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What Makes Photoelectric Smoke Alarms So Safe?

Whether you’re building a new house or have decided it's time for a replacement, there are a variety of smoke alarms available to keep you and your family safe from fire and smoke. The two most recommended types of smoke alarms are ionisation and photoelectric smoke alarms. As a reliable provider of high-quality smoke alarms, we have vast technical knowledge and experience with both types of smoke alarms. In this blog we will discuss the benefits of photoelectric alarms and answer the question, “are ionisation smoke alarms safe?”. 

What exactly are ionisation and photoelectric smoke alarms? 

Inside each ionisation smoke alarm is a small amount of radioactive material that converts air into a current that flows between two electrically charged plates. When smoke enters ionisation fire alarms, it disrupts the ions — reducing the flow of the current and activating the alarm.

On the other hand, inside photoelectric alarms, there’s a light that is aimed at a specific angle away from a sensor. When smoke enters, it reflects the light onto the sensor — triggering the alarm.

The safety benefits of photoelectric fire alarms

1. Photoelectric fire alarms are more sensitive to smouldering fires

The main benefit of photoelectric fire alarms has to do with fire alarm safety. Smouldering for a while before actually bursting into flames, the danger that fires pose to your home and family can begin way before it is actually visible. Photoelectric fire alarms are more sensitive to the larger smoke particles produced by smouldering fires — they tend to trigger in the earlier stages of a fire. This will give you and your family more time to deal with a manageable fire or evacuate before the smouldering turns into a full-on flame fire.

2. No radioactive components

Although there is a minuscule amount of radioactive material present in ionisation alarms and it is not considered dangerous, even to touch, many people prefer to have no radioactive components in the home at all. For this reason, photoelectric fire alarms are the favourable choice.

3. Fewer false alarms from kitchen and shower steam

Unlike photoelectric alarms, the nature of the trigger mechanism in ionisation fire alarms is more sensitive to all types of gas particles — including steam from cooking and the shower. Ionisation smoke alarms, therefore, are more inclined to cause false alarms. For this reason, many people remove their batteries — an extremely dangerous decision that leaves you exposed to potential fires. Photoelectric fire alarms are far less likely to cause false alarms from steam. 

Install a photoelectric fire alarm today

With a wide range of high-quality fire alarms that meet the state requirements and laws, Evadare Smoke Alarms is a trusted manufacturer, provider and installer of photoelectric fire alarms across Australia. Order a photoelectric fire alarm from us today and not only keep your family and home safe, but also stay on top of changing fire alarm legislation.

For more information, please don’t hesitate to contact us online today — our team will do their best to help you.