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What is an Ionization Smoke Alarm

By HopeCharlotte |

Ionization smoke alarm detectors are cheap and they can detect minute amounts of smoke particles in the air. For these very reasons, they are very popular and commonly used in different homes. They make use of ionization radiations and an ionization chamber in smoke detection.

In such detectors, is a radioactive element known as americium-241. It releases little to negligible amounts of radiation that have been proven harmless to human beings. It is therefore, safe to use in homes without the fear of being affected by radiation.

It uses the electron deflection mechanism to trigger alarms. Due to its capability to detect minute smoke particles in the air, it is considered a better smoke alarm in comparison to others.

What is an Ionization Smoke Alarm?

The two main types of smoke of detectors that can be used in homes are the ionization and photoelectric smoke detector alarms. For one to make the best choice of the most suitable alarm for their house they should be able to differentiate one from the other.

In accordance with the NFPA, about 96 percent of people in the US understand the difference between smoke alarms and their purposes. Most households over 90% use ionization smoke alarm detectors.  Below are some of the possible reasons and benefits for the wide use of such detectors.

Ionization smoke detectors respond more efficiently to fast flaming fires.  Such fires produce little amounts of smoke and pronounced flames. Examples of such fires emanate from wood, flammable liquids and burning papers. Most house fires are the fast flaming type hence the popular use of ionization smoke detectors. It is recommended to have both types of smoke alarms installed in your home or invest in the dual-type with both sensors for enhanced safety.

How do Ionization Smoke Detectors Work?

The chamber characteristic in ionization detectors is what differentiates it from photoelectric detectors. In the chamber, there are 2 plates and between them is a known amount of voltage. When smoke particles enter the chamber they knock electrons out of place, this in return causes ionization which triggers the alarm.

What is Better Ionization or Photoelectric Smoke Detector

Ionization smoke detector alarms will respond relatively fast to smoke emanating from fast flaming fires compare to photoelectric detectors. On the other hand, the later will respond faster to smoldering fires compared to the former.

Ionization alarms have a single chamber without compartments and they use electrons to trigger the alarm while photoelectric detectors have one chamber with two compartments and it uses beams of light and a photosensor to trigger an alarm in case of fire.

Conclusively ionization detectors may be popular because they are cost-effective and can detect minute amounts of smoke particles in the air. For this very reason, they are bound to trigger false alarms. We therefore, recommend investing in photoelectric smoke detectors especially the X-sense smoke alarm type whose features are unmatched and cannot be compared to those of ionization detectors. One of the major features being they are less likely to trigger false alarms.