Hochiki explains how e-cigarettes might affect the smoke detectors in your university


Since 2007, the use of electronic cigarettes has drastically increased worldwide, and more frequently we are being asked how e-cigarette vapour will affect smoke detectors.

Studies have shown that e-cigarette particles are typically between 0.25 – 0.45 microns which is comparable to tobacco smoke, however, we must bear in mind, that the particles that reach a smoke detector will not be undiluted; they would have mixed with the saliva in the mouth, creating particle sizes more comparable to steam.

Most commercial and industrial fire detection devices have been designed to protect against false alarms caused by steam and dust etc. Therefore, if you have purchased your smoke detector from a reputable manufacturer such as Hochiki, it is unlikely that a small amount of e-cigarette vapour will cause your device to go into false alarm. However, if someone is standing directly under a detector creating a generous amount of e-cigarette vapour, or they are in a confined space, then the density of particles entering the chamber might cause a smoke detector to go into alarm.

Hochiki are renowned worldwide for manufacturing high quality, robust and reliable smoke detectors. We understand that false alarms are both disruptive and expensive, and as such we have incorporated a number of features in both our conventional and analogue smoke detectors that help protect against false alarms. For example, Hochiki detectors contain a honeycomb structured mesh that has been specifically designed to maximise smoke flow, and improve tolerance against insects, dust and steam. If steam (or vapour) comes into contact with the mesh, it is forced to diffuse through the mesh resulting in dissipation of particles, thus virtually eliminating the probability of a false alarm.

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