Photoelectric Smoke Alarms Explained

In the event of a fire emergency, smoke alarms save lives. Their early warning gives you and your family extra time to intervene or escape. There are different types of alarms, but we will focus on the photoelectric variety in this blog. This kind of smoke alarm is legislated as the required option for installation in Australia. 

Let us take a closer look at these lifesaving devices and why you should ensure that yours are up-to-date and functioning correctly. 

Understanding Smoke Detection

Smoke alarms work by sensing the presence of smoke particles. When a fire starts, smoke produces small particles that float in the air. The job of a smoke alarm is to detect these particles and trigger an alarm. 

Photoelectric smoke alarms have a clever way of detecting smoke. Inside the sensor, there is a constant beam of light. When smoke enters the sensor, particles disrupt and scatter this beam. As the light bounces around in the sensor, some of it hits a strategically placed light sensor, triggering the alarm. 

When the alarm’s battery is low, a different alarm sound will be activated, warning you to check the battery. 

Advantages of Photoelectric Smoke Alarms

  • The other main type of smoke alarm has an ionisation sensor, which contains small quantities of radioactive materials. Photoelectric sensors, on the other hand, rely on light and are therefore considered a safer option.
  • Photoelectric sensors are better at detecting smouldering fires.
  • These smoke alarms are less prone to false alarms caused by steam (for example, from showers or cooking). 

Call in the Professionals

If your smoke alarms are over ten years old or of the ionisation type, now is the time to have them upgraded. While you may consider this a DIY endeavour, engaging the services of a professional installer is essential. Their expertise ensures tailored advice to align your smoke alarm installation with relevant laws and regulations.

Professionally installed smoke alarms provide assurance that they function correctly, offering timely warnings in the event of a fire emergency.

For expert advice and smoke alarm installation, contact Electrical Contracting Queensland. We will ensure that your devices comply with current legislation and meet all the necessary safety guidelines.