Smoke Detectors

Smoke Detector Smoke Detectors save lives.  A smoke detectors purpose is to alert you if it detects any trace of smoke.  House fires quickly can expand and every second that you have to get out of your house is vital.  Keeping your detector in good working order and with new batteries if it requires them is life saving. 

Why Do You Need Smoke Detectors in your Home?

Smoke detectors are designed to alert the household of a potential danger.  If a detector detects smoke it is something that needs to be considered as an emergency.  The saying “Where there is smoke, there is fire” is one that can save your life if you pay attention to it.

You need to make sure that you have enough detectors to cover your home.  You may only need one for an apartment but if your home is multi levels you should have one on each level.


As mentioned above it is recommended that you have one detector on each floor of your home.  If you have rooms that you keep the doors closed, then an additional detector in those rooms as well.

Since smoke rises it is recommended to install your detectors on the ceiling.  Cheaper smoke detectors use double sided tape to stick the device to the ceiling mount. In order to properly install a smoke detector, you will need to drill the mount to your ceiling and then attach the smoke detector to the sticky mount.

Types Of Smoke Detectors

Most people are aware of what a smoke detector is. Not everyone knows about the two different types of smoke detectors and how they differ from one another.

Ionization Detector

The first type of smoke detector is among the more common types of detectors found in people’s homes. This detector has a continuous electric current running through it at all times between two electrodes. When this current is interrupted by smoke particles entering the device, the alarm will sound to notify you of a potential fire hazard. One drawback of this type of smoke detector is the fact that the electric current can be interrupted by almost any small particle that finds its way into the device, whether it is smoke or steam. This means that the alarm may go off if you have the detector set up near your kitchen or bathroom. As the technology behind the design of this type of detector improves, there are newer models that have a more precise range of detection however.

The ionization detector is also a less costly option, and is often equipped with a battery power monitor that will notify you when it is time to change the battery.


This kind of detector is far more accurate than the ionization detector when it comes to detecting actual smoke from fires. They are particularly good at detecting smoldering fires and at differentiating between steam and smoke. A photoelectric smoke detector has a built in photo receptor that responds when smoke causes a reduction in the amount of light that steadily reaches the receptor. Thanks to this, the detector will be less likely to let out a false alarm, but unlike the ionization detector, this type of smoke alarm does not notify you when it is time to change the battery. If you choose to have this kind of smoke detector installed throughout your home, be sure to remember to change the batteries on an annual basis. Pick a day that will be easy to remember, like New Years Day or a birthday.

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With help from Vancouver’s residential electrical service experts at Highmark Electric, you can start protecting your household from fires and carbon monoxide poisoning. Our team of certified electricians can help you find the right smoke and carbon monoxide detectors that will work best in your home.