Have you tried sitting in a room with candles lit and suddenly smoke, you smell smoke? You may have wondered if the candles could trigger your fire alarm.

Well, you are not alone, and the answer to this question may surprise you.

Candles create an atmosphere that few light settings can achieve. And scented candles can fill your entire room with enchanting fragrances that will make your home feel relaxing and homely. There is something about that constant flame and scent that makes you want to collect more and more candles to light in every room. But if you light candles, do you risk triggering your smoke detectors?

You've probably heard someone talk about their experience with a candlelight false alarm at least once. Sure, it may have been your family or friends who told the story as if it were an urban legend, but is it really possible to activate your smoke detector just by lighting a candle? Let's find out, okay?

Do candles trigger the smoke detector?

Well, to answer this particular question, firstly, we need to know how the smoke alarm system works.

So what is a smoke detector?

The smoke alarm system is designed to activate when the smoke detector detects particles in the air that indicate the presence of smoke. There are two common types of smoke detectors; Ionized and photoelectric detectors.

The ionized detector uses a small, securely shielded radioactive material (most of its radiation is trapped inside the device to make it safe) that ionizes the particles. As the particles enter the detector, they attract the ions and carry them away, reducing the current. When there are enough particles to reduce the current below a certain level, the detector will register those particles as smoke and activate.

On the other hand, the photoelectric detector detects the light reflected by the particles of a light beam inside the detector's detection chamber. When particles are present, and the amount of recorded light reaches a certain point, the alarm goes off.

So, generally speaking, candles don't produce enough smoke to trigger a smoke detector.

The candle constantly emits a small amount of smoke, which varies only if the candle is extinguished.

That said, candle smoke can be blown away by a ceiling fan. However, the most likely time for your candle to go out on your smoke detectors is when you put it out.

You should be careful when blowing out the candles and make sure they are not near the smoke detector. If you turn them off and smoke rises in the smoke detector, it may go out.

So why don't candles trigger smoke detectors?

Simply put, they don't release enough smoke to set off the alarm system. As long as you light a candle in a ventilated room, the smoke will not build up. Also, if you blow out the candle correctly, there is hardly any smoke, so the candles cannot activate the smoke detectors.

The particles would not be enough to be detected as smoke particles. Most likely, the smoke will not even reach the smoke detector.

How to blow out a candle without producing smoke

For the same reason, you shouldn't want to put a candle near drafty windows and vents; you shouldn't blow out a candle with your breath. This could cause soot and unwanted drips or wax splatters. So how exactly should you blow out a candle?

Below are 2 of the best ways to properly extinguish a candle.

1. Candles stunners

Candle snuffers, also known as douters, date back to the mid-17th century, and there is a reason why snuffers are still in use today after centuries of use.

They work really well with most candles, quickly extinguishing the flame and minimizing smoke. Antique candle snuffers are beautifully made and highly collectible these days.

Modern candle snuffers are stylishly designed, affordable, and blow out candles safely and quickly without leaving smoke. The most popular is the rounded bell shape, but they also come in delightful shapes, such as a beehive, disc, or pyramid.

2. Candlewick dippers

My favourite way to put out a candle flame properly is with a wick. The wick dippers have long handles and the tip is used to quickly press the wick into the oil. This removes the oxygen and instantly extinguishes the flame with little or no smoke. It is fast, simple, and effective.

Immediately reposition the wick with the dipper and when you are ready to enjoy your candle again, it will re-ignite cleanly and quickly, releasing the original fragrance. Candlewick dippers come in many attractive designs and antique dippers are also popular with collectors and connoisseurs.

How to stop candles from triggering smoke detectors

It is quite simple! Just follow the precautions listed below and you will be good to go.

1. Check the smoke sensor

First of all, you need to know where the smoke sensors are attached to the room.

If you are in a hotel and they are not visible, don't hesitate to ask! This way you can make sure you don't light the candles directly under the sensors. Because doing so increases the possibility of activating the smoke alarm.

2. Ceiling fan

Ideally, you should turn on the ceiling fan in the room where you are lighting a candle.

When the ceiling fan is on, there is a lot of air circulating in the room. The result of this is twofold.

Firstly, your candle is likely to release more smoke, and secondly, due to the moving air, the smoke is more likely to reach the smoke sensors.

3. Multiple lighting at the same time

Don't light too many candles at once! One should do it. Lighting too many candles causes excessive smoke production, causing the smoke detectors to activate.

A candle does not usually emit enough smoke to trigger a smoke detector!

4. Blow out the candles

Once you plan to blow out the candles, make sure you do so far enough away from the smoke sensors.

How to know if you have a false smoke detector

If you have a lit candle and it's not near the smoke detector, it's unlikely to set it off. Assuming this is the scenario, you should look for other sources of smoke.

If you have just blown out the candle and there is a lot of smoke, this could set off the smoke alarm. It is necessary to remove the smoke detector and reset it.

If your smoke detector comes on in another part of the house, you need to look for the source. Your candle is very unlikely to ignite a smoke detector in another room.


Candles emit some smoke, leading people to wonder if they can trigger their smoke detectors. The answer is that they rarely do. You have to be very cautious when you blow out the candles. They will release a very high amount of smoke at this time.

Blow out the candles one at a time, or you can use a sniffer to minimize the smoke.

If you blow hard on them, they can send enough smoke into the smoke detector, and this can trigger it.

You need to make sure your candle is not near your smoke detector and be careful when you put it out. As long as you are careful, you shouldn't have any problems.