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Full-scale fire tests are carried out to study the effectiveness of the various types of smoke detectors to provide an early warning of a fire. Both optical smoke detectors and ionization smoke detectors have been used. Alarm times are related to human tenability limits for toxic effects, visibility loss and heat stress. During smoldering fires it is only the optical detectors that provide satisfactory safety. With flaming fires the ionization detectors react before the optical ones. If a fire were started by a glowing cigarette, optical detectors are generally recommended. If not, the response time with these two types of detectors are so close that it is only in extreme cases that this difference between optical and ionization detectors would be critical in saving lives.