We all know how important smoke detectors are, but do you know which type of detector you have? There are two main types of smoke detectors, and they each detect smoke and fire differently. In addition to testing your smoke detectors and changing the batteries a few times a year, take the time to learn about your smoke detector by reading our blog.
Ionization Smoke Detector
An ionization smoke detector uses ions, or electrically charged particles, to help detect smoke in the air. This type of alarm is generally more responsive to a flaming fire, according to the NFPA. An example of a flaming fire would include a house fire that started when a candle ignites a curtain.
Photoelectric Smoke Detector
The other type of smoke detector is a photoelectric detector, which actually uses a light beam to detect smoke. While ionization detectors are more effective for flaming fires, photoelectric detectors are better for alerting people of smoldering sources. For instance, when a lit cigarette falls into a couch cushion, the smoldering fire could fill the home with dangerous gases before a fire even starts. While the ionization detector may not alert people in time, a photoelectric detector will detect the smoke.
Which Type Is Better For Your Home?
Both types of smoke detectors are designed to detect house fires, but as mentioned above, the different technology allows each type to offer earlier warnings, depending on the origin of the fire. However, there’s no way to know which type of fire you’ll need more protection against. For this reason, the NFPA suggests that homeowners stay as safe as possible by having both types of smoke detectors in the home.
If you are unaware which type of smoke detector you have in your home, now is the time to check. You can do so by taking the smoke alarm down and look at the back for either “Photoelectric” or “Ionization,” or a symbol with the letter “P” or “I” on the back. Once you figure out which type you own, purchase the other type and install one next to each unit. If possible, another great option is to replace your current smoke detectors with upgraded dual-sensor devices, which combine both ionization and photoelectric technologies in a single unit!
Fire Prevention and Protection Services from Fireline
Whether you need smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, or an automatic sprinkler system installed at your rental property, Fireline has you covered. We have been protecting people and properties from fire damage since 1947—and our experience shows in our excellent work! We are known for our wonderful customer service, our expertise, and our reliability. For more information on how we can help your residential or commercial property, visit us online or give us a call at (800) 553-3405. For more fire safety tips, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.