• How Does a Vape Detector Work?
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How Does a Vape Detector Work?

As the prevalence of vapes continues to grow each year, more and more institutions are implementing vape detectors. Vaping may compromise the health of students, staff, and even innocent bystanders. Moreover, it may discredit institutions who allow or do not control vaping. Thus, many institutions are adopting vape sensors. But how does a vape detector work? And why stop at vape detectors when you can monitor your entire environment with the SV11 environmental sensor? Before we delve into the SV11 sensor, we’ll take a look at why vape detectors are being implemented in different educational institutions.

What is a Vape Pen?

vape detectors work by identifying new chemicals in air

Vape pens, also known as e-cigs and electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS), are battery-powered devices that create an aerosol by vaporizing a liquid. The e-liquid in a vape can contain nicotine, THC, CBD, flavored substances, or other chemicals. Vaping has become a popular way to consume nicotine, especially among youth who seek to be discrete in their usage. Thus, vape detectors have also become popular as a way to combat the use of vapes in public areas like schools, businesses, and hotels.

The Facts: Why You Need a Vape Detector

According to a 2017-2021 data brief from the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) foundation, national e-cigarette unit sales have hit an all-time high. Consider the following statistics:

  • National vape unit sales increased by 48.9% from February, 2020 to May, 2021. This occurs despite the FDA’s 2020 enforcement policies prohibiting menthol cigarettes, flavored cigars, and flavored cartridge-based vapes.
  • Despite prohibiting the aforementioned products, the FDA permitted disposable vapes and menthol tobacco prefilled cartridges to stay on the market. Hence, there has been a dramatic increase in the use of disposable e-cigs. In fact, disposable device sales increased by 195.8%. In other words, sales increased from 2.8 million to 8.2 million. Additionally, prefilled cartridge sales increased by 15.1% – or from 12.0 million to 13.8 million.
  • In 2020, an estimated 3.6 million US youth reported using vapes. Moreover, more than 8 in 10 youth reported use of flavored vapes.

It is clear, then, that vaping has become widely popular. Consequently, the sales of vape detectors are increasing each year. If you are in charge of a business, restaurant, hotel, or school, then you likely have experience with employees, clientele, or students vaping in areas where it is prohibited. This can threaten both the credibility and the safety of your business or school. It is important, then, to have a vape detector. Learn more about the dangers of vaping below.

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Who Benefits from Having a Vape Detector?

Security system for schools that include vape detectors

Who exactly needs a vape detector? Any indoor public space should have a vape detector considering the prevalence of vapes. Moreover, having a vape detector improves the air quality for everyone. Consider how the following industries and people benefit from having a vape detector:

  • Educational Facilities: Vape detectors are ideal for educators and administrators. With vape detectors, they can catch students who vape in bathrooms or other indoor areas.
  • Businesses: Vape detectors allow your clientele to remain healthy and enjoy clean air
  • The Hospitality Industry: Hotels and restaurants will benefit from vape detectors as it will reduce the likelihood of people vaping in unauthorized areas like rooms and the lobby. A vape detector can reduce the amount of smoke-related chemicals in the atmosphere that otherwise may drive potential clients away.
  • Transportation: Vape detectors can help you monitor and improve air quality for clientele.
  • Landlords: Monitor prohibited vape usage on your property.

It is clear many institutions are in the need of vape detectors. But how does a vape detector work?

The Challenges of Detecting Vape

no smoking area which has a vape detector

Without a vape detector, it can be very challenging for businesses and individuals to monitor vape. For example, it is difficult to identify vape simply by its scent. Contrary to marijuana and cigarettes, which have recognizable smells, vaping is harder to associate with a specific scent. Products come in a variety of flavors, including unscented varieties. Thus, many people question how vape detectors work.

Another challenge is that people have grown accustomed to concealing their vaping, reducing the visibility of vape clouds (the large amounts of vapor exhaled) or smoking in private areas such as restrooms, locker rooms, and even closets.

So how does a vape detector work despite these challenges? Vape detectors, like Verkada’s SV11 environmental sensor, are able to discern vape because of the impact it has on the breakdown of chemicals present in the air. These chemicals are nicotine, propylene glycol and glycerol – all of which raise the levels of the total volatile organic compounds (TVOCs), particulate matter, and other cancer-causing chemicals.

