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DO VAPES SET OFF SMOKE ALARMS?
EVERYTHING YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT SMOKE DETECTORS AND VAPING
If you're a vaper, you've probably wondered whether your vaping will set off a fire alarm! It would be embarrassing, but could also come with more severe consequences, such as fines or warnings. So, how likely is it that using an e-cigarette will actually set off a fire alarm?
It’s a question we get a lot but vaping shouldn’t generally trigger a smoke or fire alarm. BUT, it does happen sometimes.
Not all smoke detectors are the same, and most may well be completely fine with you vaping around them, but if you happen to come across one which detects the particle change or broken light beam means you are going to hear that ringing bell.
Let’s look in more detail at why this is the case, before sharing some tips on how to avoid being a victim of these pseudo smoke detectors.
CAN SMOKE DETECTORS DETECT VAPE?
1. PHOTOELECTRIC SMOKE DETECTORS
For these alarms to be triggered, you need to disrupt the beams of light around. This is the most common type of smoke alarm, and the most sensitive to the vapour from an e-cigarette, which can sometimes break the light beam just as smoke would.
2. IONIZATION BASED SMOKE DETECTORS
These work by ionising the air in the space between two plates which are electrically charged. The air particles in this space are monitored, and if smoke, (or any substance perceived as being denser than usual), disrupt the electric current then the alarm will be triggered. These are less likely to react to someone vaping than photoelectric smoke detectors.
3. HEAT SENSITIVE FIRE ALARMS
These are the least troublesome when vaping in the same room as one, because they are designed to only respond to the heat a fire would produce.
Obviously, these are all designed to detect smoke, and as e-cigs produce vapour and not smoke logic would tell you they shouldn’t cause any kind of smoke alarm to ring, but even in a real fire situation it’s not the actual smoke which triggers it as mentioned, it’s the change to light beams or particle density which will do that.
4. TIPS TO AVOID VAPING AND TRIGGERING A FIRE ALARM
Despite vapour not being an official trigger for smoke alarms there are times when this may happen anyway.
To ensure the safety and comfort of both yourself and others, follow these tips if you are vaping indoors:
- Choose a room with good ventilation.
- Avoid using an e-cigarette very close to a smoke or fire alarm.
- Save creating dense clouds of vapour for spaces where you can do that without any concerns. Clouds look better in the open air anyway.
Discover more around the rules of vaping at home and indoors and our beginners guide to vaping for some tips if you are just starting out.
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*This product is not risk-free and contains nicotine, an addictive substance. Comparison of smoke from a scientific standard reference cigarette (approximately 9 mg tar) and emissions from Vuse ePod, ePod 2 and ePen, in terms of the average of the 9 harmful components the World Health Organisation recommends to reduce in cigarette smoke
**By 'no tar' we mean no tobacco derived tar. This product is not risk-free and contains nicotine, an addictive substance