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Types of Smoke Alarms: Ionisation Vs Photoelectric

Guide to Smoke Alarm Types

There are two main types of smoke alarms and it is important for your safety and for standard compliance to know the differences. The two types of smoke detectors are ionisation alarms and photoelectric alarms.

Ionisation alarms only sound when there are flaming fires. This will not give you an early enough warning to evacuate your home. Ionisation smoke alarms can also be set off from stovetop cooking and home kitchen appliances like toasters even when no fire or even smoke is occurring. This causes many people to turn off or even disconnect their alarms. Often these alarms are left off or disconnected for a long period of time, rendering the occupants of the house completely at risk with no working smoke alarms.

As part of the new Queensland government smoke alarm legislation, you now can no longer install ionisation alarms in your home and any newly installed alarms must be photoelectric. This is because photoelectric smoke detectors are much more effective at early smoke detection.

Photoelectric smoke alarms detect visible particles of combustion. This means that the alarm sees the smoke particles and alerts you early. The photoelectric alarm gives you a much faster warning than an ionisation alarm and can sound before the fire is ablaze, such as in the case of smoldering fires. This leaves you with enough time to escape or even extinguish the fire before it takes off.

If you care about safety and compliance, make sure you install a photoelectric smoke alarm.

Not sure what kind of alarm is currently in your home? Give us a call and we can test, assess and replace your alarms to ensure your family’s safety.

Smoke Alarm Testing, Assessment & Replacement Sunshine Coast