Does Vaping Set Off Fire and Smoke Alarms?

Apr 5, 2024

What You Need to Know about Vaping and Fire and Smoke Alarms

As an adult user of vapes, have you ever wondered if your vaping could accidentally trigger the fire alarm in your home or your office? Worry not – here’s what you need to know about how fire and smoke alarms work and how to avoid any unwanted situations.



Fire Alarms and Smoke Alarms: What’s the Difference?


It turns out there’s a big difference between fire alarms and smoke alarms. In fact, “smoke” alarms are a misconception. They are in fact smoke detectors, and they work alongside a fire alarm.


How so? When smoke fills a room, the smoke detector is what detects the smoke. The smoke detector will then notify the fire alarm, which will alert people in the building.


You might be surprised to learn there are also different types of smoke detectors and fire alarms. Each works differently and may be more or less likely to react to the vapour from an e-cigarette.



Do vapes set off heat alarms?


Heat alarms are unlikely to detect vapour. They respond to heat instead of smoke and are mostly used within kitchens. It’s worth noting that a heat alarm will usually respond to a temperature of around 58° Celsius.



Do vapes set off optical alarms?


An optical alarm is the most likely to be triggered by vapour. It reacts when smoke enters its system and interrupts the internal infrared light. In most cases, these alarms will not be concerned by an e-cigarette and the vapour emitted by it.


Of course, it should go without saying that you should never try to mask the use of your vape in a place where vaping is prohibited.



Do the Rules Apply to All Device Types?


When it comes to smoke-free devices, we shouldn’t just talk about vapes – there’s also tobacco heating devices. Do they set off fire alarms? As with vapes, there’s a chance the aerosol from heated tobacco could trigger a fire alarm.



How Likely is a Vape to Trigger a Fire Alarm?


Modern fire alarm systems have been designed to ignore non-hazardous vapours and, in most cases, your vape shouldn’t trigger them. However, there’s still a chance vaping could set off a fire alarm. To avoid that, you can follow these tips:


  1. Don’t use your e-cigarette close to a smoke detector or fire alarm.


  2. Choose a room with good ventilation.


  3. Be extra careful when vaping, and don’t create any dense vapour clouds.


Do keep in mind that you can’t guarantee your vape won’t trigger a fire alarm. So, when it comes to private areas, like a hotel, it’s important to know the regulations. Hotels usually have designated vaping areas and you should follow the guidance provided.


The same is true for public transport, where vaping isn’t allowed. You could be held liable if you were to trigger the fire alarm of a bus, tram, train, or any other form of public transport.


This is especially true for planes. Triggering the fire alarm on a plane would force the aircraft to make an emergency landing, and you could be liable for significant damages.



Am I Liable for Setting Off a Fire Alarm?


If you trigger the fire alarm in your own house, that might not be much of a problem. But if you’re renting the property, be sure to check with your landlord before using a vape.


When it comes to public or private places, if you were to set off a fire alarm, you could receive a warning and be subject to a fine or even imprisonment, if found liable.


Of course, fire alarms may not be your only concern. Carbon monoxide alarms are also becoming quite common these days.


As an adult smoker looking to switch, or a vaper who's recently switched, you may be wondering if your device produces carbon monoxide. You can find the answer in our carbon monoxide article.



(Disclaimer: This article is for general information and educational purposes. Some of the information in this article is based on external, third-party sources and we make no representations or warranties of any kind regarding the accuracy, validity or completeness of such information.)