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Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the Quake Alarm ?
It is an inexpensive earthquake detector for homes, offices and school classrooms that sounds a loud buzzer as soon as an earthquake begins.
2. How does the Quake Alarm work/operate?
The Quake AlarmTM is a small plastic device that is not much bigger than a thermostat that mounts onto a wall with adhesive velcro strips and it operates off a nine-volt battery. The internal components are made up of a patented reverse pendulum system that is sensitive to "P" waves that precedes an earthquake. This pendulum moves, tripping a switch circuit which sounds the loud buzzer.
3. Which earthquakes does it detect?
The Quake AlarmTM has a sensitivity adjustment whereby it can detect close by 4.0 earthquakes to quakes of 6.0 and above that are hundreds of miles away.
4. You mentioned the "P" wave. What is that and how does the Quake AlarmTM detect them?
Earthquakes produce many waves caused by the plate or rock movements beneath the surface. The two main waves are the "P" compression wave which is the fastest moving wave. The Quake AlarmTM is sensitive enough to detect this wave movement and sound the alarm before the "S" or shear wave hits. This gives you a few seconds to help children or others find a safe place to be, like in the "triangle of life" (see www.amerrescue.org), and the buzzer is loud enough to wake you up.
5. How much faster does a "P" wave travel than an "S" wave?
The United States Geological Survey says an "S" wave travels 1.75 times slower than a "P" wave (about two miles/second versus three miles/second).
6. How do you know the Quake AlarmTM works?
We have been testing the reverse pendulum design for over five years and have test records of actual earthquakes that show that it does, in fact, work. There are a number of units installed right now in homes and schools about Los Angeles which report into us when they sound their alarms, and we tie into actual United States Geological Survey earthquakes they have recorded. Many times our reporters state they did not feel anything, but the Quake AlarmTM sounded its alarm telling us they are detecting the "P" wave.
7. You say the Quake AlarmTM operates off a nine-volt battery. How long do they last?
With intermittent alarming and testing of the units on a regular basis, a nine-volt alkaline battery will last about five years.
8. Where can the Quake AlarmTM be purchased?
9. How much time does the Quake AlarmTM give you before the quake hits?
This all depends upon how far you are from the epicenter of the quake and the magnitude of the quake. Based upon how much faster the "P" wave travels than the "S" wave, it can usually give you a few extra seconds to quickly react. Remember that because the Quake AlarmTM can wake you up, this warning can give you time to tend to other family members which you might not have otherwise. The Quake AlarmTM also saves time by confirming that what you might hear or feel is, in fact, an earthquake, so don't waste time, react.
10. Who is jds Products?
We are a twenty-five year old company that has specialized in the manufacturing of a number of safety products sold throughout the United States. Our other safety products are electrical devices that 1.) Prevent small machines like table saws from automatically restarting after a power interruption, and 2.) An over current circuit breaker molded into a power plug for protection of office task lights and other appliances.
11. Why should people use the Quake AlarmTM ?
Because it wakes you up at night at the start of an earthquake and it confirms that what you might be feeling is, in fact, an earthquake.
ACTUAL QUAKE ALARM ACTIVATION REPORTS
The actual reports of a number of Quake Alarm™ activation records of different earthquakes in California:
Date: January 17, 1994 Time: 4:30 a.m. local Location: Northridge, California
Location of Quake Alarm™ : Fontana, California
Report: The observer was awakened by the Quake Alarm™ and then the quake was felt. The quake continued for approximately ten seconds and then increased in strength for many more seconds. The distance from the earthquake center to the Quake Alarm™ was seventy miles.
Date: February 19, 1995 Time: 4:03 GMT Location: Ten miles west of Crescent City, California
Location of Quake Alarm™ Felton, California (five miles north of Santa Cruz)
Report: The observers did not actually feel the earthquake, but the Quake Alarm™ did detect this event. The distance from the earthquake center to the Quake Alarm™ was 350 miles.
Date: January 7, 1996 Time: 6:32 p.m. local Location: Ten miles northwest of Ridgecrest, California
Location of Quake Alarm™ :Fontana, California
Report: The observer did not feel any ground movement. The Quake Alarm™ chimed for about twenty seconds. The distance from the earthquake center to the Quake Alarm™ was 120 miles.
Date: March 19, 1996 Time: 11:37 p.m. local Location: Northridge, California
Magnitude: 4.1 (Aftershock to the Event #1 earthquake)
Location of Quake Alarm™ :Sunland, California and Fontana, California
Report: The observer in Sunland reported that the Quake Alarm™ chimed and that a moderate earthquake was felt. The observers in Fontana reported that the Quake Alarm™ awakened them, but no earthquake was felt. The distance from the earthquake center to the Quake Alarm™ in Sunland was twenty miles. The distance from the earthquake center to the Quake Alarm™ in Fontana was seventy miles.
