Will Incense Set Off A Smoke Detector? (Here Are the Details)

Ryan Womeldorf
by Ryan Womeldorf

Burning incense is relaxing and can go a long way to make you feel more comfortable in your home. However, there is nothing quite like a screeching smoke alarm to ruin a relaxing time. So, will incense set off a smoke detector?

Incense can set off a smoke detector because it produces smoke, but incense doesn’t set off many modern systems. Modern smoke detectors are often less sensitive to the smoke that a stick of incense or a candle produces. However, you can set off your smoke detector if you burn incense, especially if it is near the detector.

It is rare for incense to set off a modern smoke detector, but it can happen. Burning incense in a confined space is more likely to set off a smoke detector. Follow along as we explore the factors that whether or not incense will set off a smoke detector.

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Does Incense Set Off Smoke Alarms?

Incense will set off a smoke detector possibly if it is an older model. Sticks of incense produce smoke as they burn and a smoke detector will pick up on it. Modern smoke detectors can more easily discern between candle or incense smoke.

You won’t trigger a smoke detector in most cases if it was made within the last 5-8 years. However, there is no ironclad rule and smoke incense may produce enough smoke to set off a smoke detector. Burning incense can easily set off a smoke detector if it is near the smoke or it is a confined space.

The closer that you burn incense to a smoke detector, the more likely you are to set it off. There is no ironclad rule, however, and you may only find out from burning incense. Burning incense won’t set off a smoke detector in an open area or with a modern detector in most cases.

How to Burn Incense Without Setting Off a Smoke Detector

You can burn incense without setting off a smoke detector easily if you exercise caution. Ideally, you should try to burn incense in an area that isn’t too confined or right near a smoke detector. A smoke detector can easily pick up on the smoke in a cramped space, and the alarm will likely go off.

Avoid direct proximity to a smoke detector anytime that you burn incense. You can also temporarily remove the batteries from your smoke detector so that the smoke from the incense won’t set it off. However, that is unsafe because it won’t be able to detect smoke in the event of an emergency.

Put the batteries back in your smoke detector right away if you remove them to burn incense. Burning incense will not set off a smoke detector in most cases, but yours may be more sensitive than normal.

Can Burning Incense be Harmful?

As is the case with anything that produces smoke, there have been questions about whether or not burning incense can be harmful. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, there is particulate matter that is present in the incense smoke. This particulate matter has been linked to lung inflammation, asthma, and even cancer.

It has also been shown that long-term exposure to the smoke from incense can be related to an increased risk for certain kinds of upper respiratory cancers and even squamous cell lung cancer. If you enjoy burning incense, it is a good idea to open doors and windows so that the air can safely circulate out of the room and to limit the amount of times per week that you do so.

Related Questions

Can you burn incense in an apartment?

Since incense does generate smoke when burned and may disturb neighbors in non-smoking units, burning incense may violate your apartment building’s no smoke policy. So, whether or not you can burn incense in an apartment will depend on the laws in your state and the rules outlined in your lease.Check with your landlord if you’re unsure about if the no smoking policy applies to incense in your building.

Will vaping set off a smoke detector?

Though uncommon, it is possible for smoke detectors to be triggered by vaping, vape smoke, or e-cigarettes. In fact, there are a number of vaping devices that actually produce more smoke than cigarettes, which may be more likely to set off your smoke detector. Even though these devices present no real fire hazards, it’s best to only use them away from smoke detectors and alarms.After all, the last thing you want is to trigger the fire alarm in your apartment building at two in the morning and make everyone evacuate as a precaution.

Can you adjust the sensitivity of a smoke detector?

Likely everyone has had to deal with a temperamental smoke detector at one point in their life. So, can you adjust the sensitivity? If you have an ionization smoke alarm, these types are known for being very sensitive to small-sized smoke particles. Though, by blowing air into the sensor vent to clean it out, you may be able to reduce the sensitivity a bit.Or, you can try moving the device another five feet from its current location. Regardless, keep in mind that a smoke alarm is there to save your life so maybe one that is too sensitive is better than one that isn’t sensitive enough.

Ryan Womeldorf
Ryan Womeldorf

Ryan Womeldorf has more than a decade of experience writing. He loves to blog about construction, plumbing, and other home topics. Ryan also loves hockey and a lifelong Buffalo sports fan.

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