To protect your home from fires, make sure you have a smoke detector installed. It signals a warning in case of fire or when it detects smoke. 

If you do not have a smoke detector already, you may consider selecting one from our list. It will help to keep your family safe. Smoke detectors use ionization and photoelectric sensors.

The ionization sensors detect sudden and fast-burning fires, while photoelectric sensors detect slow-burning fires.   

Whether it is a photoelectric smoke detector or an ionization smoke alarm, choosing the best and most effective smoke detector for your home is very important. Both alarms are able to detect fire. 

To increase your safety at home, installing both smoke alarms in your home can help.

For your smoke detector to work effectively and protect you from fire accidents, the following tips might help:

  • Install smoke detectors at least in each room. It will help you run to safety when a fire breaks out from any room.
  • Change your smoke detector at least every 5 to 10 years. Alarm detectors monitor the house every minute. Hence its lifetime is not infinite. 
  • Replace your smoke detector batteries whenever needed. Have the detector checked as per the manufacturer’s guide.
  • Ensure you clean the smoke detector to prevent dirt from blocking the sensor.
  • Do not use smoke detector batteries for other uses like toys or remotes.
  • Train your family on a fire escape technique so that they can manage to escape on time when a fire breaks out.

There are different types of smoke detectors available in the market. How will you know the best smoke detector to buy? In this guide, we’ll take you through four smoke detectors to install in your home.

So, let’s get down to business!

Types of Smoke Detectors


An alarm detector

The main types of smoke detectors are:

Ionization Smoke Detectors

These smoke detectors can sense small tiny particles of fire flames. They can detect small smoke fractions giving a response rate of 15-20 seconds.

 It has an electrically charged plate that has radioactive materials. These materials help create a current flow between the plates. When smoke enters the plates, it ionizes the current, triggering the fire alarm. 

However, ionization smoke detectors are prone to false alarms, where constant smoke exists. It is, therefore, not recommended in the cooking area or the bathroom. 

Photoelectric Smoke Detector

These detectors have LED lights in them. The light detects any smoke particles around the room. When smoke enters the detector, the LED light is distorted, allowing small light to reflect its sensor. Now, this immediately turns on the alarm. 

Once the batteries are low, the smoke detector will give a beeping sound that will remind you to change them. Note that this sound is different from an alarm sound when smoke is detected. 

Below are a few types of photoelectric smoke detectors:

  • First alert detector alarm
  • Shackcom detector
  • Kidde Photoelectric smoke detector

Dual Smoke Detector

This is simply a detector that uses ionization and photoelectric technology to detect smoke or fire. Dual smoke sense offers the best of both technologies and saves you the hassle of installing two types of smoke detectors. 

You can use batteries or charge the detectors directly. The dual smoke detectors have electrically charged plates used to detect ionized air.

Selecting The Best Smoke Detector for Your Home?

As we have seen, each type of smoke detector functions differently. For best security against fire outbreaks, you can install a dual smoke detector. You will also need to consider the household materials kept in rooms you’d want to install the smoke detectors.  

Smoke Detector Cost

Since each type of smoke detector has different functionality, prices may vary. You may not have enough money to spend on a smoke detector. But to get more key features and quality in a smoke sensor, you may end up spending more. 


For an effective and genuine smoke detector, it should have a warranty. Most smoke detectors have a 5-10 years warranty. With this in mind, you will prepare to replace the alarm when the time comes. 

Smoke Detector Maintenance

maintenance of a smoke detector

For smoke alarms to work efficiently, they need proper maintenance. It is advisable to have them checked at least every month. You should also test if they are working, once or twice every month. 

Check the sensor’s manual for directions on how to test the alarm. For alarms that use batteries, it is advisable to check them regularly. Most smoke detectors will give a beeping sound that will remind you to change them.

Easy Installation

Smoke detectors should be easy to install. You can do it yourself without the help of a specialist. They all come with a manual, so it should be easy. However, battery-powered alarms are ideal for your home since they are easy to install and maintain. 

Hard-wired smoke detectors are the best for commercial purposes. This is because they are more reliable than battery-powered detectors. In case of any challenge when installing, you can always request an electrician to help.

Government Codes and Regulation

Just like installing any other security system, smoke detectors are supposed to meet a specific set of standards. Therefore, before installing, check with your local authority about any requirements or regulations that are required first. 

Final Thoughts

It’s your duty as a homeowner to ensure that your family is protected from fire or smoke hazards. The best way to accomplish this is by installing a good smoke detector. 

All these detectors can serve the purpose of safety in your house. Depending on your budget, you can always choose an alarm for your home. But also, consider the features and functionality of each smoke detector so you can be sure you are making the right choice.

If you’re looking for an electrician’s recommendation, you can contact us at Ways Electric. We offer residential, commercial, and industrial services. If you need help with your smoke/ fire detector, we are just a call away.