How do Photoelectric and Ionization Smoke Detectors Work?

Smoke detectors or sometimes called the fire alarm, actually have an official name, Smoke alarm. They are one of the most amazing and useful inventions. They are very popular in the present market and due to their vast production; they do not even cost you high. You will be able to buy one for a very low price. Whether it is a commercial building or a house, many lives were saved due to the invention of this magical device.

The installation process of a fire alarm is also very simple. You usually attack or fix them to your ceiling. You should fix them to the ceiling because, whether it is a small amount or a huge amount of smoke, the first place they reach is your ceiling. A smoke detector comes with two important parts – one of them is the smoke detector sensor, and the other is a loud sound. There are two types of smoke detectors widely used at present – Photoelectric smoke detector and Ionization smoke detector. Both the smoke detectors do the same job but in a slightly different manner. When you can understand the working of a smoke detector, you will be able to understand their difference as well.

Working of Photoelectric Smoke Detector:

Photoelectric smoke detector working is similar to the photo beam detectors in the shopping malls. There is light on one side of the detector and a sensor on the other side. As long the sensor is sensing the light, everything is normal, and nothing will happen. But when someone passes through, there is an obstacle for the light beam, and that is when the alarm makes a sound. Here, in a smoke detector circuit, the sensor is placed in a quite different style. They are not faced with each other. Rather the sensor and light source is placed at a 90 degrees angle from each other. When there is smoke, it scatters the light that is passing straight. A small amount of light will then reach the photosensor, which is when the alarm is set. These Photoelectric smoke detectors are very good at detecting the smoke at a very early stage, which means the loss will be less.  

Working of Ionization Smoke Detector:

Ionization smoke detectors are one of the oldest smoke detectors in the present market. They are available at a very low price, which is one of the major factors that make them more popular. The working of a smoke detector is very simple. If you can ever check the smoke detector’s circuit diagram, it makes it easy for you to understand the working in a better way. In this smoke detecting system, two plates are electrically charged. This smoke detector has radioactive material in very small quantity, and that passes between these two places. That makes it an ionization chamber. This, in turn, will ionize the air, which establishes a current flow between these two electrically charged plates. When there is any smoke, it gets absorbed into this chamber, and that ionization process gets disturbed due to the smoke’s alpha particle. The current flow between the plates is then reduced, and that triggers the alarm. So, this is how smoke detector works.

Now that we are clearing about the working of the smoke detectors, you should now think about the smoke detector installation. Many people are not sure whether they should opt for an Ionization smoke detector or a photoelectric smoke detector. Both of them serve the same purpose but react to the smoke of different kinds of smoke levels. When you are looking for saving lives at a fire accident, you should always try to combine the technology of both. Yes, one reacts fast to flaming fires, while the other is best for smoldering fires. You can never predict any fire accident or what kind of smoke is going to strike the detectors. So, having both of them installed can help you save a lot of loves.

Especially if you are looking for the best smoke detecting system for your commercial buildings, then you should have both. But if you are still not sure which one is going to be the perfect choice for you, then you will have to get advice from the experts. They will be able to access the risks and the best possible solution based on your building plan. With both types of alarms or detectors, you will be able to get the signal or alarm, irrespective of the time, smoke, and whether there are people around or no one around. They are very less expensive, and their price is nothing when compared to the lives of your loved ones. So, it is good to have both as most of the governments approve both types of smoke detectors. It is now your call to make the right choice.

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