Date: May 21, 1996 Time: 1:50 p.m. local Location: Ten miles east of San Jose, California
Location of Quake Alarm™ :Felton, California (five miles north of Santa Cruz)
Report: The observer reported that the Quake Alarm™ sounded its alarm several seconds before the earthquake was felt. The distance from the earthquake center to the Quake Alarm™ was thirty-two miles.
Date: October 16, 1999 Time: 2:46 a.m. local Location: Thirty-two miles north of Joshua Tree, California
Location of Quake Alarm™:Fontana, California
Report: The observers were awakened by the sound of the Quake Alarm™. They both reported that it was a few seconds before they noticed any movement and that the movement was very slight. Within a few seconds the shaking increased and after about ten seconds an abrupt change in intensity occurred which felt about two to three times more powerful. The Quake Alarm™ continued to chime throughout the duration of the earthquake. The distance from the earthquake center to the Quake Alarm™ was eighty-nine miles.
Date: January 11, 2000 Time: 6:19 a.m. Location: Seven miles southeast of Cloverdale, California
Location of Quake Alarm™: San Francisco, California (first floor apartment)
Report: The observers were awakened by their Quake Alarm™. The earthquake was not felt. The distance from the earthquake center to the Quake Alarm™ was approximately 100 miles.
Date: January 13, 2001 Time: 11:33 a.m. Location: Sixty miles southwest of San Miguel, El Salvador
Location of Quake Alarm™: Mexico City, Mexico
Report: The individual reporting the Quake Alarm™ activation data stated that the Quake Alarm™ sounded an alarm a few seconds prior to people noticing the curtains moving or objects falling. This individual also had purchased both the Quake Awake and Quake Alert earthquake detectors and the only detector that detected the earthquake was the Quake Alarm™. The individual stated that the Quake Alarm™ is an excellent tool for detecting earthquakes. The distance from the earthquake center to the Quake Alarm™ was approximately 834 miles.
Date: April 29, 2001 Time: 3:27 p.m. local Location: Approximately twenty miles off the Pacific coast of Mexico
Location of Quake Alarm™: State of Colima Citizens’ Protection Volcano Observatory, Colima, Mexico
Report: Approval was given to the Quake Alarm™ distributor in Mexico by the Office of Citizens’ Protection to install six Quake Alarm™ units in various seismic stations located in the Pacific coast of Jalisco. Following is a report from that distributor:
In the Observatory of the Fire Volcano (Colima Volcano), located at an altitude of more than 4,000 meters above sea level, we had just installed the Quake Alarm™ thirty minutes before the earthquake happened.
In this observatory they have a radio receiver tuned to a special frequency that receives a signal from the Telemetry and Seismic Network of the University of Colima. This receiver generates a continual tone sound and when the pitch level change indicates the occurrence of a seismic event. They use this system to monitor the Fire Volcano and the seismic events along the Pacific coast of Jalisco and Colima.
At 3:27 p.m., the radio receiver generated a pitch change indicating that the Telemetry Net of the University of Colima was getting an earthquake reading from the seismographs placed along the Pacific coasts of Colima. An officer from the observatory stated that the Quake Alarm™ triggered its alarm sound about one second after the radio receiver had picked up the earthquake signal. The officer called the other seismic stations; one located in Ciudad Guzman, Jalisco, some 20 km away from our location, reported that their Quake Alarms™ had activated too. In the Cihuatlan Base, located about 290 km from ours, they also confirmed that their Quake Alarm™ triggered its alarm sound. They also reported to us that they had received a lot of telephone calls from Quake Alarm™ users confirming their Quake Alarms™ had gone on. We received Quake Alarm™ activation confirmation from the Municipal Presidencies of Autlan de Navarro, La Huerta, and Villa Purification in Jalisco—all within Federal buildings.
All this was videotaped live inside the Citizens’ Protection Observatory at the moment the quake occurred, a copy of which was shown to the Office of Citizens’ Protection and made an evidence of its Performance and Accuracy.
After the seismic event detected by the Quake Alarms™ the Municipal President of Villa Purificacion made the decision to purchase eight Quake Alarms™ units to dontate them to Public Schools in the State.
The Hotel Nautico Melaque Jalisco has eight Quake Alarms™ installed and this earthquake triggered all of them, as reported to the Cihuatlan Citizens’ Protection Base. We also have Quake Alarm™ activation confirmation from fifteen individual users in the area of Melaque Jalisco, and Barra de Navidad, Jalisco, and from the director of a Kindergarten in San Patricio, Jalisco.