Smoke Alarms

1556 Words Jan 11th, 2013 7 Pages
Smoke Alarms

Each year most people are in disbelief and doubt that something as critical as a fire could happen to them, this skepticism has led to more deaths and property damage than should have occurred. In the current generation smoke alarms are mandatory and advancements to the technology have been occurring rapidly. With the use of smoke detectors, firefighters have been more successful in the saving of lives and the protection of property. Even with smoke detectors getting more technologically advanced, researchers have still been looking into many more changes regarding smoke detectors audio alarm. The National Fire Protection Association also reports that homes with smoke detectors display significant differences than
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Jaegers smoke alarm system was considered an ionization smoke detector. Inside of the ionization smoke detector is an ionization chamber, a power source, and a source of ionizing radiation. An ionization chamber consists of two plates that have a voltage arcing across them and an ionizing radiation source that is usually americium. One of the plates inside of the ionization chamber is positively charged and the other has a negative charge. The americium’s radiation releases alpha particles that ionize the oxygen and nitrogen in the air. The term ionization means that an electron is knocked off of an atom, thus creating a free electron. The free electron has a negative charge, and the atom missing an electron has a positive charge. The negative charged electron is pulled towards the positive charged plate, and the negative charged atom is pulled towards the negative charged plate. The electronics built into the smoke detector can sense these electrical currents, so when a fire occurs and smoke enters the ionization chamber, the electrical current is disrupted the alarm is then set off. The issue with ionization detectors is that they take very little smoke to activate and have more false alarms; although, some people tend to prefer another smoke detector alternatives. The photoelectric light-scattering smoke detector is another alarm system that is very common is residential households, but has a smaller rate

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