• Thu. May 30th, 2024

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Ionization Fire Alarms vs Photoelectric Fire Alarms, Wireless vs Wired

Some of the biggest death causes in Australia include bushfires and fires. And while there’s nothing you can do to a wild bushfire, if you happen to live in a rural area or your business is located in the middle of nowhere, then you should consider investing in a fire alarm. Even if you live in the bigger cities, fires are still a common occurrence. All it takes is just one small appliance to start a fire and this will threaten the lives of everyone in the premises. In that case, it’s your responsibility to alert everyone on time and ensure they leave the impacted area immediately.


There are a couple of fire alarms Australia regulations that have been enforced by the Australian government when it comes to commercial buildings, and both ionization and photoelectric fire alarms Australia government deems suitable to be used. There’s a small difference in how these two types operate, however, their goal is the same – alerting everyone that a fire has started or is about to start.

Ionization Fire Alarms

These alarms contain a small radioactive material that ionizes the air inside the alarm while setting up electric current in the detector. When smoke enters the ionization chamber it causes disarray in the current, making the alarm go off. Ionization fire alarms are usually combined with a CO (carbon monoxide) and they excel at detecting even the tiniest smoke particles from fires that can start quickly, such as fires started by grease and paper and arsonists.

Photoelectric Fire Alarms

Photoelectric fire alarms work in a similar fashion to ionization fire alarms. They have a small strobe light that remains lit as long as there aren’t smoke particles around. If a smoke particle happens to enter the alarm, the light is diffused and the alarm starts ringing. Photoelectric fire alarms are costlier than ionization fire alarms, but they’re also less likely to go off accidentally. These alarms excel at detecting bigger smoke particles from fires that come from upholstery, bedding, clothing or electricity.

Wired vs. Wireless Alarm Systems

Wired alarm systems are great if they are installed as the building is being built. This way the installer will have easy access to pull the wires and run them through the new building. These alarms are popular at stadiums, airports and high-rises where mass notification is essential.

Wireless alarm systems are making a breakthrough and are becoming increasingly popular. They’re commonly used when there’s a need to upgrade an already installed alarm without the wiring headaches. They’re also commonly used in historic buildings, where there’s a need to optimally protect the sensitive architecture.

By Anthony Hendriks

The life of the party, Anthony is always up for spending some time with family and friends, when not blogging of course! Ever since a child, his love for books of mystery, race cars and travelling keeps on growing so it's difficult for him to single out that one all-time favourite hobby. If there's one thing he hates, though, it's having pictures taken but you already guessed that from his choice of plant photo for the blog.