Role of Photoelectric Smoke Detectors in Fire Safety
Posted: Jan 11, 2020
In most fatalities involving fire extinguisher in bangalore, the flames themselves are seldom dangerous for the building's occupants. However, smoke and deadly gases emanating from the flames can be lethal as they reduce visibility and spread quicker through the air. That is why most fire victims die as a result of asphyxiation caused by smoke or toxic gases as opposed to burns. Keeping this in mind, would it not be safer to have electronic devices that specifically detect this type of occurrence and draw attention to it? Research conducted by academic bodies suggests that smoke alarms are the need of the hour. They estimate that nearly two-thirds of residences that have been engulfed in flames were not equipped with smoke alarms. In contrast, a fully-functional and well-maintained smoke alarm system cuts the risk of watching your home or workplace going up in flames by half. While it is true that you are significantly safer with smoke detectors in place, impulsively choosing to install the first device you see is not recommended. Just as fires manifest themselves as various types, the smoke alarms that detect them are also distinct in their own ways. Here’s a short glimpse at one such distinct fire alarm known as the photoelectric smoke detector.
Working Principles of a Photoelectric Smoke Detector
The characteristics of a photoelectric smoke detector rely on light to detect a nearby fire. The device itself houses a small enclosure known as a light-sensing chamber. This chamber consists of an LED light source and a photodiode mounted at an angle of 90 degrees to each other. In its un-triggered state, the LED light source projects a sharp beam of light that narrowly misses the sensor. The detection process is put in motion when smoke particles that enter the chamber redirect the LED light beam so that it accurately falls on the photodiode. By principle, photodiodes are designed to convert light into pulsating electrical signals. Hence, when the sensor is hit by some amount of light, it sets off the built-in notification system in the device.
Ionization vs Photoelectric Smoke Detectors
Both ionization and photoelectric smoke detectors exhibit advantages that may be crucial in ensuring fire safety. At the same time, they are also attached to a few disadvantages that can lead to a nuisance if they are not installed at an appropriate location. The two smoke detectors primarily distinguish themselves from each other through the means by which they detect smoke. Photoelectric detectors consist of a light-sensing chamber that depends on disruption of a light beam by smoke particles. On the other hand, smoke particles disrupting electric current between two ionized plates is what helps ionization detectors perceive smoke. Another clear difference between the two detectors emerges in the type of fire that they are most capable of identifying. Since ionization smoke alarms are set off even by a small amount of smoke particles, they are more suited for instances of flaming Fire Protection Services . However, photoelectric detectors require several large-sized smoke particles for triggering the alarm system and hence, they are more of a match for smoldering fires.
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