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What is a Photoelectric Smoke Detector

By HopeCharlotte |

Photoelectric smoke alarms are very useful and appreciated smoke detectors in both homes and offices now. The technology is new and one may have doubts about its functions and performance. Don’t worry. Here in this blog, you will get quick information on Photoelectric smoke alarms and how they work. You will also get to know what type of fire alarm is best for your safety. So let’s start. 

What is Photoelectric Smoke Detector?

Photoelectric smoke alarms are generally a smoke alarm with light-sensitive sensors in it that can detect smoldering fire very quickly. A Photoelectric smoke alarm rings whenever smoke particles

How Do Photoelectric Smoke Detector Work?

A photoelectric smoke detector is known for its use of light to give signal of fire detection. The alarm has a chamber for light sensor inside it. This chamber has an LED light that shoots a beam of light in a straight line across the chamber. And if somehow smoke enters that chamber, it comes in the path of the straight line of the LED light and deflects it. When the straight LED light shifts its path, as deflected by the smoke, it enters into a photosensor in a different compartment of the same chamber. Thus whenever the LED light beam hits the photosensor, the alarm starts sounding.    

Photoelectric Smoke Detector VS Ionization Smoke Detector

What is the difference between ionization and photoelectric smoke alarms?

Photoelectric smoke alarms are still very uncommon for people. A Photoelectric smoke alarm is smarter and quicker to detect smoldering fires than Ionization smoke alarms. In the sensing chamber of a Photoelectric smoke alarm, there is a light-emitting diode and a light-sensitive sensor. The straight line of the LED light beam gets scattered by even a little presence of suspended smoke particles. Then these scattered lights are detected by the photosensor and the alarm begins to sound.

The Ionization smoke alarm is a more general kind of smoke alarm for people. It is good at discovering flaming or quick in motion fires. An Ionization smoke alarm ionizes the air in its internal sensing chamber by using a tiny bit of the radioactive material. This ionize air thus becomes a good conductor of current and allows the current will move among the two fully charged electrodes inside the chamber. But if smoke particles get into the chamber it decreases the conductivity of the air inside which is also ionized. And when this decrease in conductivity goes below the previously set parameters, then the alarm sounds.  

photoelectric and ionization smoke alarm

Are Photoelectric Smoke Detectors Better?

Both of these fire alarms use different techniques and are strong in their particular area. But choosing any one of them for performing both duties can be critical and even fatal for your life. There can be a smoldering fire. There can be a large number of flaming fires in a home fire outbreak. It can happen in broad daylight or at night. You cannot decide the time or type of fire. Thus whatever smoke alarm technology you are using must have its excellence in predicting both types of fire perfectly. Only this can make you aware of a fire in its early stage and save your life even if you are awake or asleep. 

Thus for more secured protection, you should use both kinds of smoke alarm technologies in your home. The suggestion is to use or combine both the Photoelectric and Ionization system of smoke alarms in your home. Instead of using individual photoelectric type of smoke alarms and Ionization type of smoke alarms you can choose combination alarms. A combination alarm uses both the technologies in a single device. So a combination alarm can both detect smoldering fire and flaming fire. 

Should you have a Photoelectric Smoke Detector?

Yes, you should have a Photoelectric smoke alarm in your home for yours and your family's safety. As you know the Ionization smoke alarms are capable of detecting flaming fires well whereas the Photoelectric smoke alarms has the ability to detect smoldering fires, thus choosing only one is not perfect. For perfect and complete security thus you should have both types of fire alarms throughout your home.  

The X-sense Photoelectric Smoke Detector

In terms of your fire safety needs, you can completely trust on X-Sense Photoelectric smoke detectors. The X-sense smoke alarm is a photoelectric sensor and it is one of the best photoelectric smoke detectors in the market. This is because it combines different features in it. To start with, it has both the sensors (electrochemical and photoelectric) in it. So it can detect both the smoldering fires and Carbon Monoxide with perfection. Though it is not as good as the dual-sensor type fire alarms yet it can also detect fast flaming fires along with smoldering fires. It has a battery with up to 10 years of longevity. It has some features like low battery alert alarm, LCD screen, LED detector lights, and a test button. You can also connect it to an autodialer in your security system. Thus it will send alert to your smartphone immediately if a fire occurs.

X-Sense XS01-WR Wireless Smoke Detector
  • Wireless technology uses radio frequency to transmit messages.
  • One alarm goes off, the rest of interconnected alarms will alert as well.
  • 5-year replaceable battery and 10-year sensor life.
  • Advanced photoelectric sensor more is sensitive and reduces false alarms.
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