The SV11 Environmental Sensor

SV11 Environmental Sensor by Verkada for security

Given the prevalence of vaping and the known harmful effects it has on the smoker and bystanders, many different industries are turning to vape detectors. The SV11 environmental sensor is unique in that it not only detects vape and smoking but also monitors the total volatile organic compounds (TVOCS), the air quality index (AQI), particulate matter 2.5 (PM 2.5), the temperature and relative humidity, noise levels, and motion. Essentially, the SV11 environmental sensor allows individuals to gain better insights on the environment. So, the SV11 sensor is not simply a vape detector; it is an all-in-one environmental sensor. Overall, the automated situational awareness provided by the SV11 is key in improving safety and security in indoor public spaces.

The SV11: How Does a Vape Detector Work?

Keep schools safe with vape detectors

So, how does a vape detector work? Through multi-sensor technology, the SV11 Environmental Sensor can detect chemical alterations in the air due to nicotine or other similar particles.These sensor readings are combined to produce a Vape Index, which identifies the likelihood of vaping/smoking occurring on a scale of 1-100.

Vaping particles can be identified by the SV11 because it can detect particles as small as 0.3 microns. Hence, despite any tricks people may pull – like blowing the vape into their sleeve – the SV11 can still detect those vape particles. This is because the SV11 is designed to identify particles that are much smaller than those that shirt sleeves can filter out.

After registering the chemical signature of vaping aerosol, the SV11 sends out alerts to those who wish to be notified of vaping. You can even set a custom threshold of the Vaping Index to get notified as soon as small but significant changes are made in the air. In this way, a vape detector works to keep you updated and in the know on vaping events in your institution.

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Design and Features of the SV11

how does a vape detector work -SV11 Sensor data

The SV11 is unique in not only its ability to monitor the overall environment, but also in its design and features. Its outer layer is a photochemically stainless steel etch and it is followed by several different sensors that measure and report data. Verkada’s SV11 works by using the onboard sensors to detect changes in the breakdown of chemicals in the air.

Furthermore, the SV11 has many different features that make it one of the most appealing vape detectors to several different industries. Consider the following unique attributes:

  • Command Platform: Individuals can access all sensor data from the Command platform and view it against a timeline to get a full picture of when these events occurred. In addition, individuals can link any sensor with a Verkada camera, correlating video with sensor-based data. Overall, this adds a layer of visual proof to help people understand what exactly took place.
  • Custom Threshold: Individuals can configure custom alert thresholds to receive real-time notifications via SMS and email.
  • Sensor-Based Alerts: When an anomaly is detected, an alert via SMS or email can be sent to pre-selected individuals as well as security, allowing teams to respond quickly.
  • Alert Settings: Teams that operate on different schedules should use custom alerts to cut down on unnecessary notifications during the weekend and after work. Our platform allows each user to set what hours and days of the week that they’d like to receive alerts for sensor-based anomalies.

The Benefits of Vape Detectors

SV11 Capturing sensor-based data

Many industries may benefit from having a vape detector like the VP11 environmental sensor. Consider the following advantages of vape detectors:

Detect Dangerous Levels of Substances
  • Deter harmful behaviors like vaping
  • Monitor changes in temperature or humidity to reduce the loss of records or products
  • Measure the air quality to ensure healthy air quality for employees and for product control
  • Measure VOC emissions to prevent adverse health effects (e.g., in manufacturing plants where plants and varnishes may compromise the health of employees)
Remain Safe and Secure
  • Monitor the environment to ensure measurements are in line with state laws and compliances.
  • Monitor noise levels that may indicate yelling is happening. This can help different institutions monitor for violence, conflicts, or other issues.
  • Monitor the temperature to protect expensive equipment and products.
Maintain Privacy
  • Monitor noise levels without recording audio. This ensures privacy is not compromised.

How Does a Vape Detector Work: Using the SV11 Environmental Sensor

Vape detectors work in schools and everywhere else

If you wish to have an all-in-one environmental sensor and not just a vape detector, consider Verkada’s SV11 environmental sensor. For the best results, place the SV11 about 8 feet from the ground. Moreover, if you wish to monitor vape, make sure that you only enable the Vape Index in areas that are prone to vaping (e.g., restrooms, hotel rooms). Otherwise, you may receive a false positive in areas where smoke is common (e.g., kitchens, manufacturing floors)

With Verkada’s SV11 Environmental Sensor, you can maximize detection and monitoring capabilities all while minimizing cost of ownership. With the SV11, you need not worry about how a vape detector works. You can rest assured that it will detect and alert you of vaping events because of its multi-sensor technology.

Purchase the SV11 Here Updated: Oct 10

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