Adrian Butler

Adrian Butler 
Co-founder, World Fire Safety Foundation
Queensland, Australia

Adrian Butler is co-founder of the World Fire Safety Foundation, which has played a significant role in the amendment of the Australian Standard for residential smoke alarms and the work toward having photoelectric smoke alarms mandated for installation in residential premises - work for which Adrian and fellow co-founder Karl Westwell have received commendation from the Commissioner of the New South Wales Fire Brigades.

The World Fire Safety Foundation is a privately funded organization dedicated to providing education materials to the public and helping manufacturers design and market reasonably-priced, yet truly effective, fire prevention, fire detection, fire containment and fire fighting products.

At 19, Adrian was as a professional fire-fighter and represented New Zealand internationally at Olympic weightlifting, breaking records in both the light-heavy and mid-heavyweight divisions.

In his early 20’s he left the Fire Service and moved to London where he worked in one of the UK’s largest insurance brokerages.  There, he discovered that the insurance industry's main product, the 'Whole of Life' type of policy, was “fundamentally flawed.”  Trying to ban Whole of Life policies was his first major campaign.

During a trip around Europe, Adrian climbed the Matterhorn (see below).  This exhilarating achievement gave him the confidence to take on the insurance industry.  He returned to Australia, formed an insurance brokerage and launched his passionate campaign to ban Whole of Life policies.

Butler’s efforts included handing out brochures to customers of major life insurance companies slamming the Insurance Industry for failing to disclose the cost effective and far better alternatives to Whole of Life policies.  In 1986, when Adrian learned about A.L. Williams, a U.S.-based company who were also campaigning for insurance industry reform, he moved with his family to Phoenix, Arizona.

When he returned to New Zealand in 1988, he found that first mortgage interest rates were three times more than in the U.S.  He discovered that by making a small increase in monthly mortgage payments, consumers could save tens of thousands of dollars in interest and pay their homes off in half the time.

Adrian developed a software program which made it easy for consumers to understand the concept of mortgage reduction and his ‘CommonSense Company’ was born.  Common Sense was the first organization in Australia and New Zealand to promote mortgage reduction.

The Banks fought back, but Adrian argued it was in the Banks’ and the customers’ best interest NOT to charge early repayment penalties.  Common Sense won.

From 1989 to 1993 Adrian ran the New Zealand operation of a billion-dollar mulit-national.  In 1994, Adrian, together with a former business colleague, Karl Westwell, founded ‘Maximum Security’, an award-winning, multi-national franchise that sold and installed ionization smoke alarms into thousands of homes throughout New Zealand and Australia.

In 2000, after receiving numerous customer complaints, Adrian investigated and discovered that ionization smoke alarms were “inherently dangerous” and the truth about these alarms had been hidden from the public for over 30 years.  After seeing the award-winning Canadian documentary ‘Silent Alarms’, Adrian & Karl failed to get the public or the Fire Brigades to believe their story and eventually decided to make their own documentary.

‘Stop The Children Burning’ tells of the 30-year campaign to expose ionization smoke alarms.  Years of campaigning paid off when, in June 2006, the Australasian Fire Authorities Council published their ‘Position on Smoke Alarms in Residential Dwellings’ document, fully vindicating the Foundation’s seven years of work.

Since its release in 2006, the Foundation’s free documentary, the ‘Aquarium Test’, has been seen by thousands around the world.  USA Firefighters, after filming their own ‘Aquarium Test’, discovered the truth about ionization alarms and the message is now spreading throughout the USA.

For more information on the World fire Safety Foundation and how you can help the World Fire Safety Foundation, visit: — together, we can Stop the Children Burning.

We are delighted to receive Adrian Butler as a major, and welcome, addition to our team.