All About Smoke Detectors

Increasing home safety is the primary objective of having a smoke alarm installed in the kitchen, halls and in the bedrooms. This vital safety device is capable of giving warnings in time to enable you to take emergency action in the event of a fire. Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detector devices are really easy to install, non-obtrusive, inexpensive and require very little maintenance.

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Smoke Alarm Types

There are three types of smoke alarms on the UK market today, one is the ionization which is the least expensive. Then there is the more expensive photoelectric or optical unit and you can also buy a combined unit.

In ionization smoke detection systems, there is a presence of a radioactive source inside the dual detection chamber. This radioactive source such as americium-241 detects smoke particulates and automatically the detector sounds its alarm.

Smoke particulates are usually products of combustion such as carbon monoxide if the combustion is incomplete and carbon dioxide if the combustion is complete. These invisible by-products of combustion cause the ionization system to respond by sensing the change in the electrical resistance across the detection chamber. When a sufficient amount of combustibles fills the chamber it triggers the alarm.

One advantage of using the photoelectric unit is that it is considerably sensitive to even the lightest smoke and is invisible to the human eye.

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