With each passing day, vapes are becoming a cessation aid for individuals intending to drop their smoking addiction, while to others, it’s a sweet recreational activity.
So, the vapes work by heating e-liquids producing a vapour that the user inhales. However, recently there have been concerns about the vapour from vaping devices setting off smoke alarms.
Of course, the concern is genuine, considering the fact that you can almost vape in any place of preference to you unless guided otherwise by local regulations. So, if you too, are wondering whether vapes can indeed set off smoke alarms, this article is for you.
How do smoke alarms work?
Smoke alarms are electrical devices with smoke sensors that detect the presence of smoke in the air and raise alerts for a potential fire.
Smoke alarms are, therefore, essential devices for saving lives in fire breakouts. In fact, according to the Fire Protection Association (FPA), having smoke alarms on your premises saves lives by 50%.
The smoke alarms, however, vary from one model to another, and all have different sensitive degrees. So while some may be more sensitive to vapour from your vape, some may not be that sensitive.
Will My Vape set off a Smoke Alarm?
The issue of smoke alarms sensing the vapour from your vape kits is not clear to what intensity; the sensors in the alarms sense smoke particles in the air. As much as vapes have a small ratio of smoke particles in the air, it is not straightforward whether they can trigger smoke alarms.
In addition, vapes indeed produce vapour that may look like smoke, but the vapour has no smoke particles, similar to what you’d expect from combustion. Smoke sensors are designed to sense the smoke from a fire, which is quite different from vaping devices. Instead, the vapour produced when you vape results from a heated e-liquid inside the device.
However, with the technological increase today, smoke alarms vary greatly. It is, therefore, important to be cautious when vaping inside buildings. This means you need to follow and maintain all vaping regulations to ensure all probabilities of risk and injury are reduced.
Factors that Affect Smoke Alarms in relation to Vaping
With the unclarity that is in between vaping and setting off smoke alarms, it is important to check out some of the common factors that affect smoke detection. These factors may also play a key role in determining whether the vapour your inhaling from the e-cigarette will set off the smoke alarm.
These factors include:
Vape devices only produce vapour when you inhale from them. This means the more you vape, the more the smoke particles from your vapour will be in the air. So, if this went on for some while in the same location, the alarm would be more likely to set off.
Types of smoke alarm
Smoke alarms are manufactured differently; no wonder the varying intensity in their smoke detection. For instance, the main types of smoke alarms are photoelectric, ionisation, and a combination of the two.
Photoelectric smoke alarms use light sensors, while ionisation alarms detect smoke through their ionisation chambers. Comparing the two, the photoelectric model may be less likely to be triggered by the alarm.
Location of the Smoke alarm
The location of these sensors greatly determines whether the alarm will be set off. In a case where the smoke alarm is close to the vaping device, the smoke alarm is more likely to sense the vapour particles and set off, as compared to a sensor that is far from the vape kit.
Room size and ventilation
A small-sized room with less ventilation may lead to a detection of the vapour from your vape kit because there is no sufficient air for the vapour particles to circulate, so the vapour stays as if it's stuck in the room and cannot move out. On the other hand, a large room has sufficient airflow in and out of the room, so the alarm is less likely to detect the vapour.
Type of Vape e-liquid
E-liquids feature different ingredient ratios. So, when you have an e-liquid known for its dense and thicker clouds, its much easier for the sensor to detect the smoke compared to the neutral clouds from the vape.
Importance of sensitive vaping when close to smoke alarms
Other than the concern of your vape setting off the smoke alarm, there is a lot more to be cautious about your vaping location.
Here are some of the things that should remind you of sensitive vaping when in areas with the probability of smoke alarms.
Avoid false alarms
If any smoke alarms are too sensitive to detect any vapes as smoke, they will set off, disrupting all activities around. Unfortunately, when these happen repeatedly, people are most likely to ignore such alarms in the future, even when it's in the event of a real fire. This can be quite deadly.
Ensure prompt fire detection
Smoke alarms are designed to sense smoke from burning particles and alert the individuals around. However, if the alarm gets set off with vaping devices, it may most likely affect the sensors, and real performance in case of a fire.
Compliance with regulations
Different governments have various rules about vaping and the appropriate vape locations. Some of these may require you to avoid vaping close to fire detectors. So, its good to be mindful of such locations and find appropriate places to vape from.
In summary, it is not clear whether vaping can trigger smoke alarms because of the different factors involved therein. However, it is important to be mindful of the location and sensitivity of smoke alarms when vaping. This is important for avoiding false alarms, preventing fire hazards, ensuring prompt detection of fires, and complying with regulations. By following safety guidelines and being aware of the potential impact of vaping on smoke alarms, individuals can reduce the risk of fire and ensure the safety of themselves and those around them.