We all know that smoke detectors are an essential part of our home safety and security system—even if motion detecting cameras and infrared sensors aren’t standard in your home, I will bet that you have one smoke detector in every room of the house. Am I right? There are essentially two types of smoke detectors—a photoelectric detector and an ionization detector. A photoelectric smoke detector senses the presence of smoke in a room by optical detection rather than a physical process (as in the case of ionization detectors).
An optical smoke detector uses a light sensor to collimate a light into a beam that then passes in front of the detector. In the absence of smoke, this beam passes in a straight line. When smoke enters the chamber, the beam is scattered by the smoke and is directed at the sensor. This causes the sensor (and thus the alarm) to go off. It’s generally agreed that photoelectric smoke detection is more response to gives that begin with a period of smoldering but react more slowly to rapidly growing fires. Because of this, many experts recommend installing a “combination alarm” or one that can detect both heat and smoke or that uses both ionization and photoelectric processes.
At Allied Home and Security, we recommend that you install a combination alarm in every room of your home and that you check (and replace) batteries every six months. This ensures that in the case of a real fire with real danger to your family you will be ready. Do you have a combination smoke alarm in your home?