How To Safe Your Home From Fire-Home Automation: Smoke Detector

Smoke detector automatically raise an alarm when there’s a trace of smoke that can lead to damage.

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If the air in the chamber contains particles (smoke or dust), the light is scattered and some of it reaches the sensor, triggering the alarm. “photoelectric smoke detection is generally more responsive to fires that begin with a long period of smoldering “According to the National FireProtection Association (NFPA).


High humidity in the air can set off smoke alarms. The density of the moisture particles in the air trigger the alarm. The device has no way of distinguishing between light smoke particles and heavy moisture content.


Burning food on the stove:  If you’re not paying close enough attention to the dinner you have cooking on the stove, and it begins to burn, it may set off your smoke detector. There doesn’t even have to be actual smoke in the air, just a hint of burnt food can set it off, and let all your dinner guests know that there’s a problem.

Fireplace smoke: If your chimney is clean and dampers are properly set, this shouldn’t be a problem. But, occasionally, people do have troubles with a fireplace sending smoke into the house and their smoke alarms will go off. After all, that is what they are there for, to detect smoke. They’re just doing their job.

Humidity: High humidity in the air can set off smoke alarms. The density of the moisture particles in the air trigger the alarm. The device has no way of distinguishing between light smoke particles and heavy moisture content.

Insects: Small insects can crawl into the smoke detector itself and set off the alarm. If you can identify any external cause for an alarm to be sounding, you may want to open up the device and check for six legged critters.

Burnt toast: Ever have your toaster keep your bread down a little too long and turn it into charcoal? This will send some very heavy particles into the air, and your smoke detector will generally pick up on them pretty fast.

Low batteries: If your smoke detector is making little chirping noises instead of a full born alarm, then it may be trying to tell you that its batteries are running low. If one of them is beeping, it is a good idea to change the batteries in all your alarms, so you don’t go through a series of chirping incidents.

Chemical odors: Strong chemical odors like ammonia or paint fumes can set off a smoke detector. They don’t like those heavy smells any more than we do, and they aren’t afraid to complain about it.


Smoke detectors are intended to make a chirping noise once the battery needs changing. … The smoke alarm must clear errors after the battery is changed, but it might continue to chirp even after you change the batteries. This usually occurs in electrical powered smoke alarms with a battery backup.


Passive fire protection – the installation of firewalls and fire rated floor assemblies to form fire compartments intended to limit the spread of fire, high temperatures, and smoke.

Active fire protection – manual and automatic detection and suppression of fires, such as fire sprinkler systems and (fire alarm) systems.

Ionization Smoke Detector
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Ionization Smoke Detector

An Ionization smoke detector consists of the following main components;

  • a radioactive source, usually Americium-241 that emits alpha particles
  • a ionization chamber, an air-filled space between two electrodes

The alpha particles pass through the ionization chamber, and permit a small, constant electric current between the electrodes.

Smoke particles that enter the chamber absorbs the alpha particles, which interrupts the electric current, activating an alarm.

Photo-electric Smoke Detector
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Photo-electric Smoke Detector

A photo-electric smoke detector is a scattered light sensor or nephelometer, that consists of the following main components;

  • a light source
  • a lens to focus light into a projected beam
  • a sensor at an angle to the beam as a light sensor

In the absence of smoke, light passes in front of the sensor in a straight line.

When smoke enters the optical chamber across the path of the light beam, some light is scattered by the smoke particles, directing it at the sensor and thus triggering the alarm.

Projected Beam Smoke Detector
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Projected Beam Smoke Detector

An projected beam optical smoke detector operates on the principle of light obscuration and comprises;

  • A projected beam transmitter & lens
  • A light receiver
  • A light reflector (not in all cases)

The light transmitter emits an invisible beam of light that is received by a receiver in a normal condition.

The receiver is calibrated to a preset sensitivity level based on a percentage of total obscuration. When smoke obscures the beam, an alarm signal is activated.

Aspirating Smoke Detector
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Aspirating Smoke Detector

An aspirating smoke detector is a very sensitive light sensor or nephelometer, that works by actively drawing a sample of air and other contaminates through a pipe network into a sensing chamber and consists of the following main components;

  • a network of small-bore pipes
  • a particulate filter
  • a sensing chamber
  • a focused light source
  • a sensitive light receiver

When smoke enters the sensing chamber across the path of the light beam, some light is scattered or obscured by the smoke particles, which is detected by the sensor. The output is analogue and can trigger multiple alarms.

Video Smoke Detection
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Video Smoke Detection

Video Smoke Detection (VSD) is based on the computer analysis of video images provided by standard video (CCTV) cameras.

A video smoke detection system comprises the following components;

  • one or more video cameras
  • a computer
  • software to analyse the video signal


Despite these benefits, it could still take some work to convince people of how great smart home automation can be. Plenty of people want the perks of smart home automation, but they feel uncertain that smart home technologies will provide them. Should you need to know more about home automation and how to make your home smart, visit or order any of the products here…


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