieve about how they are treated. If they grieve or look upset within their house about how they are treated it may lead to more violence towards them.

All in all ““Children learn what they live” is a useful phrase to emphasis the huge effect adult modeling has on our youth. Family systems that foster aggression and condone bullying on perpetuate the misconception that bullying toughens kids.” Goldman argued.

Parents often punish their children in order to make them grow up to learn that life isn’t perfect trying to toughen them for what’s to come later in life. Children can misconstrued this and think this is what life is supposed to be like while bullying other children. That they are trying to toughen their peers.

Bullying is not a problem that can be stopped by children alone especially when it may be exposed to them within their home. Schools need to step in with interventions throughout the whole school and within individual classrooms. Staff at schools need to talk to the children one on one in order to help them grieve and be able to discuss what is happening at home or just in life generally.

Children need to feel supported by at least one person and it is up to school districts to provide care for children who may not receive affection at home. Instead of just thinking bullies are horrible children staff should look deeper often they can misunderstood children crying out for attention, or not knowing any better way to act towards others.

References

Goldman, L. (2004-12-27) Raising Our Children to Be Resilient. Retrieved from https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/rowan/reader.action?docID=240663&ppg=22

Ma, X. (n.d.). Bullying and Being Bullied. Retrieved February 27, 2018, from http://www.jstor.org.ezproxy.rowan.edu/stable/pdf/3202462.pdf?refreqid=excelsior%3A60abb9588a61d9951c2434b757060c62

Musu-Gillette, L. (2017-5) Indicators of School Crime and Safety: 2016. Retrieved from https://nces.ed.gov/pubs2017/2017064.pdf

Olweus, D. (n.d.). Bully/Victim problems in school. Retrieved February 27, 2018, from http://www.jstor.org.ezproxy.rowan.edu/stable/pdf/23420286.pdf?refreqid=excelsior%3A81a118046b9f273c73808da868e8d722

Roberts, W. B., Jr., & Morotti, A. A. (n.d.). The Bully as Victim. Retrieved February 27, 2018, from http://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/42732181.pdf?refreqid=excelsior:691cee82878e2580b4ba2f967406d63a

Causal Rewrite-Lbirch

Smoke Detectors: The Source of Fire

Smoke detectors are an essential tool for your household safety, just like your home’s security system. Detectors play a huge role in fire safety, alerting an occupant when there is smoke in a building or house and allowing them enough time to exit without harm. Detectors seem to be easy to install, and are thought to require little to no care or attention. But with that belief, most detectors can become faulty and do not operate, or can even lead to a risk of starting a fire itself. Shorted wires or bad batteries can all be leading causes of these detectors catching fire, and both of these people do not check regularly. Without the appropriate maintenance of the detectors in your home, it is possible that the thing that alerts you of a fire is actually the cause of the fire.

The biggest risk a homeowner can take is not having a detector in their house at all. An alarming statistic by the National Fire Protection Agency states, “Three of every five home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms.” They also state that there were no smoke alarms in more than a third of household fire deaths. In an article by Battery Universitythe author discusses safety concerns of lithium batteries and times where they have failed. “In 2006, a one-in-200,000 breakdown triggered a recall of almost six million lithium-ion packs. Sony, the maker of the lithium-ion cells in question, points out that on rare occasion microscopic metal particles may come into contact with other parts of the battery cell, leading to a short circuit within the cell…” These types of batteries, lithium ions, are the same being used in the detectors in houses today. Non-certified batteries, like the Sony ones, are a concern to many detector makers because they are not the intended battery of use.

The safest home is protected by detectors using fresh, intact, certified batteries that are regularly inspected. According to Arthur Lee’s report for the U.S Consumer Product Safety Commission, detector makers have made many improvements for these devices in recent years. Detectors can now be found with the battery life of up to 10 years. Cable Organized discusses maintenance of detectors to ensure they perform correctly in the worst situations. You must clean all detectors of dust and contaminant build-up at least twice a year. You must also replace all detectors at least every 10 years, and change batteries yearly while testing them monthly. These are all the best ways to prevent any unwanted false alarms, or worse, no detection of a house fire. On the other side of battery-operated detectors are hard-wired detectors. As it should be noted, hard-wired detectors also use batteries, but only as a backup power source. The main source of power, however, uses wires. According to the Electrical Safety Foundation International (ESFI)home electrical fires account for an estimated 51,000 fires each year in the United States.

Electrical distribution systems, including the power source cable into the home, the circuit breaker boxes, and the wires supplying current to all electrical fixtures, are the third leading cause of home structure fires. Therefore, it bears investigating how wired smoke detectors might contribute to a fire catastrophe. An article published by CRM Risk lists many ways wiring can start a fire. Physical damage to wires leading to smoke detectors can cause fire at the device; even correct installations can also become damaged or deteriorate with age; overloaded circuits, especially those mishandled amateur home installers, or that use with large fuses and circuit breakers can result in overheated wires, the breakdown of insulation and eventual short circuits. All are intensified by an overuse of electrical devices, leading to the sad but inevitable conclusion that “more smoke detectors make a home fire more likely.”

Structure fires are already a concern for homeowners and to add to their worries, a safety device that has been known to help may turn into a time bomb. The wrong wiring or a bad battery could possibly turn this safety device into a fiery piece of plastic. People should not need to worry about this device along with the many other things in a home. But you may need to be concerned about even the most object, like a smoke detector.

 

References

BU-304a: Safety Concerns with Li-ion. (2018, January 4). Retrieved February 27, 2018, from http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/safety_concerns_with_li_ion 

Common Causes of Electrical Fires. (2012, December). Retrieved February 27, 2018, from http://cmrris.com/news-manufacturing-details/20/common-causes-of-electrical-fires.html

Home Electrical Fires. (2015, February 4). Retrieved February 27, 2018, from http://www.esfi.org/resource/home-electrical-fires-184

How to Maintain Smoke Alarms. (n.d.). Retrieved April 18, 2018, from Cable Organizer, https://www.cableorganizer.com/articles/smoke-alarm-maintenance.html

Lee, A. (2002, June 28). Preliminary Test Results on Lithium Batteries Used In Resident Smoke Alarms. Retrieved February 27, 2018, from https://www.cpsc.gov/s3fs-public/lithiumfinal.PDF

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