What is a Photoelectric Smoke Detector?

What is a Photoelectric Smoke Detector?

While you may never think about it, the smoke detector in your home may one day save your life. One innovative technology that’s saving lives is the photoelectric smoke detector.

Although we may take it for granted, the different technologies in smoke detectors have very important implications. The science behind smoke detectors is meant to alert you as quickly as possible in dangerous situations. For example, photoelectric smoke detectors are well-known for protecting against smoldering fires.

Whether it be a smoldering fire or a flaming fire, you’ll want to be aware as soon as possible. At First Alert, we want to make sure you understand the technology that helps keep you safe, so you can make the best decision when it comes to protecting your home.

Photoelectric Smoke Detectors

A photoelectric smoke detector is characterized by its use of light to detect fire. Inside the alarm, there’s a light-sensing chamber. In this chamber, an LED light shoots a beam of light in a straight light across the chamber. The alarm detects smoke; when smoke enters the chamber, it deflects the LED light from the straight path into a photosensor in a different compartment in the same chamber. As soon as light beams hit this sensor, the alarm begins to sound.

How Does It Compare to Other Smoke Detectors?

Other popular technologies for smoke detectors are an ionization and dual smoke detector. The dual smoke detector has both ionization and photoelectric technology inside. While there is some debate regarding the best smoke detector for your home, the general consensus is that ionization smoke alarms are best for detecting rapid flame fires while photoelectric smoke alarms protect against slower, smoldering fires.

Should I have a Photoelectric Smoke Detector?

It’s safe to say every home should have a photoelectric smoke detector. While the ionization smoke detector has been proven more effective in detecting flaming fires, photoelectric outperforms it when it is a smoldering fire. For best protection, it is recommended to have both types throughout your home.

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