Fake Smoke, Real Alarm: E-Cigarettes Can Set Off Smoke Detectors


If you're installing a fire alarm system or adding more smoke detectors to an existing one, watch where you put the detectors or sensors and ensure your home or office has more-than-adequate ventilation. E-cigarettes can set off fire alarms, and you want to be sure that if you have anyone vaping in the building that they don't accidentally set off the alarms. The resulting noise can be not only annoying but also costly, because if the fire department has to respond, it might consider the call a false alarm and fine you.

Vapor Effects

When you start up an e-cigarette, the vapor that you exhale is quite thick compared to cigarette smoke. Even though it's mostly water vapor, the e-cig's vapor is dense enough to disrupt the normal monitoring that a smoke detector does. Smoke detectors usually have either a small electrical current flowing between two plates or they have a light source and a mirror inside a small compartment. In both cases, smoke or vapor gets into the compartments and interrupts the current or causes light to reflect onto a light sensor. The interruption triggers the alarm to go off.

And it's not just smoke or e-cig vapor that can cause this. Even high humidity and fog can mess with a smoke detector if the moisture in the air is abundant enough to cause an interruption inside the detector.


The good news is that as long as the vapor isn't hitting the detector and the room isn't filling up with vapor, there shouldn't be much of a problem. But that does mean you have to place the detectors and sensors strategically and restrict people to vaping in areas that are further away from the detectors and sensors. Keep detectors high up in the room, toward or on the ceiling. Place warning signs near the detectors to alert people using e-cigs that they need to move away and not stand directly under the detector.

It also means that the room in which someone is vaping has to have good ventilation. That can be anything from an open window to kitchen-style ventilation fans that suck out airborne particles.

False Alarms

Fire departments understand that accidents happen and sometimes something other than a fire sets off an alarm. But if this keeps happening, and you aren't making a good effort to prevent the false alarms from recurring, the fire department or city can try to fine you. Each time an engine has to come out to your home or business, that costs the city money. False alarms are highly annoying, and recurring false alarms pose a danger to others because that engine can't respond to a real fire that may occur at the same time.

If you'd like more tactics to prevent false alarms and strike a balance between vaping employees and sensitive smoke detectors, contact a fire alarm company like Eastern Fire Protection as soon as you can. They'll help you figure out a sensible layout for e-cig smokers' rooms and smoke detectors.


21 October 2015

Choosing the Perfect Security System

When it comes time to invest in a security system, it can be hard to choose between the available models. You might wonder whether or not you actually need night vision cameras, or how loud that alarm really needs to be. However, if you understand the features available on the market, you might be able to find a system that will work well for you long term. This blog is dedicated to aiding small business owners who might have questions about security systems, measures, and protocols. After you read these articles, you might feel more comfortable investing in equipment to protect your employees.