How Do Vape Detectors Work

Vape detectors, also known as vape sensors, are devices designed to detect the presence of vapor from electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) or similar vaping devices. They are constantly sampling the air to detect tiny particulates that are present in the vapor produced by e-cigarettes. These detectors are often used in environments where vaping is prohibited, such as schools, public buildings, and certain workplaces. But, How do vape detectors work?

HOW Vape Detectors/Sensors Work

Vape detectors primarily fall into two categories: particulate detectors and sensor-based detectors. Particulate detectors rely on specialized sensors to identify the minuscule particulates emitted by vaping, while sensor-based detectors use similar sensors to pinpoint the specific chemicals released during vaping.

Smoke detectors, especially the more traditional ones, do not always detect vapor. Vapor particulates are smaller than standard smoke particles and often go undetected by smoke detector sensors. So, how do vape sensors work?

Vape Detectors/Sensors tend to be the “Super Sniffers”. They use a number of different sensors for identifying vaping activities. Among the prevalent types are:

  • Particulate Sensors: These devices pick up on the emission of minute particles generated during vaping. These tiny particles usually consist of nicotine, propylene glycol, and vegetable glycerin.
  • Gas Sensors: Gas sensors detect the release of distinct gases associated with vaping. These gases typically occur when nicotine, propylene glycol, and vegetable glycerin are in a vaporous state.
  • Multi-Sensor Units: These sensors integrate both particulate and gas sensing capabilities. Multi-sensor units can also include other capabilities like sensing air quality, air temperature, and some other surprising capabilities.

Expanded Capabilities of Modern Vape Detectors

Comparing the expanded capabilities of vape detectors/sensors today versus the original smoke detectors of a few years back is like comparing the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to a Sopwith Camel. The new vape detectors/sensors can not only detect vaping, but they can report it through the cloud to a dashboard display on a desktop monitor of your choosing.

State-of-the-art vape detectors/sensors do not just monitor and detect smoke and vapor, they can now keep an eye on several parameters at the same time. Listed below are some of the things that modern vape detectors like the Halo Smart Sensor can simultaneously monitor…

  • Vape/THC/Marijuana/Cigarette Detection
    Sensors will alert and locate anyone vaping in the facility.
  • Air Quality Monitoring/Airborne Sickness Prevention
    The system alerts personnel of unhealthy air conditions and airborne disease pathogens.
  • HVAC Filtering Monitoring
    Sensors will identify when it’s time to replace or clean an HVAC filter based on the particulates it is allowing to escape. This protects air quality and maximizes the life of your HVAC system.
  • Chemical and Cleaning Agent Detection
    Sensors will detect when your facility has been recently cleaned and if any harmful chemicals remain in a lab, storage room, warehouse, etc.
  • Vandalism/Fighting Audio Detection
    Smart Sensors can also detect abnormally loud noises like the breaking of glass and loud aggressive yelling.
  • Gun Shot Detection
    Sensors will immediately alert you to a gunshot and can simultaneously be linked to public safety agencies.
  • Emergency Keyword Alerting
    When a person in distress is heard saying a programmed keyword, security is alerted to respond to the situation and to notify the respondent that help is on the way.
  • Occupancy or Trespassing Alerting
    Sensors can count the number of people in a given space to help alert you to the presence of trespassers.
  • Energy HVAC Management
    Sensors can control heating and AC based on the occupancy of a given space.
    C02 Level Monitoring
    Sensors will alert you to rising CO2 levels. High CO2 levels will lead to inattentiveness, lethargy, respiratory issues like asthma, and worse.

What Do These High-Tech Vape Detectors Look Like?

You might be saying to yourself, “with this vast array of sensors, each vape detector unit must be the size of a foot-locker and hang from the ceiling by chains”.

So, actually, how big are they and what do vape detectors look like? Well, they actually look a lot like (and, are about the same size as) a traditional smoke detector. The Halo Smart Sensor, for example, measures only about 5.5” in diameter and about 2.5” in height (140mm x 51mm).

At this size, these power-packed sensor units are no more noticeable than a traditional smoke detector.

How FAR Can Vape Detectors Detect?

When planning coverage for any facility, it is good to know how far a vape detectors can detect. Quality vape detectors such as the Halo Smart Sensor, will typically cover about 144 square feet. There are, however, some environmental factors that will affect typical coverage in either a positive or negative way.

  • Ceiling Height – Vape detectors are generally tested using standard ceilings that are 8-10 feet high. A higher ceiling will shorten the circumference of the coverage area.
  • Airflow – It is recommended that you install your device in a central location but away from ventilation that may disturb the airflow (e.g., fans, HVAC vents, open windows, or anything else that might blow air away from the vape detector).
  • Room Size – It is generally recommended that you install one vape detector unit within 144 square feet of space in the room. However, this is a cautious estimate based on maximum expectations and many vape detector users have great results installing just one in a central location of a larger room.
  • Obstructions – Physical barriers, walls, doors, and other obstructions can limit the detection range. Vape detectors might not be able to detect aerosols on the other side of a solid barrier.
  • Other Environmental Conditions – Factors like humidity, temperature, and the presence of other airborne substances can also influence the operation of the detectors.

What Types of Facilities Benefit From Multi-Sensor Vape Sensors?

Now that you’ve become an “expert” on the new vape detectors with multi-sensor capabilities, let’s take a look at what types of facilities would benefit from such devices.

  • Schools – In educational settings, modern vape detectors play a significant role in establishing a secure and health-conscious environment for all. Multiple sensors will serve to protect students and staff from harmful conditions.
  • Business Facilities – For businesses, these sensors are instrumental in safeguarding the well-being of both employees and customers from potential hazards.
  • Healthcare/Senior Living FacilitiesHealthcare/Senior Living facilities benefit from the implementation of vape detectors, ensuring a safe and wholesome environment for both patients and staff. Moreover, these detectors act as a preventative measure, reducing the likelihood of patients vaping during their stay, which could potentially complicate their own treatment.
  • Government Buildings/Installations – In government buildings and installations, vape detectors contribute to fortifying security measures, thereby fostering a safe and protected environment within the facility.

RCS Communications Is Your Multi-Sensor Vape Detection Expert

RCS Communications has specialized in two-way radio and wireless communications in Kentucky and Indiana for over 70 years. They are the largest Motorola dealer in Kentucky and Indiana. Their account managers and certified technicians have extensive experience in emergency, on-site, and wide-area communications.

RCS Communications is also a Halo Smart Sensor dealer and the perfect partner to help in planning protection for your facility. We will learn about your concerns and help you design the best solutions for your facility. We will perform site walks to verify that all crucial locations within your facility are covered. We will not leave until your new system is thoroughly tested and meets your expectations.

Call RCS Communications TODAY and let’s get started securing your facility.

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