Ionization smoke alarm typically are better at detecting fast flaming fires, which consume combustible materials rapidly and spread quickly. Examples of fast flaming fires include paper burning in a wastebasket, or a grease fire in the kitchen.
Photoelectric smoke alarm generally are more effective on slow smoldering fires. These are fires that smolder for hours before bursting into flames, such as when a lighted cigarette is dropped onto a couch or bedding.
There also is a dual or double sensor alarm, which is effective at detecting both slow smoldering fires and flaming fires.
For more information about smoke alarms you can go to the Minnesota State Fire Marshal's website.
The Savage Fire Department has a program to help residents replace the batteries in their smoke alarms. Learn more about the Battery Replacement Program.