From what I read, at elevations of 3000 ft or higher, ionization type smoke detectors are more prone to false alarms than at lower elevations; photoelectric type smoke detectors are preferred for high elevations.
However, what bothers me is that it seems most homebuilders are unaware of the problems of ionization type smoke detetctors at high elevations, as most homes (both older and newer) that I have seen in my area (Albuquerque) are using ionization type smoke detectors. My house was built in 1991 and came with Dicon ionization smoke detectors. We eventually replaced them with First Alert/BRK photoelectric smoke detectors.
I assume the reason that most homebuilders in my area use ionization type smoke detectors is simply because they cost less than photoelectric type smoke detectors. However, I personally think that people in general should be more aware of the higher probability of false alarms from ionization tyope smoke detectors at higher elevations.
Does anyone have any thoughts?