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Smoke alarms are available with many types of sensor, each one detecting smoke or fire using a different method. This guide is designed to help highlight the differences between each sensor type, show how each sensor works, show the advantages and disadvantages of each sensor type and also highlight where each type of sensor is best suited throughout your home.
Optical smoke alarms are particularly good at detecting slow smouldering fires such as soft furnishings or electrical wiring.
Heat alarms are ideal for smokey and dusty environments, they react to heat instead of smoke so are less likely to give false alarms.
Ionisation smoke alarms react quickly to fast flaming fires by detecting the change in ionised properties of air through smoke.
Combined alarms with multiple sensors contain two separate sensing elements - optical and heat allowing them to monitor two different by-products of fire