Ionisation smoke alarms were very effective for detecting fast-flaming fire. Historically, ionisation smoke detectors have been recommended for landings and office spaces, but the technology behind optical smoke alarms has now advanced to the point that they are interchangeable. Optical smoke alarms also are not deemed potentially hazardous like ionisation technology, due to not using radioactive elements.
Safelincs will soon stop selling ionisation smoke alarms, and we would encourage all of our customers to purchase optical smoke alarms instead.
Some of the first smoke detectors produced, ionisation smoke alarms contain a weak radio-active source and react very quickly to fast flaming fires and any traces of smoke. While suitable for most rooms, historically ionisation smoke alarms have been recommended for installation on landings and in hallways. These alarms are not suitable for installation near kitchens or bathrooms as cooking fumes and steam can cause false alarms. For these locations it is recommended to install optical smoke detectors, which are less prone to false alarms.
Please note: Ionisation smoke alarms are now being phased out across the entire fire safety industry in favour of optical smoke alarms due to manufacturing, transportation, and disposal concerns around the radioactive material that ionisation smoke sensors rely on.