The Ultimate Smoke Detectors Quiz

The Ultimate Smoke Detectors Quiz
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About This Quiz

Smoke detectors save thousands of lives every year. A fire can start in the most unexpected places, so it is important to be prepared. Take this smoke detector quiz to see how much you know about these life-saving tools.
How many residential fires occur in the U.S. each year?
200000
400000
Some 400,000 residential fires occur in the U.S. each year. Many of these could have been prevented.
600000

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Which of the following appliances are responsible for many fires?
toasters
ovens
dryers
Washers and dryers that were not cleaned properly were responsible for some 60,000 fires in the U.S. between 1999 and 2002.

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Which of the following is more likely to cause a fire?
chimneys
Despite what many people may think, chimneys cause more fires than space heaters. In addition, although many people believe that fires are started when a candle is knocked over, about half of fires caused by candles start because of combustible material placed too close to the candles.
space heaters
equal likelihood

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What sort of clothing should you wear when cooking?
fitted clothing
Loose clothing and clothing with strings or parts hanging off of them are more likely to end up in a hot pot or in a flame and cause burns. Wearing tight or fitted clothing when cooking may prevent this.
clothing with strings hanging off it
loose clothing

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With a 1 in 300 chance that your house will catch fire, the importance of smoke detectors becomes obvious. How much do the cheapest smoke detectors cost?
3
7
You can buy smoke detectors for as little as $7. Given the thousands of lives they save each year, they are definitely a worthwhile investment!
11

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What sort of battery does a smoke detector need?
C battery
AA battery
9-volt battery
Smoke detectors generally run off a 9-volt battery. They may also run on 120-volt house current. Smoke detectors are made of two parts: one part senses smoke and the other part makes a loud noise to alert people to the smoke.

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Photoelectric and ionization detectors are the two most common types of smoke detectors. How does smoke trigger a photoelectric detector?
It creates a light signal.
It bends a light signal.
Usually photoelectric detectors, such as those used on a shop door, are made from a light shining onto a detector. If the signal is blocked, for example if someone walks through it, then a bell is triggered. In smoke detectors, the light sensor is placed at a 90 degree angle to the light beams. Smoke particles that enter the smoke detector cause the light to scatter, bending some of the light rays onto the light sensor and triggering an alarm.
It blocks a light signal.

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Why does the light sensor in a smoke detector need to be at a 90 degree angle to the light beams?
to a make it more sensitive
Using a normal photoelectric detector would require a lot of thick smoke to completely block out the light and set off the alarm. The light sensor in a smoke detector is set up so that, even if just a few of the light beams are scattered onto the sensor, the alarm will sound. Photoelectric detectors are better for sensing smoky fires, like a smoldering mattress.
to make it cheaper
to make it bigger

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Which type of radioactive element is used in an ionization detector?
strontium-89
nickel-59
americium-241
Americium-241 is the radioactive element used in an ionization smoke detector. Only 0.9 microcurie is used (or about 1/5000 of a gram).

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How long is the half-life of americium?
234 years
342 years
432 years
Americium has a half life of 432 years, so you wont need to worry about it running out any time soon.

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What is a curie?
a type of radioactive material
a unit of measure for radioactive material
The curie, named after the scientist Marie Curie, is a unit of measure for nuclear material. It means that if you are holding a curie of something in your hand, it is undergoing 37 billion nuclear transformations per second.
a bond between radioactive materials

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What type of nuclear radiation is emitted by americium-241?
alpha particles
Alpha particles are emitted by americium-241. Alpha particles cannot penetrate a sheet of paper or more than a few centimeters of air. This makes them quite safe to use in smoke detectors in terms of radioactivity. However, it is advisable not to poke, prod or disturb the americium in any way as this could cause alpha particles to become airborne and lead to inhalation of the particles, which can be dangerous.
beta particles
gamma particles

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What do the alpha particles do to the oxygen and nitrogen atoms in the chamber of a smoke detector?
They radiate them.
They ionize them.
Alpha particles ionize oxygen and nitrogen particles in the smoke detector chamber. This means that an electron is knocked off of the oxygen or nitrogen atoms, resulting in a free electron with a negative charge and an atom missing an electron which gives it a positive charge.
They burn them.

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In addition to a radioactive source, an ionization detector contains two plates with a battery-supplied voltage across them. What is attracted to the plate with negative voltage?
positively charged atoms
The positively charged atoms are attracted to the plate with the negative voltage and the negatively charged electrons are attracted to the plate with the positive voltage. The smoke detector is set up so that the electrical current produced by the charged particles moving towards the plates is sensed by the detector system.
negatively charged electrons
neutral oxygen and nitrogen particles

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How does smoke affect the electrical current in a smoke detector?
It ruins the plates.
It overloads the current.
It disrupts the current.
Smoke particles attach to the ions in the chamber and neutralize them. This causes a drop in the current between the plates, which is sensed by the smoke detector and triggers an alarm.

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You Got:
/15

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