What Are The Different Types of Smoke Detector & Smoke Alarm

House fires are one of the most common and detrimental types of fires that can occur. Without a fire alarm to provide an alert, they can cause irreparable damage and even fatality.

Many house fires are easily preventable with an investment in a smoke detector. Most smoke and fire alarms have sirens that are loud enough to alert an entire household. Having fire alarms in more than one room decreases the likelihood of fatality, injury, and property damage.

Smoke detectors provide 24-hour prevention of fire damage. All houses, apartments, and mobile homes should have at least 1 working alarm. Without a properly installed and maintained smoke and fire alarm, any building is at a higher risk.

The purpose of a smoke alarm is to alert the property so that aid can arrive before the fire can cause permanent damage. A prevented fire preserves the property’s condition and avoids any unnecessary financial situations.

What type of smoke detector should I get?

All smoke detectors provide protection, but the type of protection depends on the type of alarm you purchase.

Various types of smoke and fire alarms are on the market, with several types of sensors available. Sensor types include an ionic smoke detector, a photoelectric smoke detector, and even a combination of the two. The type of smoke and fire alarm needed depends on the type of fire you are looking to protect against.

The ionic sensor works by ionizing the air and causing a current to flow between the sensor’s plates. When any type of smoke enters the chamber, it disrupts the current, causing the alarm to go off. The ionic sensors respond quickest to fast flaming fires that can rapidly damage the property.

The photoelectric sensor works by reflecting a light into the chamber, opposite of the sensor. If any smoke enters the chamber, it reflects the light back at the sensor, causing the alarm to sound. Photoelectric smoke alarms provide maximum prevention against slow smoldering fires.

Since it is hard to predict what type of fire may occur, the best protection is a dual sensor smoke detector. A dual sensor effectively detects all fires regardless of their burn rate.

Proper Installation Is Key

Other than sensor type, another important factor is how many smoke detectors you install. One smoke alarm may not provide a quick and effective response to a fire, as a fire can happen anywhere in a building. If the fire occurred on the ground floor, having the only smoke alarm on the second floor would give a delayed response.

Many smoke detectors, including the IoPhic smoke and fire alarm, can interconnect with other detectors. Having interconnected smoke detectors spread out in your home ensures maximum security. When one alarm goes off in the interconnected system, all the smoke alarms will sound. This gives optimum time to evacuate and prevent damage.

Interconnecting Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarms

Smoke alarms can also interconnect with other types of alarms, including carbon monoxide alarms. Carbon monoxide alarms are also crucial to the safety of those who are on the premises. CO alarms detect the presence of the toxic gas carbon monoxide (CO).

CO gas is extremely hazardous and can be fatal with prolonged exposure. Children and pets would be the first to show the symptoms of CO exposure if it occurs. Symptoms can include flu-like symptoms, confusion, fast heart rate, unconsciousness, convulsions, and even death. CO gas can emit from household appliances, cars, and fireplaces.

Similar to how some smoke detectors have dual sensors, there are CO alarms that also serve more than one purpose. Combo smoke and CO alarms also alert against dangerous levels of natural gas, or methane.

Methane is an energy source that emits from stoves, heaters, and water heaters. Like carbon monoxide, natural gas is odorless and colorless. If a natural gas leak does occur, there is a risk of explosion or fire.

The USI carbon monoxide and natural gas alarm can detect hazardous levels of both methane and CO. Interconnected systems provide the quickest and most effective protection against fire, CO, and methane.

Backup Battery: Provides Protection Even in Power Outage

Another factor to consider when purchasing any of these alarms is how the alarm operates. Detection alarms can be battery operated, wired in, or plugged in.

The most protective alarms have direct wiring or are plug-in, but also have a backup battery. The backup battery ensures that even during a power outage, the device will still work. Most battery powered alarms have a backup battery and audible low-battery alerts. This feature allows the alarms to provide maximum protection even through power outages.

Universal Security Instruments Provides Products for all of Your Safety Needs

Regardless of the type of alarm you are looking for, USI has a wide selection of all devices. They offer devices with fire and smoke, carbon monoxide, or dual sensing detection. USI electric smoke detectors have universal smoke sensing technology that allows them to immediately detect and warn against fires.

Browse USI's selection of smoke alarms and CO alarms at HomElectrical and get protection for your home today!

Recommended Reading

Your smoke detector chirping could indicate a fire or smoke, but it could also indicate a low battery or dirt, dust, and debris inside causing a malfunction. Find out ways to troubleshoot your smoke detector and when to determine it's time for a new one.

Follow the owner’s manual instruction provided with any detection device, but, in general, you should perform a functional test of the smoke detector around the same time you maintenance elevators or windows. Find out ways to test smoke detectors in commercial buildings and how often to get them serviced!

Smoke alarms warn in the presence of smoke, whether it comes from a slow burning fire or a fast burning fire. Make sure you get the correct type of smoke alarm that meets county and state codes.

Prevent smoke alarm failure when you purchase a sealed battery smoke detector. Read our guide to learn about the different types of alarms and find the one that will best protect you.

Wattson Lumen
Wattson Lumen

As a Georgia-born, amped up electrical supplies enthusiast, international Popstar, and unqualified lifequard, Wattson prefers to lighten your day with humor and led lights (Just don't ask him to jump in if you're drowning).

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