What is an Ionization Smoke Alarm?

There are two main types of house smoke alarms; ionization smoke alarms and photoelectric smoke alarms. Knowing the difference between these is essential to choosing the right house smoke and fire detector for yourself and your family. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), roughly 96% of households in the United States have at least one smoke alarm in their home, yet it’s unlikely people truly understand the difference between the two major types of alarms. Over 90% of house smoke alarms are ionization alarms. Here are some benefits of installing an ionization alarm in your home.

What Type of Fires Does an Ionization Alarm Detect?

Generally, ionization alarms are more responsive to flaming fires. The term “flaming” fires refers to fires resulting from flammable liquids, wood or paper starting on fire. This type of fire produces a lot of flames with a limited amount of smoke. Most house fires are categorized as fast-flaming fires, which is why ionization alarms are popular in homes. To be safe, we recommend having both types of home fire detectors installed, or installing combination alarms that detect multiple types of fires.

How do Ionization Alarms Work?

Ionization chambers are the essential difference between ionization alarms and photoelectric alarms. Within the ionization chamber, there are two plates with voltage in between them. If an electron in this space is knocked out of place due to smoke entering the chamber, it causes ionization, and, in response, the fire alarm goes off.

First Alert Ionization Alarms

At First Alert, we offer different models of ionization home smoke alarms, so you can pick the features that best suit your needs. If you don’t want to worry about keeping up with changing batteries in your smoke alarm, we recommend getting the 10-Year Battery Dual Sensor Alarm that detects smoke from both flaming and smoldering fires. The battery lasts for the life of the fire alarm.

Regardless of the ionization home smoke alarm you choose for you and your family, First Alert will help protect your home and family by providing reliable protection you can trust. Shop ionization smoke alarms.

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