Types Of Smoke Detectors And How They Work

fire detectors

3 Types Of Smoke Detectors and Their Differences:

In this post, we will discuss the three different types of smoke detectors and their pros and cons. The two most common types of smoke alarms are photoelectric smoke alarms and ionization smoke detectors. The third type of smoke alarm is a hybrid detector that is commonly called a “dual” detector. Let’s take a closer look at each type of detector to help determine the best protection for you and your family when it comes to fires.

What Is A Photoelectric Smoke Detector?

The photoelectric smoke detector makes use of a light beam that helps detect the first signs of smoke in the home. This smoke detector is best known for detecting smoke from a smouldering source. This could be a lit cigarette or a short-circuited wire from a piece of electrical equipment in the home that may be placed on upholstered furniture. Another great example of a smouldering fire would be overheated Christmas lights that are hung on a dry Christmas tree.

How Many Photoelectric Smoke Alarms Should Be In The Home?

The New Zealand Fire Service recommends at the very least having one smoke detector on every level of the home. They also highly recommend having a smoke detector outside of every room that is slept in. All smoke detectors should be tested once a month by pressing the “test” button. If the button doesn’t sound you should replace the detector immediately.

What Is An Ionization Smoke Alarm?

An ionization smoke detector is an alarm that has two electrically charged plates on the inside of its housing. They also contain a small amount of radioactive material. Together these cause current to flow through and cause the air to ionize. When smoke flows through them it disrupts the flow of ions and triggers the alarm. These alarms are great for detecting smoke in the home.

If you’ve ever burned something while cooking and produced a large amount of smoke that tripped your smoke alarm you probably had an ionization smoke detector that went off.

What Is A Dual Smoke Detector?

Dual smoke alarms have the technology of both ionization smoke alarms as well as photoelectric alarms. These are considered the best protection possible because you cover smouldering fires as well as flaming fires that could take place in the home. These also prevent you from having to have two different types of smoke detectors placed throughout the home.

Ionization Smoke Detector Vs. Photoelectric Smoke Alarms

The truth of the matter is that both types of smoke alarms are necessary for the home. You want to have ionization detectors to detect smoke in the home. These are especially useful while the household is asleep. Photoelectric smoke detectors are especially useful if the home is smoked in or has a lot of electrical appliances that could overheat and cause smouldering fires. It is recommended to have both types of detectors throughout the home. This is one of the reasons why “dual” smoke detectors are so popular nowadays to cover all your bases when it comes to possible different types of fires starting inside the house.

In Conclusion

Fire detectors are extremely important to have in the home. Smoke alarms save lives every single day. It’s important to always remember to check your alarms at least once a month. You may need to change batteries or replace faulty alarms. A good thing to note is that alarms are usually good for around ten years. This means replacing an entire smoke detector is usually pretty seldom. We hope that this post has helped distinguish the difference between ionization and photoelectric smoke alarms. Remember that the best protection is either using a combination of alarms or making use of “dual” detectors. We wish you all the best in your home safety.