Can vaping set off smoke detectors?


When a flight took off from Florida, none of the passengers felt any trouble but there was one passenger who was critically suffering from nicotine withdrawal. Hence, in order to go a safe and healthy way through the flight, he entered the washroom to use the vape pen which he had with him. But soon after, he along with the other passengers got the shock of their life as the fire alarms of the plane went off thereby forcing the pilot to make an urgent landing. So, is it true that vaping can sometimes set off smoke detectors? Read on to know on this.

Can vape smoke set off the smoke detectors?

Well, there are people who will tell you that vapour can never set off the smoke detectors and even fire experts tell you this. If you go on to test whether vapor could set off the smoke detectors, you have blow vapor right at the place of the smoke alarm. There are people who have always kept vaping in the office and they have set the smoke alarm ringing. As per what Alan Morgan, trusted personnel from St. Davids Fire, even a little bit of smoke from the cigarette should never set off the current day dire alarms as they are designed in such a manner that they avoid any false alarms.

Types of fire alarms which are vulnerable to vaping smoke

While it is true that there are various types of fire alarms and few of them are more likely to set off than the others. Here are some that are more vulnerable.

  • Ionisation: These are more sensitive to smaller particles of smoke. These work by using 2 different electrically charged radioactive plates. Whenever there are any smoke particles which move inside the fire alarm, they disrupt the electricity in between the plates thereby setting off the alarm.
  • Heat alarms: These are used in kitchens and they are very less chances that they will detect vapour as they are designed in such a manner that they respond to heat and not to smoke.
  • Optical alarms: The optical alarms work by producing infrared light. Whenever there are smoke particles which move inside the smoke alarm, the particles cause infrared light to get scattered to a light detector which sets off the alarm.

Hence, it can be concluded by saying that while there are few alarms which are more sensitive like the ones in planes, there are some others which aren’t susceptible to vape smoke. You just have to be careful enough while vaping at different places.

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