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Comparing the effectiveness of ionizing and photoelectric smoke detectors Featured science projectScience project video


It was observed that the ionizing smoke detector is more sensitive and able to detect the cigarette smoke faster than the photoelectric smoke detector.

Smoke detector type Time to detect cigarette smoke at various distances (seconds)
200mm 200mm 400mm 600mm 800mm 1000mm
Photoelectric 8 17 28 41 55
Ionizing 6 13 21 31 46

The above results were then plotted onto a graph, as shown below.

 smoke detectors science fair project

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Complexity level:
Project cost ($):
Time required:
1 hour for preparation, 2 hours for observation
Material availability:
Easily found at a hobby store
Safety concerns:

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