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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Fire Safety: Understanding the Main Types of Smoke Detectors

11/4/2021 (Permalink)

Photoelectric smoke detector A photoelectric smoke detector may be best known for its accuracy and durability.

Types of Smoke Alarms

A smoke alarm sounds like a simple enough purchase, but when you get to the store, you are confronted with several models and terms like photoelectric, ionization and dual sensor. What does any of that mean? Well, keep reading to find out.

1. Photoelectric Alarms

A photoelectric smoke detector may be best known for its accuracy and durability. These alarms utilize a small strobe light within the housing, and when smoke enters the covering, the light is reflected toward an internal sensor that triggers the alarm. These detectors have less false alarms than ionization models because the deflection requires larger smoke particles, like those created in electrical or other common house fires.

2. Ionization Alarms

An ionization smoke alarm works by electrifying the air that enters the chamber, and when smoke enters the housing, the current is interrupted causing the alarm to sound. Unfortunately, these alarms are triggered by smaller smoke particles, meaning that false alarms do occur, especially in areas like kitchens.

3. Dual-Sensor Alarms

A dual-sensor alarm is precisely as it sounds, it is a combination of both the photoelectric and ionization alarms, making it one of the best devices for smoke detection. Unfortunately, the increased performance also comes with an increased priced tag.

4. Beyond Alarms

Many consider fire safety a significant part of home and family safety, but it goes beyond the purchase of smoke detectors. A safety plan should include evacuation routes and regular family safety meetings. Additionally, it doesn’t hurt to hire a company in Bellair, FL, that specializes in emergency planning to help you prepare for a worst-case scenario.

While it seems like a simple tool, every smoke alarm has specifications that make it useful for only certain types of situations. A photoelectric alarm is best suited for dense, slow-burning fires while an ionization alarm is designed for quicker moving fires, like grease and paper. A dual-sensor alarm may be your best choice of alarm, but the price is more. No matter your decision, just know that preparation and detection can be critical to your safety.

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