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    What is the difference between a photoelectric smoke alarm and an ionisation smoke alarm?

    The following information was taken from Please visit the website (click here) for further information.

    The two main ways that smoke alarms detect smoke are photoelectric and ionisation. Research indicates that photo-electric smoke alarms may be more effective at detecting smouldering fires and fires starting in areas remote from smoke alarms, and that ionisation smoke alarms may be more effective at detecting flaming fires. Both types of fires may occur in buildings where people sleep. FRNSW recommends where possible that photo-electric smoke alarms are installed in paths of travel between sleeping areas and exits to the open air or to common corridors.

    Photoelectric smoke alarms

    Photoelectric smoke alarms 'see' the smoke. They detect visible particles of combustion, eg smouldering cigarette smoke. They respond to a wide range of fires, but they are particularly responsive to smouldering fires and the dense smoke given off by foam filled furnishings or overheated PVC wiring. 

    Ionisation smoke alarms
    Ionisation smoke alarms 'feel' the smoke. They detect invisible particles of combustion, eg from cooking toast. They activate more quickly for fast, flaming fires with little visible smoke.

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