Ionization smoke detection and photoelectric smoke detection are two of the most common mechanisms used to detect smoke or fire. More popular due to their low price point, ionization alarms are triggered by hot flaming fires and do a better job at sensing even minimal amounts of smoke that occur with such fires. If you’ve ever lit a match, you’ll notice that there is much more smoke produced when the flame is blown out. To make it easier to understand, ionization smoke alarms are better at detecting the match while it’s still burning. These have radioactive material placed between two plates those are electrically charged. This causes a current to flow in between the plates by ionizing the air. Even as a small amount smoke enters the chamber, the flow of ions is disrupted and hence reduces the flow of the current therefore triggering the alarm.
Note that a the best way to protect you and your family is to have a combination of photoelectric and ionization smoke detectors strategically placed in your home. Below you can read about smoke detectors by manufacturer to help you find the one best suit for your home.