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How To Vape Without Setting Off the Smoke Alarm

November 03, 2023

It may come as a surprise that vaping and smoking can both set off smoke detectors. Not only does this mean triggering a very unpleasant sound, but accidentally setting off a smoke detector could unnecessarily waste precious emergency service time and lead to the evacuation of people from buildings. 

Ensure you know why vapes can set off alarms to understand the preventative measures you can take.

Can Vaping Set off Smoke Alarms?

While it might seem evident that cigarettes can set off smoke alarms, seeing as they produce cigarette smoke, most people don’t realize that vape devices can also set them off. If you’re not using the vape, this won’t happen; however, if you’re vaping, there’s a chance you could set off a smoke alarm because some are more sensitive to vapour than others. 

How Do Vapes Trigger Fire Alarms?

Put simply, some fire alarms will sound because they “mistake” the vapour for smoke. However, this depends on the type of smoke alarm that you have in your house or that a company uses in their buildings. If you have a heat alarm, you’re less likely to set off the fire alarm but ensure you always know where you can and can’t vape indoors

Types of Smoke Alarms

Some types of smoke alarms are more sensitive to vapour. Below, we cover some types of smoke alarms you might encounter.

Heat Alarms 

These devices work by detecting a rapid temperature rise. For other heat alarms, you have to set a temperature threshold so that occupants know there's a potential danger when the temperature crosses the threshold.

While heat alarms are often the least popular device out of the three, you’ll still encounter them. Due to it needing a change in heat to be activated, the heat alarm isn’t likely to be triggered by vapour. 

Ionization 

On the other hand, ionization alarms are more popular and more likely to activate if they detect vapour. Unlike heat devices, these alarms detect changes in conductivity, meaning that when smoke particles disrupt the electrical current, it triggers the alarm. 

Ionization devices can’t always distinguish between smoke and vapour particles, so it’s no surprise that they can accidentally sound if they disrupt the electrical current. It might be that you vape inside a building with an ionization alarm without triggering it, but that's not a guarantee. 

Optical 

Optical devices are more similar to ionization devices than heat devices because they also use the presence of disruption to trigger the alarm. Infrared light detects smoke; when the smoke, or vapour, disrupts the infrared, it sounds the alarm. The benefit of this device is that it’s particularly good at detecting smoke from slow-burning fires, meaning it can detect a fire earlier than other devices.

Like ionization devices, optical alarms won’t always be able to distinguish between smoke and vapour, so it’s possible that should you smoke in the presence of these devices, you’ll accidentally set off the alarm. 

Vaping Techniques to Avoid Triggering Smoke Alarms

Even if you want to use your vape without setting off a smoke alarm, it’s important to remember that smoke alarms are there for an important safety purpose. Devices must be installed properly and tested regularly.

Below, we cover some techniques you can use to help prevent you from triggering nearby smoke alarms.

Proper Ventilation

Ensuring proper ventilation in your building or home will allow the vapour particles to leave your home rather than triggering the smoke detectors. You can do this by having a window open or simply vaping outside.

Low VG E-Liquid 

Knowing that the e-liquid or e-juice inside your vape is made from vegetable glycerine (VG) and propylene glycol (PG) is crucial. Vegetable glycine often produces a thicker vapour cloud than propylene glycol. With ionization and optical alarms, it’s easy to see how a thicker cloud with more particles could disrupt the electrical current or infrared light. 

To avoid triggering these devices, you could opt for an e-cigarette with a low VG content in the e-juice to produce thinner clouds of vapour, lowering the chance of triggering the circuits or light. 

Adjusting Vape Power Settings 

The higher the power setting on your vape, the more vapour you’ll produce because the e-liquid is heated at a higher temperature. However, you can adjust the wattage to suit your preferences and surroundings if you get a low-powered vape. In doing so, you lessen the risk of triggering any alarms. 

Use a Filter 

Air filters could be a great solution to prevent vapour from reaching a smoke detector. Designers have made the filters to capture smoke, which can also work with vapour. However, if buying a filter, don’t forget to pay extra attention to fire safety precautions

Opt for Smokeless Designs 

With changing technology, vapes are evolving to prevent problems such as triggering detectors. For completing vaping tricks, some people prefer to buy devices that create more vapour; however, consider browsing the collection of vapes for ones that produce less to avoid the risk of triggering a smoke detector. 

Buying “stealth vapes” or “vapourless vapes” aims to produce less vapour due to a lower VG but higher PG content. Alternatively, you could brush up on your technique of how to inhale vapour and examine tips for using disposable vapes, if you prefer these devices, to find ways of producing less vapour. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Type of Smoke Alarm Is Least Likely to Be Triggered by Vaping?

Out of heat, ionization, and optical alarms, the presence of vapour least affects the heat detector. While not impossible, heat detectors measure dangerous changes in the temperature of a room rather than the disruption of particles, which moisture is less likely to interfere with.

Is It Safe to Cover My Smoke Alarm When Vaping?

You must never cover or tamper with your smoke alarms; people die every year unnecessarily because of the absence of working smoke detectors, and covering them will prevent them from doing their job effectively. Please install your devices properly and test them regularly.

Final Thoughts

Are you a vaper looking for your next vape? At WAKA, we have a wide range of vape devices and flavours to choose from. Check out our entire collection to find your perfect fit today! 




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