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How Smoke Detector Work

By WenSue |

Smoke detector is a necessary fire alarms device for your home safety to pretect your family safe. To Know about these two types of smoke fire alarms: photoelectric and ionization smoke detectors. Learn how a smoke detector work. Choose the best smoke fire alarms for your home safty system.  

1. What is Photoelectric Smoke Detector?

Smoke detectors are essential for securing your life and also your property or important things like house, office, etc. Thus, it is crucial to select a smoke detector carefully. As we discussed earlier, one of the two types of smoke detectors is Photoelectric smoke alarms. These detectors are also known as optical smoke alarms. These photoelectric smoke alarms react much better to smoldering fires, as compared to any other smoke alarm. Photoelectric smoke alarms are made up of photoelectric sensors. These sensors, in addition to the light source, work as a smoke alarm. If smoke crosses the light source path, light rays are scattered by smoke particles. These rays then hit the photoelectric sensor, and it triggers the alarm.

2. How Photoelectric Smoke Detectors Work?

A photoelectric smoke detector is one of the best smoke detectors in the market. How does it work is a frequently asked question? Thus, here we are going to discuss its working principle in detail.

  • Photoelectric smoke detectors work based on a photoelectric sensor and a light path as the source. When a fire breaks out, smoke enters the device through the opening vent. Inside this vent is an optical chamber. This chamber is protected with a screen. Why is this chamber protected with a screen inside the vent? The answer is quite astonishing and straightforward. This screen is, in fact, a protected screen, which stops insects from getting inside and causing false alarming.
  • As the smoke enters this optical chamber, it hits the light path (used as the source), which causes the infrared light to be scattered. These scattered particles fall onto the photodiode light receptor.
  • As the light hits the photodiode light receptor, a signal is sent to the IC (integrated circuit), which causes the alarm to sound and alert the people about the danger.

3. What is the Ionization Smoke Detector?

As the name indicates, such sensors have to do with ionization. There is a small amount of radioactive material in ionization smoke detectors. Also, there are two electrically charged plates between which this radioactive material passes. This movement of radioactive material between two electrically charged plates creates an ionization chamber. This ionizes the air and current flows between these plates. If there is a fire somewhere and smoke enters this space, it disturbs the ionization process by absorbing alpha particles. As a result, the current is reduced, which activates the alarm. These detectors are more responsive to raging fires and flames. 

4. How Ionization Smoke Detectors Work

To elaborate the process a bit more, let me tell you that ionization smoke detectors work as follows:

  • Wires extend from the positive and negative ends of the battery. These wires connect to two electrodes in the detector.
  • As these electrodes are connected to both the positive and negative ends of the cell, it completes a circuit. Americium-21 is the radioactive material that passes between the electrodes and transforms the air molecules into positive and negative ions.
  • These charged ions complete a circuit and current flows. As a result, the smoke detector works according to its intended procedure.
  • During a fire, smoke enters the detector. It disturbs the ionization process, circuit breaks, and the alarm sounds.

5. Photoelectric or Ionization

The type of smoke depends on its fire. For instance, smoldering fires produce a different kind of smoke than flaming fires. Moreover, both smoke alarms, photoelectric or ionization, detect the smoke from either a blazing fire or a smoldering fire. According to the US National Institute of Standards and Technology, photoelectric smoke alarms are more responsive to smoldering fires, whereas ionization smoke alarms are more responsive to flaming fires. As it is better to detect and extinguish fire earlier, we recommend you to get Photoelectric smoke alarms because it can detect smoke before the light gets enraged and are less prone to false alarms such as from burnt food. 

You need to adapt to the new technology and make full use of the latest advancements. This will make your life easier, and you will be able to enjoy the automated lifestyles to the fullest. In addition to this, you will get to live a life secured. You are in a position to face any accident or mishap as a result of the smoke or fire. So, what are you waiting for? Grab your favorite device today, and enjoy the ultimate convenience and security of smoke detectors. Stay safe, and lead a happy life with your loved ones.