Science Project Summary:

Comparing the effectiveness of ionizing and photoelectric smoke detectors

Featured science projectScience project video Intermediate 6 < 1 day $25-$50 Readily available [+] More info
Difficulty: Intermediate 6
Cost ($): 30
Time required: < 1 day
1 hour for preparation, 2 hours for observation
Availability of materials: Readily available
Easily found at a hobby store
Required Skills: None
Safety concerns:

Adult supervision required. Take all necessary precautions to ensure fire safety. Be extremely careful when handling fire.

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This science fair project was conducted to compare the performance of an ionizing smoke detector with a photoelectric smoke detector. The tests were done by placing a lighted cigarette at 200mm, 400mm, 600mm, 800mm and 1000mm from the smoke detectors, and comparing the speed of each detector in detecting the smoke emitted.
Procedure preview:
1.    For this science fair project, the independent variable is the type of smoke detector used (photoelectric or ionizing) and the distance of the smoke detector from the source of the smoke. The dependent variable is the time taken for the smoke detector to trigger the alarm. This is determined by checking the time using a stopwatch. The constants (control variables) are the source of the smoke, the sensitivity of the smoke detectors and the temperature of the environment, which will remain at room temperature. 2.    Purchase a photoelectric smoke detector, an ionizing smoke detector and 2 alarms. Connect the .....