Sales & Customer Service
Office Hours: Mon-Fri - 5:00am-5:00pm PST
Sat-Sun - 10:00am-2:00pm PST
Toll Free: 1-877-998-WEST (9378) Email: Links:
Free Shipping On All Orders Over $99

What is the difference between Photoelectric and Ionization Smoke Alarms?

There are two types of smoke alarms available today: Photoelectric Smoke Alarms and Ionization Smoke Alarms. Both types of alarms provide adequate protection against fire.

  • Ionization detectors respond more quickly to flaming fires with smaller combustion particles
  • Photoelectric detectors respond more quickly to smoldering fires
  • Combination smoke alarms featuring both photoelectric and ionization technology are also available.

When smoke enters a photoelectric alarm, light from a pulsating light source in reflected off the smoke particles onto a light sensor, triggering the alarm.

When smoke enters an ionization alarm, ionized air molecules attach to the smoke particles and reduce the ionizing current, triggering the alarm.

Was this helpful? 1 1 contact us about this question