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Benefits of photoelectric smoke alarms over the usual Ionisation smoke alarm.

Smoke alarms are compulsory in Australian homes and units these days to ensure the safety of the occupants in the event of a fire. Statistics indicate homes here on the Gold Coast and nationwide that have a smoke alarm installed by a licenced electrician stand a better chance of the premises being salvageable along with the occupants more likely to survive a house fire.

There are two types of smoke alarms available in Australia that meet the Australian Standard AS3786; Photoelectric and Ionisation. Although both types are readily available for purchase there is a recommendation by fire authorities that Photoelectric smoke alarms be the preferred type of smoke alarm installed by electricians.

Here, Sparkies Electrical Contracting Service outline the difference between Photoelectric and Ionisation smoke detectors:

Photoelectric Smoke Alarms

These alarms aim a light source into a sensing chamber. When smoke enters the chamber, light is reflected onto the sensor and the smoke alarm is triggered. These alarms are proven to:

  • Respond significantly quicker to smouldering fires that produce a lot of smoke
  • Cause fewer false alarms from cooking in the kitchen or steam in bathrooms
  • Do not contain radioactive material
  • Ionisation Smoke Alarms

    The chamber of an Ionisation smoke alarm contains a radioactive material situated between two electrically charged plates. The air is ionised between the plates creating a current between them. If smoke enters the chamber, the flow of ions is disrupted as is the flow of the current between the plates and the alarm is triggered. These alarms:

  • Activate quickly in a fast flaming fire
  • Are slower to respond to smouldering fires
  • Are prone to false alarms
  • Photoelectric smoke alarms have a distinct advantage over the Ionisation version in that occupants are alerted quicker to smouldering smoke allowing time to escape from the premises. Most house fires start with a smouldering fire initially. Ionisation alarms react when the house is well alight, significantly reducing the amount of time occupants have to evacuate a burning home.

    Sparkies Electrical Contracting Service on the Gold Coast have a number of licenced Electricians on hand ready to install a Photoelectric smoke alarm in your home. Depending on the age of your home your smoke alarm may need to be hard wired and remember smoke alarms are issued with an expiry date so will need to be replaced at some time in the future.

    Call our friendly team at Sparkies Electrical today if you any questions regarding your smoke alarms.

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    Sparkies Electrical

    Address : Helensvale, Gold Coast, QLD 4212