29
Sep
2020

What Is the Difference Between a Smoke Detector and a Carbon Monoxide Detector

by Cynthia White September 29th, 2020 | in Life Safety
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A smoke detector is an electronic fire-protection device that quickly detects the presence of smoke, which is usually the first sign of fire. A carbon monoxide (CO) detector is designed to detect carbon monoxide only, which will not necessarily be present in the case of fire. So, the two different detectors detect different things.

Smoke sensors issue a signal to an alarm system indicating the presence of smoke or heat or fire. Smoke sensors or smoke detectors normally make noise and also light up in order to offer two different ways to alert those present.

Both smoke sensors and CO detectors are important, and they should both be place in  buildings whether the building is old or new.

Smoke detectors

There two types of smoke detectors. These are ionization and photoelectric. Since the two types of detectors work differently, ideally, both types should be used together for the best protection.

A photoelectric sensor detects changes in light passing through a chamber when smoke gets in the way. This triggers an alarm.

Photoelectric detectors respond relatively quickly in about 30 minutes depending on the amount of smoke. This type of sensor can be installed near kitchens.

Ionization sensors operate differently. With the help of some amount of radioactive material, these sensor detect changes in the ionization of air. The above two types of smoke detectors should obviously be installed where appropriate, and since heat rises, that typically means near the ceiling. 

Carbon Monoxide detectors

Carbon monoxide sensors are also important. They are made to detect harmful amounts of carbon monoxide in the air. Carbon monoxide is deadly and since it is odorless, we would not necessarily notice it without a detector.

One big difference between the installations of these two safety monitoring systems is that smoke detectors are installed on or near the ceiling because heat rises. Carbon monoxide detectors are always installed down low near the floor, because CO is heavier than air and if present, it will fall to ground level.

For over 25 years, Marc and Jacqueline Cyr of Scan-Tech Alarm Systems Ltd. have helped to keep people and properties safe in Prince Albert and its surrounding areas.

If you have any questions about this article or would like to talk to us about your security needs, please call our toll-free number at (877) 212-5276 or use the handy form on our Contact page.


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