Can Candles Set Off Fire Alarms? 4 Ways to Avoid It

This is a guide covering whether candles can set off fire alarms.

If you’re new at using candles, there is a good chance you have wondered if lighting your candle will set off the fire alarm.

Rest assured, you are not alone!

Whether you are living in college dorms or living at a hotel during your holiday, absolutely no one wants the fire alarm to go off simply because you lit your candle.

Having the fire department show up would, indeed, offset the relaxation or ‘me time’ you were hoping to enjoy.

So, can the smoke from candles set off fire alarms?

Read on and you will find the answers to all your questions here!

Can Candles Set Off Fire Alarms?

The short answer to this question is: yes, but it is extremely rare.

Why is it rare?

Candles usually give off very low levels of smoke.

And these levels are also consistent.

In other words, there is never an immense amount of smoke which is emitted instantly to trigger the fire alarms.

One of the occasions when candles seem to give off excessive smoke is when you are blowing them out.

can candles cause smoke alarms
setting off smoke alarms

However, when you compare the amount of this smoke to the amount that is released when something is burning, it is significantly less.

As a result, fire alarms are usually not activated.

Then how do candles sometimes set off fire alarms?

This can be as a result of lighting a lot of candles directly under the sensors.

Another scenario can be when you blow your candles out and the smoke goes up directly to the smoke sensor.

As you can already tell, both possible cases when candles can set off fire alarms can be avoided easily!

How Do You Light a Candle Without Setting off a Smoke Alarm?

It’s quite straightforward! Just follow the precautions listed below and you will be good to go.

1. Check Smoke Sensor

First and foremost, you need to know where the smoke sensors in the room are fixed.

If you are in a hotel and they’re not visible, don’t shy away from asking!

This way you can make sure to not light your candles directly under the sensors.

Because doing so increases the likelihood of setting off the smoke alarm.

2. Ceiling Fan

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

When the ceiling fan is on there is a lot of air circulating around the room.

The result of this is two fold.

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

3. Lighting Multiple at Once

Don’t light too many candles at once! One should be sufficient.

Lighting too many candles results in excessive smoke production, resulting in the smoke alarms going off.

One candle usually does not release enough smoke to activate the smoke alarm!

4. Blowing Candles Out

Once you plan on blowing your candles out, ensure that you do so at a sufficient distance from the smoke sensors.

Why is that?

When you blow out the candles they release significant amounts of smoke, which can set off the smoke alarms.

Moreover, if you have lit more than one candle, don’t blow them out at the same time!

How to Put Out a Candle Without Producing Smoke?

The method listed below will allow you to put out your candle without producing any smoke.

So, it will completely eliminate the chances of setting off the fire alarm.

All you need is a candle wick dipper.

You will use this device to bend the wicker into the wax.

That’s it! That is all you have to do in order to put out the candle without it producing smoke.

Can Smells Set Off Fire Alarms?


For most sensors, just the smell of burning is sufficient to activate the fire alarms.

If your candle is producing a burning like smell, there is a chance that the fire alarm may set off!

Now, how will you stop the fire alarm once it has set off?

Simple- you get rid of the burning odor!

The way to do that is to let the air inside the room out and let fresh air in.

Open all the windows and vents, turn on the fans, and wave off the smoke around the smoke detector!

Once you can no longer smell the burning odour or see any smoke, you are good to reset the device.

Just be careful as to not burn your finger in the process!

Can a Candle Set Off a Carbon Monoxide Detector?

They might.

Some candles can product carbon monoxide, so it’s important to see if your candle does.

Does the Type of Candle Affect Setting Off Fire Alarm?

Whether your candle is scented or not, the chances of each candle setting off the fire alarm remain the same.

The scent in itself can not increase the probability of the fire alarm going off.

So as long as you follow the basic precautions of lighting candles without setting off the fire alarm, you should be good to go!

Final Remarks

We hope this article resolved any concerns you had regarding candles setting off fire alarms!

If there are still any more questions, feel free to reach out!