Some users will tell you that E-cigarettes products are simply not capable to set off smoke alarms. So, we decided to put the question to the test and do our own research.
Nevertheless, if you do use your e-cig indoors, there is a chance that your e-cigarette could set off an alarm – especially if you blow large clouds!
There are different kinds of fire alarms, and some are more likely to be set off than others.
Ionisation: They are Sensitive to small particles of smoke, utilize two electrically charged radioactive plates. When smoke particles enter the fire alarm they disrupt the electricity between the plates, setting off the alarm. This was the type used in our experiment and it set off the alarm if we directly sent vapors into it!
Optical alarms: Optical alarms work by beaming infrared light. When smoke particles enter the smoke alarm, the particles cause the infrared light to be scattered onto a light detector which triggers the alarm.
Heat alarms: Used in kitchens, these are unlikely to detect vapor as they are responsive to heat rather than to smoke.It seems, optical alarms are most likely to be set off by e-cig vapor, although as our experiments show ionization alarms can be set off too if the vapor content reaches the alarm. Fortunately, there are very few reports of electronic cigarettes setting off fire alarms, since smoke alarms are designed to detect smoke, and electronic cigarettes produce vapor.
Its also because vapor dissipates a lot faster than smoke. However, the use of flavorings is thought to create larger particles than the average steam from a kettle; according to Ohio University, fog machines, which contain propylene glycol too, can also set off fire alarms.
So, setting off the average fire alarm is unlikely – but still possible.