Fires can be averted if identified at the right time. A small fire can be dealt with with the use of fire fighting equipment. Larger fires need more expertise, and they can be prevented from causing more damage by calling the right fire fighting authorities at the right time. Smoke detectors can help in identifying the start of fire and help in averting the spread of fire or at least alerting the occupants of a building to evacuate as soon as possible.
These detectors are the most basic and useful fire safety equipment. These are installed in building to sense the onset of fire at the right time. They primarily work by identifying the presence of particles generated by smoke in the air and send an alert as soon as an abnormal component is detected in the air.
TYPES OF SMOKE DETECTORS
There is an enormous variety of smoke detectors in the market today. They come in various combinations with fire alarms and fire alarm systems. Many of the advanced varieties are equipped with sprinklers that switch on a heavy flow of water as soon as a problem is detected. Moreover, they are equipped with sensors that point out the exact location of the smoke or fire, and with this detection, water is sprayed in the right direction.
PHOTOELECTRIC SMOKE DETECTORS
Photoelectric Detectors are one form of these detectors. They use, as the name suggests, laser beams of light to detect a problem. These detectors are equipped with an incandescent bulb or an LED, and they emit light. A lens at the bottom of these bulbs converts the light into a beam. A light sensor is attached to the bottom end of the detector.
The light beam, generally, passes from a point that is away from the sensor. In case of fire or smoke, particles in the air make the light beam spread in different directions, and when they hit the light sensor, an alarm is triggered off. In some models, the light beam goes from the lens to the sensor, and any obstruction in the beam sets off the alarm.
IONIZATION SMOKE DETECTORS
Ionization detectors use the technique of ionizing radiation. There are two plates in the detector, one of them is charged positively, and the other is charged negatively. This leads to the generation of a small electric current. The smoke particles in the air break this current, and thus, an alarm is triggered off.
These detectors are available at a lesser cost than photoelectric detectors and are quicker in detecting the smoke particles. However, both these detectors have their own advantages and disadvantages. Ionization detectors are not appropriate for use in the kitchen as they can trigger off many false alarms.
In this scenario, the best way to keep yourself safe is to go for a combination of these detectors, but it will be helpful for you if you familiarize yourself with the functioning of the detectors so that you can detect the cause of a false alarm.