Vaping indoors can raise concerns about setting off fire alarms. But the question is, will your vape actually trigger the smoke detector?
The answer isn’t straightforward—it depends on a number of variables.
Let’s take a closer look.
Vaping & Fire Alarms: MTL or DTL?
The first point to consider when vaping near a fire alarm is whether you’re vaping MTL or DTL: are you using a low-powered pod device or a higher-powered sub-ohm kit? The answer to this will determine whether or not you’re in the clear.
If you’re an MTL vaper who uses a pod device, starter vape kit, or an otherwise low-powered kit like a vape pen, you’re far less likely to set off the fire alarm—especially with high-PG vape juices like salt nicotine or 50/50 E-Liquids.
Because these devices produce a small amount of vapour, you’d be hard-pressed to set off the smoke detector even if you wanted to—unless, of course, you’re a chain vaper.
Chain vaping—as in, puffing from your vape constantly with few breaks in between—is likely to set off a fire alarm regardless of which type of device you’re using. The more vapour in the air, the more likely you are to set off the smoke detector.
If you’re a sub-ohm vaper employing a DTL vaping style and using high-VG E-Liquids like shortfills, you’re more likely to set off the smoke alarm. This is due to the density of the vapour these types of devices and E-Liquids produce.
Essentially, standard pod kit vapers aren’t likely to set off the fire alarm—but those who chain vape and those who vape sub-ohm should be careful when vaping indoors.
Vaping & Fire Alarms: Things to Consider
So, you’re indoors, and you’ve got a vape in hand. The smoke detector is on the other side of the room—but are you safe to vape? Let’s look at some important factors to consider.
How far away is the smoke detector?
If your fire alarm is directly overhead, you’ll want to proceed with caution. But if the fire alarm is in the corridor outside your bedroom, you’re probably safe to vape.
Which type of fire alarm do you have?
When it comes to fire alarms, there are four primary types: ionisation (the standard type), optical, multi-sensor, and heat. Vaping is likely to trigger ionisation, optical, and multi-sensor alarms, but it is unlikely to activate a heat detector.
Heat detectors are commonly found in kitchens and bathrooms, as they are less prone to false alarms caused by cooking smoke and steam.
Is the room ventilated?
Increasing ventilation by opening a window can assist in reducing the concentration of vapour in the air and will lower the chances of inadvertently triggering the smoke alarm.
How high are the ceilings?
If you have higher ceilings, you’re less likely to set off the fire alarm as long as the room is generally well-ventilated and you’re not using a sub-ohm device.
How much are you vaping?
You’ll need to consider how much vapour you’re producing. A standard sub-ohm vaper or an MTL user who chain vapes is far more likely to set off a fire alarm than someone who uses a simple, low-powered device.
How Do I Vape Without Setting Off the Fire Alarm?
If you’re a chain vaper or a sub-ohm user and you want to vape indoors without setting off that pesky fire alarm, try some of these helpful tips to make sure your vape sesh isn’t interrupted by a blaring smoke alarm.
Get yourself an air purifier.
Air purifiers are able to filter vapour out of the air so you can comfortably vape inside.
You can purchase either a large free-standing unit (which is rather expensive) or a tabletop unit which can be placed on your desk or bedside table so you can vape wherever is comfortable for you.
For best results, vape directly into (or in the direction of) the air purifier.
Invest in a low-powered device for vaping inside.
If you usually vape sub-ohm and you’re worried about setting off the smoke detector, it’s a good idea to invest in a small, lower-powered device for at-home use.
These cheap vape kits are less likely to set off a fire alarm and can be vaped freely indoors so long as you don’t chain vape.
Open a window.
This one should go without saying, but if you’re able to open a window, this will help to dilute the concentration of vapour in the air.
Consider your distance from the smoke detector.
Personally, I like to ensure that I’m at least a metre away from any fire alarm when I’m vaping my MTL device indoors.
Hold your vapour in longer.
The longer you hold the vapour in your lungs, the less comes out when you exhale. Go on, try it! If you’re looking to lower the concentration of vapour hanging in the air, holding your vapour in longer will ensure less of it lingers when you exhale.
A Word of Caution
Whatever you do, DO NOT cover or disable your smoke detector in order to vape indoors.
I know it’s tempting. We’ve all considered it.
Still, the alarm is there for a reason—it could save your life—and disabling it is never the answer.
Your friendly smoke alarm is there to warn you in an emergency, and if you disable it, you can kiss its life-saving capabilities goodbye.
Don’t be dumb, folks.
Takeaway: Vaping & Fire Alarms
Hopefully we’ve helped to quell some of your fears here. And for those whose devices aren’t safe from the fire alarm—namely, chain vapers and sub-ohm users—we hope we’ve given you some valuable tools to keep that blaring alarm at bay.
Above all else, you should now know:
- If you’re using an MTL device, you’re probably fine
- Chain vapers and sub-ohm vapers should be careful around fire alarms
- Ventilation is key—open a window or use an air purifier where possible
- Put some distance between yourself and the smoke detector
- Whatever you do, DO NOT cover or disable the smoke alarm
Hopefully now you can vape a little more freely—just in time for the winter weather.
Looking for more helpful tips? Check out our other Vaping Guides!
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