Can electronic cigarette steam set off smoke detectors?

Are you allowed to steam, whether at the office, on the train or in pubs and restaurants, but what about hotels? And regardless of whether or not it is allowed in the hotel, can the e-cigarette with its steam really set off smoke alarms?

Can the steam of e-cigarettes trigger a smoke detector?

The answer is very, very simple: yes, e-cigarettes can trigger smoke detectors with their steam, whether they are hung in a hotel room, at work or at home. Opinions are divided among some fire experts on this point. A simple test has already proven the opposite several times. To be fair, the steam must be blown directly into the smoke detector. If you use additional steam models or if you prefer sub ohmic steam, a cloud of steam can form, which can set off a smoke detector. Especially in public places such as a hotel room, this can be very unpleasant. Especially when the hotel has issued a steam ban. But we can basically say that normal steam does not normally trigger a smoke detector. After all, even small amounts of cigarette smoke do not usually trigger modern smoke detectors. This is to minimize the risk of a costly false alarm, which is why smoke detectors in offices and hotels, in particular, are not as sensitive. However, the general danger that an e-cigarette can set off a smoke detector is present and should be considered by steamships, wherever they are located. Especially on board an aircraft, this can very quickly lead to considerable costs, emergency landing and panic on board. It is then preferable to wait until the steam can escape to the open air or to a place suitable for smokers.

What types of smoke detectors are particularly sensitive?

Most people may not even be aware that there are several types of smoke detectors and that they set off alarms at different rates and in different ways. That is why we would like to not only list the particularly sensitive smoke detectors here, but also explain why this is the case and which smoke detectors are suitable for electronic cigarette steamers, on the other hand. Ionization alarms These smoke detectors operate on the basis of alpha and beta rays that ionize between two metal plates. This creates a current flow. If smoke enters the smoke detector, and fine smoke particles are sufficient, this vapor binds the ions and the current flow is reduced or completely interrupted. An alarm is then triggered depending on the intensity of the interruption or reduction of the current flow. Since in principle even the smallest particles are sufficient, ionization smoke detectors are considered very sensitive and are therefore most likely to react to the steam from the e-cigarette with an alarm.

Optical smoke detectors

These smoke detectors belong to the type most frequently used in France. Like a remote control, these devices operate with a battery or a battery and also emit an infrared beam. The principle is the same as for the ionization alarm, except that here, it is not necessary to interrupt the flow of current to trigger the alarm, but an infrared beam of light. A diode emits an infrared beam that hits a receiver on the other side. If smoke or steam from an e-cigarette accumulates directly in the smoke detector housing, as in a house fire, the beam is interrupted and the receiver triggers the alarm. The steam must be blown directly into the housing. You can recognize them mainly by the corresponding round lens, such as a remote control, or by 360-degree surveillance cameras that are suspended in subways, for example.

Heat detector

This type of alarm is used in kitchens because the smoke and steam in the kitchen would otherwise set off the alarm permanently. On the other hand, in apartments or hotel rooms, the heat detector makes little sense because it would start too late. Because in a fire, smoke usually develops first and only then the large fire. At least at such an intensity that its heat could trigger an alarm. The advantage of these smoke detectors, at least as far as steamboats and smokers are concerned, is that steam and smoke are of practically no interest to this heat detector. However, this is not optimal for ensuring safety within your four walls.

CO detector

This "flue gas detector" is triggered when a predefined amount of flue gas such as carbon monoxide or carbon dioxide is measured. The CO detector is therefore often installed in dusty rooms. However, since no combustion process takes place in an e-cigarette, no combustion gases are formed. A CO detector would therefore not be triggered in case of steam.

Radio smoke detectors

These smoke detectors are connected to several smoke detectors and are best suited for large apartments. A kit can contain up to 32 devices connected by radio. Thus, if there is a fire in the kitchen, the smoke detector installed there sends a message to the wireless smoke detector. For a fire, this is fine, but if these smoke detectors trigger a false alarm, for example by the steam from an electric cigarette, it quickly becomes a major noise nuisance and a real shock.
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