Many schools installing vape detectors in bathrooms to discourage e-cigarette use

Suzanne Monaghan
June 10, 2019 - 4:00 am

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Some schools are turning to technology to help discourage students from vaping.  

The most common school vaping hideouts are bathrooms. Video monitoring isn't allowed there, so that's where the Fly Sense Vaping Detector comes in.  

The device is similar to a smoke detector, but it looks for e-cigarette vapor.

"Monitors overall air quality and in looking at air quality, we look for what we define as a vaping signature, which is simply like a chemical fingerprint in the air," said Derek Peterson, the CEO of Soter Technologies.

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When the device detects the vaping, it immediately sends a text message to anyone on the alert list. The alert includes the vaping location, and the schedule is customizable.

"So some teachers can get alerts in first period and second period. Some get third period to fourth period and pick what bathroom and which locations they're going to monitor," he said. 

The Fly Sense also sends an alert if it's tampered with.   

They cost about a $1,000 each plus there's an annual monitoring fee.  

Peterson says they're getting about 600 orders a month and some schools have told him the cost is far less than the money that's gone down the drain paying plumbing repairs from vaping paraphernalia flushed down school toilets.