How To Choose The Best Smoke Alarm for Your Phoenix Home

Ionization vs. Photoelectric

The best smoke alarm protects your family and pets in the event of a house fire. Nearly 4,000 people in the United States die in homes fire each year and over 20,000 are injured.

There are two types: ionization and photoelectric. Both types detect smoke and fire, but in different ways. How do you know which is best for you?

Photoelectric Smoke Alarms

A photoelectric smoke alarm is designed with a light-emitting diode (LED) and a light-sensitive sensor within a sensing chamber. When suspended smoke particles enter the sensing chamber, it interrupts the light flow between the LED and the sensor, causing the alarm to trigger.

Many homeowners are familiar with this type of smoke detector because of the intermediate flashing of the LED. Photoelectric alarms detect smoke from a smoldering fire before the flames may even be visible. Depending on the situation, you may have time to douse a slow-growing fire.

Ionization Smoke Alarms

Ionization smoke alarms suspend a small amount of radioactive material between two electrically charged plates. This ionizes the air and produces a current between the plates. When smoke enters the ionization chamber, it disrupts the flow of ions, which disrupts the current.

The drop in ionization current triggers the alarm. Ionization alarms respond to the smoke from flaming fires that start quickly and spread fast.

What’s the Best Smoke Alarm for my Phoenix Home?

It’s impossible to predict the cause of a fire or how quickly it will grow and spread. The City of Phoenix shares a timeline of an actual 2-story house fire that reveals a person has under two minutes to escape. And even then, one could suffer injury or death.

The event could start as a smoldering fire in the kitchen or an electrical malfunction that immediately bursts into flames. It could happen day or night, whether or not you’re home.

Therefore, the best system is combination alarms with both photoelectric and ionization technology. We recommend they be hard-wired in your home (by a licensed electrician) with a regularly tested battery backup in case of a power outage.

You can also install stand-alone models of each alarm type in various places throughout your home, the most important being sleeping areas.

Test the batteries monthly and replace the units every ten years at most.

Do You Need Help in the Aftermath of a House Fire?

Arizona Total Home provides 24/7 emergency fire damage restoration services to include water damage, soot and smoke damage, smoke odor removal, contents packout and recovery, and reconstruction. Get in touch for a free consultation assessment.

Look into fire prevention smart devices and install the best smoke alarm system for your home today.