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Posted on October 25, 2012

Ionization vs. Photoelectric Smoke Alarms

Fire alarms are one of the most important things you can have in your home to keep your family safe from fire. But did you know there are different types of fire alarms? The type you use—ionization of photoelectric—can make a big difference in terms of your fire protection. Find out how!

Ionization Fire Alarms

Many fire alarms in Houston are ionization fire alarms, which recently have been questioned as valid fire detection methods. The major problem with ionization smoke alarms is they have a tendency to false alarm—usually when you are cooking or showering. This causes people to take the smoke alarms down, particularly if it goes off frequently. And while they are supposed to be installed away from kitchens and bathrooms, it doesn’t always work out that way!

Unfortunately, statistics show that nonworking smoke detectors—many times caused by missing or disconnected batteries—account for as many as 24 percent of home fire deaths.

Another problem with ionization smoke alarms is they take longer to respond to smoldering fires than photoelectric fire alarms do. Since estimates show that at least one-third of all fatal home fires involve a significant smoldering period, people are increasingly pushing to replace ionization smoke alarms with photoelectric.


How can I tell if I have ionization or photoelectric alarms?

To find out if you have ionization or photoelectric fire alarms, take the alarm off the wall and look at the back—it should say right on the alarm. If it doesn’t, look for a warning label about radioactive material. Ionization smoke alarms contain trace bits of radioactive material which test the air for the presence of fire.

So which type of fire alarm should I install?

If you’re still concerned about which type of fire alarm you should use, don’t worry—just call Kauffman Co.! We can help you determine which type of fire alarm best suits your home. If necessary, we can even install both!

We provide estimates for new and replacement fire protection systems throughout Texas (TX) in:

  • Alvin
  • Angleton
  • Austin
  • Baytown
  • Beaumont
  • Bellaire
  • Clute
  • Conroe
  • Deer Park
  • Dickinson
  • Freeport
  • Friendswood
  • Galena Park
  • Galveston
  • Houston
  • Humble
  • Huntsville
  • Jacinto City
  • Katy
  • La Marque
  • La Porte
  • Lake Charles, LA
  • Lake Jackson
  • League City
  • Missouri City
  • Orange
  • Pasadena
  • Pearland
  • Port Arthur
  • Richmond
  • Rosenberg
  • San Antonio
  • Schulenburg
  • South Houston
  • Stafford
  • Sugar Land
  • Texas City
  • The Woodlands
  • Victoria
  • Waco
For more information, contact us online or call us now at (713) 893-1090.
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