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Understanding How Smoke Detectors Work

Smoke detectors are among the most important features of any electrical system. In the event of a fire, your smoke detector will provide you with the time and warning you need to evacuate your residence and reach safety. When you are scheduling residential electrical services with an electrician near Annapolis, you may want to consider scheduling a smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector inspection. By keeping these units in good working order, you can rest assured that you and your family members are fully protected. To highlight the importance of smoke detector installation and maintenance, let’s take a look at how these devices work.

Ionizing Radiation

One of the basic principles behind how smoke detectors work is the phenomenon of ionizing radiation. Ionizing radiation is used to determine when smoke particles are present in a home’s indoor air. In order to pick up on the tiniest of smoke particles, a smoke detector contains a minuscule amount of a substance called americurium-241. This material reacts with smoke in a special way, allowing the detector to determine when smoke is present.

Ionizing Chamber

Inside a conventional smoke detector, there is a unit called an ionizing chamber. Inside the ionizing chamber, there are electronic components that are designed to sense when the americurium-241 reacts with smoke particles. When a reaction takes place, a free electron will be released, causing the electrical components to activate. Once the electrical system inside of the smoke alarm has activated, the smoke detector will begin to sound.

Battery Power

In order to maintain your smoke detector and make sure that it is working properly, you will need to make sure that your device is outfitted with working and charged battery. The battery inside of your smoke detector is responsible for completing the electrical circuit that will cause your device to sound the alarm when there is smoke in your building. If you suspect that your smoke detector may not be working, you should be sure to contact your electrician right away.