It’s a very common question, and a big contributor to paranoia for most vapers attempting to take a puff indoors – can vapes set off smoke alarms?
The answer is yes, vapes certainly can set of smoke alarms, however it all depends on the type of smoke detector you are dealing with!
Smoke Detectors & Vaping
Typically, you would need to produce a pretty big cloud to trigger most smoke detectors, having a quick puff is unlikely to cause you any trouble, or have you running for a chair to help reach that annoying little button!
However there are a few different types of detector out there, and while some are more forgiving, others can catch you out, regardless of whether you use a discreet 50-50 or a cloud-chasing sub-ohm device.
Of course, when at home it’s a generally only a noisy inconvenience for a few moments, however if this were to happen in a block of flats you may trigger a building-wide evacuation, or if at work you could face a hefty reprimand for causing one of the biggest distractions going.
To avoid any of these unfortunate outcomes, check out our guide below, so you can judge whether or not it’s worth having an indoor puff.Can Smoke Detectors Pick-Up E-Cig Vapour?
It all depends on the technology being used to detect potential smoke particles, these are the most likely three you will encounter:
Photoelectric smoke detectors
This kind of smoke detector trigger s an alarm when beams of light around it are disrupted. This is one of the most common types out there, and you are very likely to encounter them in public indoor spaces or homes. The annoying fact is, this is also the most easily triggered by vaping – it doesn’t take much for a wayward cloud to disrupt the beams and give you a headache.
Ionization smoke detectors
These are a little more complicated. These detectors ionize air present between two electrically charged metal plates. The detector constantly reads this electrical signal and should smoke, or anything perceived as being denser than the ionised air pass through, the current is disrupted and the alarm will go off.
While still possible, you are less likely to trigger these by vaping, just avoid being too near them, especially if you are using a powerful device.
These are the least likely to be triggered by vaping – in fact, we actually converted all our alarms at EDGE HQ to heat detectors because we kept causing a racket when we tested our flavours!
The reason for this is down to the fact they require heat (from a fire) to activate. As vapes don’t produce any heat, you generally shouldn’t have to worry about vaping around these detectors.
Top Tips to Avoid Setting Off Alarms When Vaping
We know some of this is common sense, but following these simple steps will help avoid trouble when vaping indoors!
Try to keep the room ventilated – open a window or vape nearer a door or away from any alarms, try to keep the air moving.
Turn down the power on your device, or use a discreet one like a pod system which will produce less vapour – save your cloud beasts for the outdoors or safe spaces.
Don’t vape directly beneath an alarm – it might be less convenient, but obviously blowing clouds into a smoke detector isn’t a good idea, keep your distance.
Don’t vape indoors unless you are allowed – most businesses and workplaces won’t allow vaping indoors to begin with, if you’re reading this in the hope of getting away with a sneaky desk-vape, tow the line, don’t chance it – it’s not worth a disciplinary!
If you want to learn more about other impacts of vaping in the home, check out our blog!
Our resident vaping expert with nearly a decade of industry experience. From working on the shop floor, bottling, picking and packing vaping products for customers, to designing and formulating e-liquids in the lab, there isn't much about vaping that Ollie doesn't know. His expertise, knowledge and insight into the industry make Ollie the go-to for reliable and trustworthy industry info.