4 Most Common Types of Smoke Alarms


Smoke alarms or detectors are the devices that sense smoke and that will instantly alarm you by using a high-frequency sound. These units have been used all over the world for more than a few decades, and it is said that they’ve saved the lives of millions of people. In the past, they were used only in large corporations, factories, and hotels, but now they are a part of millions of households all around the world. The scary statistic shows that about 60 percent of the deaths that happen because of fire were in households that did not have an alarm system, and nowadays, everyone wants to make sure that their family is protected, even in the middle of the night.

If you are thinking about investing in this type of security system, you are making the right choice! But deciding to install these devices in your home or business place is just the first step, as there are a lot of different types of these devices available on the market. In this article, we are going to list some of the most common types of smoke detectors, and we will help you learn what they are used for. Depending on your preferences, budget, and size of your place, you should choose the type that best fits your situation.

1. Ionization


This one is the most affordable device on the market, but it is also said that is the one the works the best in case there is a fire in your home. The way they function is that there are small particles of radioactive material between the plates, and if this material comes in contact with smoke, the alarm will sound off.

These units react really fast if there is any type of smoke near them, even the invisible particles. Because of this, they are not a great fit for the kitchen, as the device will turn on even if you are cooking. So, if you think about getting an ionization unit, it is best if you use it in the living room or the bedroom.

2. Optical


As the name suggests, these devices use infrared beams to detect the fumes and the exhaust. They are a little bit pricier than the devices we previously mentioned, but it is said that these units are great for pretty much anywhere in your home.

Even though it is not recommended to install them in your kitchen, you can easily put them near it, or on the part of the ceiling or wall that is not directly above the stove. They are great for detecting pretty much any type of fire, even small ones, and those that happen because of faulty wires. You can easily put several of them all around your home, and you will know that your family is always protected, no matter how big or small the fumes are.

According to x-sense.com, when it comes to the best model of a smoke alarm, it is up to you to choose what you want to get out of it and think about your budget. Some of the units are wireless, and others come with an LED indicator.

3. Photoelectric


This is the most popular model of fume detectors and the reason for this is that they can detect anything from small fires started by a burning cigarette, up to faulty wires, and even fireplace issues. They are the best if you are looking for something that will detect slow-burning, and they use light to detect the fumes.

The way they work is that the smoke will block the light that comes from the device, and the alarm will sound. They are great for early detection of any accidents that may occur in your home, but they don’t work the best if there is an open fire.

4. Heat


The last model we are going to talk about is heat sirens. Unlike the other devices on this list, they don’t need fumes to detect that there is a fire nearby, but instead, they pay attention to the temperature inside your home.

The thermostat will be checking the air temperature constantly, and when it reaches about 135 degrees Fahrenheit or a little below 60 degrees Celsius, the siren will go off. Depending on the model you invest in, you can choose the temperature on your own, but most of the devices come with a preset setting.

Note that these devices should not be placed anywhere near the stove or the fireplace, because they will notice the difference in temperature right away and they may sound off. If you are using an electric heater, or if you use an AC, you should pay attention not to put the device too close to the other units. These devices are best for the kitchens because they won’t notice the fumes coming out of the food you are cooking, and it is said that they are great for pretty much any room of your home, including the garage.

The only issue with this model is that they won’t detect the earliest signs of a fire, so that might be an issue, especially if a slow-burning fire starts in your home.

The prices of one device may vary between a few dozen, up to several hundreds of dollars, depending on the make, model, and size of the room it protects. Note that the devices that use battery need to be checked once in a while. Even though the warranties of these units say that they will work perfectly for more than a decade, you don’t want to put your family in danger by letting them sit without you checking if they are working properly. It is said that one-quarter of the failures that happen with smoke detectors are because the batteries were dead, so you need to make sure that this does not happen to you.

Talk to the sellers about the best ways to maintain them, and note that you may need to invest in different units for different parts of your home. It is always better to stay safe and be alerted in time than to risk your life and the safety of your family.