Fire Safety, Maintenance

Types of Smoke Alarms: Multi-Sensor, Optical, Ionisation

With multiple types of smoke alarms available, how do you decide what to install in your properties? Here we look at what features optical and multi-sensor alarms offer, along with the move away from the use ionisation alarms in the industry.

In 2018 FireAngel made the decision to support UK Fire and Rescue services and move away from ionisation alarms due to storage and disposal issues and risk of false alarms. However, if you are looking to replace old ionisation alarms, you can find out further details on optical and multi-sensor alarms below.

Recommended Technology: Multi-Sensor Smoke Alarms

FireAngel Specification smoke alarms use Thermoptek Multi-Sensor technology, which provides the ultimate protection at an affordable price. Thermoptek technology combines optical and heat detection technologies to increase the sensitivity of the alarm for a faster response. This enables FireAngel alarms to monitor two different by-products of fire simultaneously, and hence respond to all types of fire – a vast improvement over traditional single sensor alarms. These products are also less prone to false alarms associated with the ionisation and the optical type alarms.

Optical Alarms

Optical alarms are effective at detecting larger particles of smoke from slow burning, ‘smouldering’ fires, e.g. cigarettes on furniture or bedding. These can be placed near kitchens and in circulation spaces, but not too close to poorly ventilated bathrooms as they are liable to false alarm when exposed to steam.

The problems with ionisation technology

Whilst perfectly safe to residents, ionisation fire alarms are banned in several countries as they contain small quantities of radioactive material (Americium 241) meaning there are storage and disposal issues. It is therefore expected that the UK will soon follow suit.

Ionisation alarms are also more prone to false alarms in domestic premises compared to optical and multi-sensor alarms available. Of these, optical alarms are marginally less sensitive to fast flaming flames, so the Fire and Rescue Service advocate installing multi-sensor alarms around the home. These provide residents with ultimate fire protection as they work to detect two different signs of fire (heat and smoke), and so have a faster response time to all types of fires.

Choose trusted, certified protection

Browse FireAngel’s range of optical and multi-sensor smoke alarms to ensure maximum fire protection for residents in your domestic properties.