Home Improvement

How to choose a smoke detector for your home

17 May , 2021  

Smoke detectors have become an invisible part of our lives for many years now. Protecting our family and homes from the incredible damage fire can cause, both to properties and people’s lives. 

But how do you know which one to choose? Most houses already have their smoke detectors and if you’re renting, you rarely have to think about it. But what if you’re just building your house or flat? How to make the correct choice so it doesn’t cost you your life? Fire safety experts recommend that every house should have at least one smoke detector installed on each level of the house including the basement and attic floors. 

It’s truly an important choice to make, so to ease the process, we’ve created this article to help you out. We have talked about why every home needs one installed for its occupants’ peace of mind and convenience. Let’s proceed to the two basic types of passive smoke detectors and how they function.

Photoelectric Smoke Detector Type (Optical)

Many people do not know how photoelectric smoke detectors work. This can be a big safety hazard, as many people rely on these devices to detect the presence of smoke and fire in their homes. Photoelectric smoke alarms are a type of detector that is used to detect the presence of smoke in an area. This type of alarm works by using light beams, and when the beams are interrupted by smoke particles, they trigger an alarm. 

The following is a brief explanation about how they work:

  • Photoelectric Smoke Detectors have a light beam that shines across the room when it is turned on.
  • When smoke enters the room, it will get caught by this light beam and break up into particles which create more light energy than regular air molecules do.
  • The detector then reacts with an alarm or sound alerting you to its presence so you can take action.

Photoelectric Smoke Detectors are especially good at detecting fast-spreading fires because they are able to detect these types of fires sooner than other types of alarms which only measure temperature or pressure changes in the air.

Ionisation Smoke Detector Type (Physical Process)

The ionization smoke detector is one of the most popular types on the market. They are so popular because they have a very low false alarm rate and an excellent sensitivity to small quantities of smoke. This makes them ideal for homes with pets (who can set off more sensitive detectors) or any home that has a lot of cooking done in it.

Ionisation Smoke Detectors work by using two electrodes on either side of the chamber, which releases ions when heated by a fire. These ions react with particles in the air and create current flow, which causes an alarm to sound at its loudest setting until it is reset manually or automatically after 15 minutes if there is no fire present.


Ionization smoke detectors work by using an electric charge to create ions, which react with the oxygen particles in the air and produce a small amount of electricity. Photoelectric detectors use beams of light that bounce off particles in the air to detect smoke.

With two different types of detectors that have their own advantages and disadvantages, it can be difficult to pick just one. Ionization Smoke Detectors are more expensive but they provide a higher level of protection. Photoelectric Smoke Detectors are cheaper but not as high quality. Typically, ionization detectors should go in areas where there is little or no natural light such as hallways and bedrooms while photoelectric ones should go in kitchens and other rooms with lots of natural light due to being less sensitive than ionization models.

If you’re still wondering, we recommend that you contact an expert to help you out. The safety of your home and family is not something that should be left to chance.

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