Smoke Detectors and Americium-241



How many of us have smoke detectors in our house? Chances are that a great number of homes have had one or more of these devices installed as an early warning system in case of fire. What most consumers don't know is that many of these units contain a small amount of americium-241. By utilizing the radioactive properties of this material, smoke from a fire can be detected at a very early stage. This early warning capability has saved many lives. In fact, studies have shown that 80% of fire injuries and 80% of fire fatalities occur in homes without smoke detectors.