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- Measures the changes in electric current caused by invisible particles ionized in the heat of combustion.
- Transforms air inside the detector into a conductor of electric current. When smoke enters the detector and impedes the flow of current, the alarm sounds.
- Responds particularly well to the smoke caused by a flaming fire.
- Requires little power and is effectively powered by household batteries.
- Slower to respond to a smoldering fire.
- Detectors are required to emit a low warning when batteries are weak.