How Do Smoke Detectors Work?

How Do Smoke Detectors Work?

There are two types of alarm that protect you from a house fire, smoke and heat, but we want to know how do smoke detectors work.

To learn more about heat detectors read this article.

In short, smoke detectors, as suggested by the name, work by detecting smoke. However, not every alarm does this the same way.

There are two main types of smoke detector:

  • Ionisation
  •  Optical

Both of these detectors has a different method for sniffing out a fire which makes it suited for different areas of the house. Making the right choice could help you avoid bothersome false alarms and save you money.

How Do Smoke Detectors Work?

Smoke Detectors London


As you can see from the infographic, both alarms use a source and a sensor. When the smoke prevents the sensor from being able to detect the energy, whether that’s radiation or light, the alarm activates.

Ionisation Vs Optical

These days the Ionisation alarms are considered outdated when compared to the Optical alarm but that that doesn’t mean they don’t have their uses. If your option is Ionisation or nothing, then choose Ionisation. It’s better to have an alarm than risk your life.

[cta link=”/home-fire-safety” title=”Protect Your Home” heading= “Protect Your Home” button=”Click here” button_on=”yes” img_on=”yes” img=””] Installing the right alarm system is important, so get it from the professionals.[/cta]

Having said that, the Ionisation alarms have a small source of radiation inside and so need to be disposed of correctly – don’t just chuck them in the bin! If your local council doesn’t have provisions for the disposal of these alarms it’s probably better to spend the extra money on an Optical alarm.

Lastly, the type of smoke they detect is ever so slightly different. The Optical alarms are less sensitive to fast burning fires, while the Ionisation alarms are less sensitive to larger smoke particles.

As such, the Optical alarms can be placed close to, but not in, kitchens as they are less likely to sense your burnt toast than Ionisation alarms. Read more about kitchen safety here!

Get A Professional Alarm System – So You Don’t Have To Worry

At Spy Alarms, we’ve been supplying quality alarm systems for [spy-age] years. We’ve got the experience and expertise to help protect your home against the destructive power of a house fire.

To do this, we offer a free home security survey where our engineers design and quote for a smoke detector system that’s part of your overall home security.

Book yours now for free by filling your details into the form below.