Depending upon the smoke-sensing technology, there are two main types of smoke alarms. They are called ionisation smoke alarms and photoelectric smoke sensors. Their reaction to a fire is different.
Ionisation Smoke Alarms:
When a lot of tiny particles enter the ionisation chamber, they are detected if they are in the required quantity and the alarm sound will go off. The number of required amount will be produced only if there’s sufficient quantity of particles, which is mostly produced by fires such as burning of paper in the dustbin or starting of a grease fire in the kitchen leading to an extremely hot surface.
Some fires start from the smouldering embers but don’t produce a lot of smoke, which might not be enough for the smoke alarm to buzz. These types of smoke alarms tend to create a nuisance by giving false alarms because of cooking activities such as grills, barbeques, toasters, and candles and so, should not be installed in or around your kitchen.
Photoelectric Smoke Alarms:
DFES recommends photoelectric smoke alarms. They come with a chamber with a light source. When smoke enters this light chamber, it scatters recreating the scene of how a beam of the sunlight highlights the dust in the air.
This technology is sensitive to the large particles being produced by the embers or smoulders. The sources of these fires can include the synthetic materials in the home or poorly maintained electrical appliances or overloading power boards.
Since most of the fires in the residential dwellings produce a lot of visible smoke, it is recommended to use photoelectric smoke alarms. It is a superior technology because it provides early detection in case of domestic fires.
Make sure to get your smoke alarms checked with our licensed Perth electricians because only working smoke alarms save lives.
Smoke Alarm Safety Checklist:
- Opt for Photoelectric Smoke Alarms for bedrooms where people sleep and the walkways (travel paths, alleys) to these sleeping places because it is safer.
- Every 10 years, replace your smoke alarms. Get a new, branded, and safe smoke alarm that complies with the Australian Standard 3786.
- Install smoke alarms at every level, such as car parking, laundry, storage, or houses, in a multi-story building.
- When a multi-story building doesn’t have bedrooms, the smoke alarms should be installed in stairways.
- Maintain your smoke alarms regularly. Check it every month by pressing the button till the alarm rings.
- Vacuum the smoke alarms with a soft brush to get rid of dust and cobwebs.