Photoelectric Smoke Alarms employ a light emitting diode (LED) to send a beam of light across a chamber. When smoke enters the chamber, the particles scatter the photons. A photocell installed at an angle to the diode senses the light, and subsequently sets off the alarm. In UL tests, photoelectric alarms have performed more effectively with slow burning, smoldering types of fires that can burn for hours before bursting into flame and emit large smoke particles. These types of fires include cigarettes burning in furnishings and bedding.
Ionization Smoke Alarms contain a minuscule amount of a material called Americium 241, which emits alpha particles that collide with the oxygen and nitrogen in the air and to create ions. These ions conduct electricity and allow a steady electrical current to flow between two electrodes. Smoke enters the detection chamber and the alpha particles are absorbed by the larger smoke particles, causing a drop in the current, and the alarm is triggered. In UL tests, ionization alarms have performed more effectively with fast, flaming fires which rapidly consume combustibles and spread quickly emitting tiny particles. These types of fires include flammable liquids, loosely packed light combustibles, and kitchen grease.
Heat detectors warn of fire when the temperature in the area around the smoke detector reaches a certain level. Heat detectors do not notice smoke. Heat detector could be valuable additional protection in areas where smoke detectors are not recommended are not recommended. They are not recommended for the use in bedrooms or sleeping areas.
Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, tasteless, toxic gas that has the molecular formula CO. The molecule consists of a carbon atom that is triply bonded to an oxygen atom. Carbon Monoxide is produced by the incomplete combustion of the fossil fuels - gas, oil, coal and wood used in boilers, engines, oil burners, gas fires, water heaters, solid fuel appliances and open fires. Dangerous amounts of CO can accumulate when as a result of poor installation, poor maintenance or failure or damage to an appliance in service, the fuel is not burned properly, or when rooms are poorly ventilated and the Carbon Monoxide is unable to escape.
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UL Ratings for Fire Extinguisher Explanation
Asbestos Exposure and Fire Safety
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Fire Extinguisher Agents