Try a different type of smoke alarm

Make it Stop! Advice for dealing with nuisance alarms

Try a different type of smoke alarm

Smoke alarms commonly use one of two types of technology to detect the presence of smoke in the air: ionization or photoelectric.

Ionization Smoke Alarms:

This type of smoke alarm uses a small amount of radioactive material that ionizes the air between two electrically charged plates, causing a measurable current to flow between the plates. When smoke enters the chamber, it changes the flow of current, which is detected and activates the alarm. Ionization alarms may be more prone to nuisance alarms caused by cooking activities.

Photoelectric Smoke Alarms:

This type of alarm uses a light source that is aimed away from a sensor in a sensing chamber. When smoke enters the chamber it reflects the light onto the sensor, which is detected and activates the alarm. Photoelectric alarms may be less prone to nuisance alarms caused by cooking activities.

If you experience frequent nuisance alarms from an ionization type smoke alarm located near the kitchen, try replacing it with a photoelectric type smoke alarm.

Regardless of the type of technology used, smoke alarms are tested to the same Canadian standard and must meet the same level of performance.

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Look for one of these marks on the smoke alarm, which is proof that the device meets the appropriate Canadian standard:

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