can a candle set off a smoke detector

Wondering can a candle set off a smoke detector? Keep reading!

The smoke detectors are simple alarms, even when triggered as a result of candle smoke, you can quickly turn the alarm OFF. The fire department won’t be notified.

However, before you light or put out a candle in the room with a smoke detector you first need to take the necessary precautions.

Candles can hardly set off a smoke detector or fire alarm. The candle’s smoke, however,  is enough to surpass the detector’s alarm threshold, therefore activating the device. In such cases candles should be held as far as possible from the smoke detector.

About Smoke Detectors & Candles

In general, smoke detectors and candles do not go along. Sadly some smoke detectors can be activated with a little amount of smoke.

However, there are methods and techniques which you can use to light and put off candles without activating the smoke detector.

Smoke detectors are meant to be triggered before in order to prevent a fire hazard.

In that regard, the device does not need much smoke to start alarming the facility.

However, the smoke detector only alarms but does not act such as the Fire Alarms.

Note: You can stop the smoke detector by simply removing the batteries and holding the silence button for about 10-15 seconds until the beeping stops.

Can A Candle Set OFF A Smoke Detector?

candle set off a smoke detector

The short answer is yes, candles can and will set a smoke alarm if burning underneath the detector.

Even the low levels of smoke that candles give off are enough to trigger the alarm.

Such cases are rare but under the right circumstances, the smoke and heat from a candle can trigger the smoke detector.

One of those occasions is whenever you’re blowing them out so it's best to take the candle to another room, without a detector, to put it off safely.

Let’s learn more about the occasions in which a candle can set off a smoke detector:

  • Lighting more than one candle in the smoke detector’s room.
  • Blowing out candles underneath the smoke detector.
  • When the candles burn out.

The best way to approach such situations is by keeping the candles as further away as possible from the detector.

You also need to be prepared to turn OFF the alarm in case it goes off.

Note: While the candle is burning, the amount of smoke shouldn’t be enough to trigger the smoke detector.

How To Prevent Candles From Setting Off A Smoke Alarm?

smoke detector prevent candle

Smoke always goes up to the ceiling and spreads, which in most cases is enough to activate the smoke detector.

It’s important to keep the candle away from the smoke detector and put out the fire only outside the room. It’s the same as lighting a cigarette in the room.

Here is how to prevent your candles from setting off the alarm:

1. Locate The Smoke Detector

The very first thing to do is locate the fixed positioning of ALL smoke detectors in the room.

In hotel rooms, the smoke detectors are usually hidden and you should ask the staff.

This way you will be able to make sure that your candles are not directly under the smoke alarm.

2. Stop Air Circulation

Whenever there is a ceiling fan or currently active ventilation, your candle is likely to release much more smoke and reach the detector.

Ideally, you should turn OFF any air ventilation while your candle is burning. That should be just enough to prevent the smoke alarm from going off.

3. Don’t Light Multiple Candles

With each candle you light, you double the chance of a smoke detector going off.

In case you need more than one candle in the room, you should light them one by one and make sure that you’re not directly under the smoke detector.

4. Beware When Blowing Candles

blowing candle

One of the most common occasions, when candles activate a smoke detector, is when they are blown out.

The amount of smoke that a candle release is the most when the candle is put out so you should be extremely careful.

Alert: To prevent a smoke detector from activating, you shouldn't blow out multiple candles at once.

How To Put Out A Candle Without Setting A Smoke Alarm?

The first and most important rule is not to put out a candle underneath the smoke detector since the smoke and odor would definitely be enough to start the alarm.

The safest way to blow out a candle is by taking it out of the room or out of the window.

You can also use water which tends to decrease the smoke but you should definitely put out the candles one by one and not multiple at once.

How To Put Out Candles Without Any Smoke?

put off candle

To completely eliminate the chances of triggering a smoke detector, you would need a candle wick dipper, which will allow you to bend the wicker into the wax.

By doing so, no smoke should be released, therefore the smoke detector won’t start alarming.

Tip: To bend the wicker into the wax you can use other metal tools that will get the job done!

Will A Candle Set OFF A Smoke Alarm?

In comparison to the smoke detector, triggering a smoke alarm could be quite a bothersome situation.

This is because the smoke alarm will directly alarm the firefighters so they would react without knowing the cause.

Yes, candles can set off a smoke alarm even if the threshold is much higher than the smoke detectors. 

Again, when the candle is lit underneath the alarm device, the smoke alarm is highly likely to be activated.

You don’t want the fire department knocking on your door just because you’ve lit a candle.

Sometimes smoke alarms also discharge a mist of water to spray and contain the fire, which sometimes could be quite bothersome to deal with.

It’s recommended not to light candles in rooms with water vapor smoke alarms installed.

Tip: To prevent activating a smoke alarm, use the methods above to lit and put out candles without producing smoke.

Best Candles For Rooms With Smoke Detector

best candles smoke detector

The quality control of candle companies isn’t the greatest and this is why you should do the research before using any candle in the presence of a smoke alarm.

Here are some candles and methods to know:

  • Use 100% soy wax candles
  • Straighten and trim the wicks
  • Make sure the candle holder is flat
  • Never relocate a burning candle

It’s also important to keep an eye on your candle and never fall asleep. When candles burn to its base the amount of smoke released is the most, therefore triggering the alarm.

The best approach is to put out the candle yourself before it burns out to eliminate the chances of activating the smoke detection alarm.

Quick Recap:

Burning candles can set off a smoke detector when lit underneath or near the alarming device. To prevent activating the alarm you’ll need to locate the smoke detector, prevent air circulation, and light only one candle at a time.

Read Next: Are Smoke Detectors Required In Storage Rooms?

Last Thoughts:

Now when you know can a candle set off a smoke detector, you should take all necessary precautions before lighting one.

However, even if the smoke detector starts alarming, you can easily turn it off before anyone hears it so be prepared.

For smoke alarms, the situation is different since the device also acts so the best approach is not to light candles in the presence of advanced smoke alarms.

Nicole B