What type should I buy?

You may consider purchasing one of the following types of smoke detectors:

  • Photoelectric: uses a photoelectric bulb that sends forth a beam of light. When smoke enters, light from the beam is reflected from smoke particles into a photocell and the alarm is triggered.
  • Ionization: Chamber contains a small, safe radiation chamber source that produces electrically charged air molecules called ions. When smoke enters the chamber, it causes a change in the flow of ions, triggering the alarm.

Both are equally effective and neither require that you be familiar with its inner workings. As long as you buy a detector that is tested by a major testing laboratory, such as Underwriters Laboratories (UL), you can be assured it has met certain testing requirements.

Show All Answers

1. Why use a smoke detector?
2. Where should I install my detector?
3. What type should I buy?
4. How are detectors powered?
5. How can I best care for my detector?