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Ionization vs Photoelectric Smoke Alarms


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With ionization now condemned yet in wide use for so long, I'm slow to trust anyone again on this topic though the argument against combination alarms makes sense.

I read something a while back - and I'll try to find it - that concluded ionization had a significant advantage where the photoelectric fell short.

Perhaps install both devices in the same house. Neither is expensive. How could you lose?

Marc

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. . . I read something a while back - and I'll try to find it - that concluded ionization had a significant advantage where the photoelectric fell short.

It is commonly stated that ionization alarms offer an advantage with regard to fast flaming fires. A close look at the data, however, shows that it's really not much of an advantage. My personal opinion is that certain organizations have backed ionization technology for so long that it's hard to do an about face too quickly.

Perhaps install both devices in the same house. Neither is expensive. How could you lose?

The actual presence of both kinds would be fine. However, we have a hard enough time getting residents to install and maintain one kind. Getting them to install and maintain two kinds would be a nightmare.

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There's the about face conundrum, and then there's the very simple market and distribution channel momentum.

It takes a while for the aircraft carrier to turn.

I've been including a brief pitch in every report about the new alarms for about 6 months.

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. . . I've been including a brief pitch in every report about the new alarms for about 6 months.

They're not really new. Photoelectric smoke alarm technology is older than ionization technology. The very first generation smoke alarms were photoelectric.

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I seem to recall folks talking about different technologies many years ago, but it never made much impression on me then.

S'funny how things get going in a direction, even though it might not be the best direction.

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