Will My E-Cig Set Off My Smoke Alarm?

smoke alarmOne of the major questions posed by vapers old and new is whether or not vaping can actually set off a smoke alarm. There appears to be a lot of debate about whether or not this is actually possible, and it seems that even experts don’t have a definitive answer. While many people believe that vapor cannot trigger a smoke alarm, there have been several cases where it definitely has – including one incident where an airline passenger caused an emergency landing by vaping in the toilets mid-flight.

Of course, if you blow clouds straight into a smoke alarm it’s definitely going to go off, but modern fire alarms are supposed to have been designed specially to avoid the possibility of a false alarm, and even if they detect a small amount of cigarette smoke, never mind vapor clouds, they still shouldn’t be set off. The confusion seems to arise because some types of alarms are a lot more sensitive to vapor than others.

Which Kinds Of Smoke Alarm Are Most Vulnerable To Vapor?

There are numerous types of fire alarm, and some can be set off more easily than others:

  • Ionisation – these alarms are sensitive to even small smoke particles. They use two radioactive plates which are electrically charged, and when the smoke particles go into the alarm the electricity between those plates is disrupted thus triggering the alarm.
  • Optical – an optical alarm works through beaming infrared light. As the particles of smoke come into the alarm, they scatter the infrared light onto a detector which then triggers the smoke alarm.
  • Heat – these are usually found in kitchens. As they respond to heat instead of smoke, they probably won’t detect vapor.

The type of alarm that is most likely to be triggered by vapor is the optical variety, although ionisation alarms may also be vulnerable to clouds.

What Are The Chances Of Triggered An Alarm With My E-Cig?

In reality, there are very few reports of e-cigs actually setting off smoke alarms since they have been designed for detecting smoke instead of vapor. Also, since vapor dissipates more quickly than smoke. That said, flavorings and PG may create bigger particles, and fog machines, which also contain PG, have been known to trigger fire alarms. Therefore, although the chances are small, it isn’t impossible.

Can I Vape In Hotel Rooms?

There are variations in hotel policies surrounding vaping. While some forbid it completely, others have no specific policy in place. However, hotel alarm systems are often more sensitive than those found in workplaces or houses, and some vapers have found that their vaping has triggered the smoke detectors resulting in an unwanted fine. Therefore, if you’re planning on vaping in a hotel room, you should take note of the location of the room’s smoke alarm and always vape as far as possible away from it. If you’re going to cloud chase, make sure you do it by an open window.vaping in hotel room

Do E-Cigs Set Off Airplane Smoke Detectors?

Airplane fire alarms are very sensitive and most airlines forbid the use of e-cigs during flights. You should definitely refrain from vaping on an airplane since the consequences can be severe. You are likely to have your e-cigarette confiscated and will almost certainly be fined. In some cases, you could even be put on the no-fly list or be imprisoned.

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