Vaping Smoke Alarms

Can Vapes Set Off Fire Alarms?

Are you interested in finding out whether vapes set off fire alarms?

Usually, vaping does not set off fire alarms, but it does occasionally happen. Read this blog post to find out more about whether vapes can set off fire alarms, where you can and can’t vape and whether vapes pose a fire hazard.

How do Fire Alarms and Smoke Detectors Work? 

There are different types of fire alarms and smoke detectors, and different places will have various ones installed. Here are the common types:


Optical smoke detectors are very common. These types of detectors will pick up on vapour as the detector works by using photoelectric detectors and optical smoke beams, therefore it will recognise vape clouds as smoke. These detectors are usually used in hotels where smoking and vaping are banned. It is important to check the vaping rules of an establishment before you start vaping. Read more about vaping in a hotel room here


Ionisation detectors ionise the air by releasing a small amount of radioactive material that bounces against plates, and this creates a current, which can pick up on smoke. This article goes into more detail about how these alarms work. It is unlikely the vapour will set off this type of alarm, however it is not impossible. This is another popular type of detector used in hotels. 

Heat Alarms

Heat alarms are an uncommon type of detector in public spaces and are usually only used in kitchens. Vapes do not trigger these types of alarms as the vapour is not hot enough for it to pick up on. 

Carbon Monoxide Detectors

Carbon monoxide detectors will not pick up on vape clouds. These types of alarms pick up on high levels of carbon monoxide, which is not found inside e-cigarettes

Vaping around Fire Alarms

Usually vaping will not set off fire alarms. There are a few things that you can do to prevent fire alarms from going off when you are vaping. These include: 

  • Ventilate the room: Rooms with good ventilation will reduce the chances of you setting off the fire alarms. You can improve your ventilation by opening a door or window whilst you are having a vape session. If it is possible, you should vape outside, such as in your garden or balcony. 
  • Don’t vape near a smoke detector or fire alarm: ensure that you are not too close to it, try and keep a moderate distance from it.
  • Use a discreet e-cigarette: If you are concerned about setting off a fire alarm then you should use a small and compact e-cigarette, such as a disposable vape, as the vape clouds are not as large as vapes with large tanks.  
  • Follow the rules: You should always check if you can vape in an area before you do so. It is not worth the risk of breaking the rules and causing chaos by setting an alarm off. Here is some guidance on where you can and cannot vape.
  • High PG e-liquid: Using a high PG e-liquid will lower the chances of you setting off the fire alarm. High VG liquids produce huge vape clouds, which some detectors might pick up on, so the lower the amount of VG the better for discreet vaping. 

Can Vaping Causes Fires?

It is very unlikely that vaping will cause fires. This is one of the benefits of vaping rather than smoking. Smoking cigarettes is a huge fire hazard. According to the UK Government website “Habits such as smoking whilst drinking alcohol in the home or lighting up in bed are responsible for one in three (36 per cent) of all accidental house fires resulting in deaths…” 

However it is not impossible to cause a fire with an e-cigarette, so you should always be cautious, especially when charging your vape. If the vape gets too hot whilst charging, this can be a hazard. 

Indoor Vaping Laws

It is not illegal to vape indoors in the UK. However, each restaurant, shop and venue will have its own rules about vaping. So, it is important to check with staff or on the website for the place you are going to see their rules about vaping. 

Here are some general rules of vaping: 

  • Most chain restaurants, pubs and cafes do not allow you to vape inside. However, some independent pubs and bars will allow you to vape inside. You can check with a staff member. 
  • You are not allowed to vape inside hospitals or healthcare clinics.
  • Vaping is banned on trains, buses and planes for the safety and respect of other passengers.

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