Skip to main content
Call to Schedule a consultation 610-994-0290

840 First Avenue, Suite 400, King of Prussia, PA 19406

Electrician Services: 3 Types of Smoke Detectors for Your Home

Electrician Services Offer information about 3 Types of Smoke AlarmsWinter is the peak house fire season as people turn up the heat and dig out those holiday decorations. Prime Electrical Service, provider of local electrician services, stresses that while statistics say that 96 percent of American homes do have working smoke detectors, 2 out of 5 home fires between 2003 – 2006 happened in homes without working detectors, and resulted in two-thirds of fire related deaths, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

Ideally, smoke alarms should be hardwired into the home by experienced electricians, such as those at Prime Electrical Service. Each bedroom and main living space should have a smoke alarm, preferably interconnected with the others so when one sounds, they all sound. The type of smoke alarm you have installed can affect how quickly you are alerted to potential danger.

Ionization Alarms Work Best Where Fast Flaming Fires are Anticipated

Ionization alarms hold a minute amount of radioactive material in a compartment where a constant electrical current is kept between a set of electrodes. When smoke enters the compartment, the current is disrupted, tripping the alarm. Ionization smoke alarms work best at detecting fast flaming fires, such as those that often occur in kitchens. Ionization alarms have been shown to react up to one and a half minutes faster than photoelectric alarms to these fast flaming fires.

Photoelectric Alarms Easily Detect Smoldering Fires

Photoelectric alarms, which are recommended by the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) for residential use, contain an uninterrupted light source within its chamber. When smoke reaches the chamber, the light is scattered and the alarm is triggered. Often more sensitive than ionization alarms, photoelectric smoke detectors are less prone to false alarms. Photoelectric alarms are best for sensing smoldering fires, which is an important distinction since most fire related deaths are caused by smoke inhalation.

Combination Alarms Are Good in Theory

Combination alarms use technology from both the ionization and the photoelectric types, which in theory should improve the alarms ability to detect quickly potential fires. However, the current lack of industry standards regarding sensor sensitivity can result in non-functioning or inadequate ionization sensors. Having some of both photoelectric and ionization smoke alarms provides the best chance of detection.

Other Important Considerations

Even hardwired smoke detectors need to have batteries installed in the event of a power outage. To ensure the best fire safety homeowners should:

  • Test batteries once a month and replace yearly
  • Replace smoke detectors every ten years

Trust Prime for Local Electrician Services

To learn more about the importance of smoke detectors or to request an installation quote, please contact the experts at Prime Electrical Service today. We have proudly provided professional electrician services to our communities in Montgomery, Chester, Delaware and Bucks Counties for more than 30 years.