Photoelectric vs ionisation. Does it really matter which smoke alarm I choose?
Updated: Dec 3, 2018
Let's consider the facts...
It has been shown that ionisation fire alarms generally respond within 30-90 seconds quicker to "fast flame" fires than the alternative photoelectric smoke alarms. Yet, when a fire is smouldering ionisation smoke alarms respond a staggering 15-50 minutes slower on average than photoelectric alarms!
It has been shown throughout numerous studies that ionisation often fail to activate up to 25% of the time.
A recent study performed over a two-and-a-half-year period found that ionisation alarms failed to provide adequate egress time in smouldering fire scenarios over 55% of the time as opposed to a 4% failure rate with photoelectric alarms. The research validates that when all factors are considered, including: how often both alarms gets deactivated due to nuisance tripping, how they respond across all ranges of fires, etc, photoelectric alarms have a great advantage.
Many people feel the fire alone would wake them up – alarm or not.
Sleeping Through a Fire
As you can imagine house fires are most dangerous at night- not only are the majority of people at home at night but also because there is a great possibility that the family may be sleeping when the fire ignites. Many people feel the fire alone would wake them up – alarm or not. The unfortunate truth is that many people who loose their lives in house fires are often found still laying in their beds, indicating that the fire did not wake them up and they died while sleeping.
House fires rapidly consume the oxygen within the air and replace it with huge amounts of carbon monoxide. Inhaling carbon monoxide will never disturb your sleep and may lead to lethal inhalation well before the flames have reached your body.
While this may sound incredibly frightening, you can rest knowing that this scenario is completely avoidable!
High-quality smoke alarms will detect the first hint of smoke from a fire and wake up you and your loved ones, allowing you plenty of time to make your way to safety.
How can Aussie Sparkys & Air help you?
Aussie Sparkys and Air Conditioning have years of experience working with customers to install and replace smoke detectors. We ensure your smoke alarms are installed and working correctly. Giving you peace of mind.
If you own a home in Maitland, Newcastle, Port Stephens, Raymond Terrace or anywhere in-between call our experienced, local electricians for fire alarm installation. We'll be glad to answer any questions you may have.