How Do Smoke Detectors Work?

Smoke Detection Smoke detectors can save lives in the event of a fire. When a fire starts and smoke begins to billow through a home or business, a smoke detector will go off and let everyone inside of the building know that they have to get out quickly. Smoke detectors are very loud and designed to alert people to the presence of a fire. It’s why you need to have one installed in your home or business at all times and test and maintain it so that you know it is working properly.

Ionization Smoke Detector

It’s also why you should take the time to get to know how a smoke detector works. There are actually two kinds of smoke detectors found in most homes and businesses. The first is an ionization smoke detector that relies on an ionization chamber that features two plates and ionizing radiation found inside of it. The battery in the smoke detector provides voltage to the plates, with one plate being positive and the other being negative. The radiation emits alpha particles that ionize in the chamber and create electrons that move in the direction of the negative plate and result in a current. If this current is disrupted by the presence of smoke, the detector will go off and let you know that a fire may have started in your home or business.

Photoelectric Detector

The second kind of smoke detector is a photoelectric detector. It contains a diode that sends a constant stream of light across the chamber in the detector. If smoke enters the detector, the light will hit it, scramble, and come in contact with a photocell in the chamber that is capable of detecting light. That photocell will then trigger the smoke detector’s alarm to let everyone in the area know that there is smoke inside of a home or business. These detectors are not quite as sensitive as ionization detectors, but they are still effective when it comes to detecting smoke and fires.

Regardless of which type of smoke detector you choose for your home or business, you should make sure you test it regularly and repair or replace it as needed. Life Safety Consultants can help you choose the best smoke detectors for your situation and do any maintenance that you need done on them. Call us at 888-557-0558 today to learn more about the smoke detectors we can provide for you.

Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)