Ionization and Photoelectric Smoke Detectors
Michael Emmons has been an entrepreneur in Kansas City, Missouri, since 1994. In 2000, Michael Emmons began directing the growth a Kansas City-based alarm business from its inception to a multimillion-dollar enterprise.
Fire alarms are a critical component of any alarm business, and one of the most important sensors in a fire alarm system is the smoke detector. There are two types of smoke detectors: the ionization smoke detector and the photoelectric smoke detector.
The ionization smoke detector functions by having a tiny amount of radioactive substance floating between electrically charged plates inside a chamber. This electrical charge ionizes the air, creating an electrical current between them. When smoke enters this chamber, the current is disrupted and causes the sensor to fault. These sensors work best with flaming fires.
Photoelectric smoke detectors work by directing a beam of light through a chamber away from the sensor. After smoke enters the chamber, the light beam is refracted and makes contact with the sensor and triggers the alarm. They are better able to detect smoldering fires.