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Bang...

Discussion in 'Safety' started by kiwitechgirl, Feb 6, 2009.

  1. kiwitechgirl

    kiwitechgirl Well-Known Member

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    Pre-show checks all done, moving lights struck, checked and working, myself (the stage manager), my operator and my ASM were sitting peacefully in the auditorium discussing something or other when there was a godalmighty BANG from the rig above our heads. My operator said "that'll be a Mac lamp, I saw a flash from that 600". No worries, we thought, we have spare lamps, there's plenty of time. Operator got the ladder out and climbed up to the unit, opened it up, and extracted a lamp which was still in perfect working order. He put it back, climbed back down the ladder and went to the phone to call the hire company who own the unit to let them know that we needed a replacement, knowing that any repairs needed were not going to be possible in the time we had. At that point I went to speak to FOH to let them know that there might be a slight delay in starting the show, as we had to get the replacement unit to the theatre and up in the rig. I walked back into the auditorium to find a) a nasty burning smell and b) the operator walking towards the ladder carrying a fire extinguisher. He said "hold this, will you? Mr Sands is in the Mac but I might be able to put it out without an extinguisher." Up the ladder again, cover off the power supply - sure enough, there were small flames coming out of it! After an abortive attempt to blow the flames out, I handed the extinguisher up to him and the power supply was filled with dry powder....put the fire out, but what a mess it made...we roped the unit down to the ground and had a look, and it turned out the big capacitor in the power supply had let go in spectacular fashion, and the resulting spark had ignited some of the wiring insulation. The hire company got a replacement to us in double-quick time, we got it addressed and up, and managed to start the show on time - just very thankful it didn't happen mid-show. Chances are that if it had, the fire would have gone out by itself when it ran out of fuel, but the burning smell was not pleasant! The Mac (which was well under a year old) got sent to the New Zealand Martin dealers, who looked at it and sent it back to Martin in Denmark, and it turns out they're sending a new one back to replace it....It's not every day that someone says to you "Mr Sands is in the Mac" and it's something I don't particularly want to hear again!
     
  2. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    Ah, so that's why it's called an ignitor!:twisted:
     
  3. Wolf

    Wolf Active Member

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    I havent heard this term before. Does it mean fire?
     
  4. kiwitechgirl

    kiwitechgirl Well-Known Member

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    Yes, Mr Sands is the term used fairly widely (maybe it's a British/Australian/New Zealand thing?) for fire - if an audience member hears you say "fire in the workshop" they'll panic, if they hear you say "Mr Sands is in the workshop" they won't! Something very similar is used on the London Underground, I believe.
     
  5. TheSwami

    TheSwami Member

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    Did you ever find out what caused the capacitor to fail? Just a faulty part? Some sort of wiring problem?

    73
     
  6. Ric

    Ric Active Member

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    I've never heard this in the Theatre or live entertainment industry here in Melbourne, ever, so its definitely NOT in common use here in Oz !

    Must be a kiwi thing. :!:
     
  7. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Occupation:
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    Although I have never heard that particular name, this is a fairly common technique. At the high school I used to teach at, if there was a dangerous threat to our safety and we were to lock down the school immediately the Secretary would come on the intercom and say "Mr. Olshefsky is in the building"... the name of the school district superintendent at the time. My wife is a nurse and has encountered similar codes in hospitals and nursing homes. Because there are so many different types of security and medical emergency issues they use color codes to differentiate (i.e. "Code Pink" means someone is trying to steal a baby from the maternity wing) but sometimes they page a doctor's name when they don't want anyone to be suspicious (i.e. "Dr. Jones to the E.R." means someone's going crazy down here we need all the cops and security we can get.)
     
  8. TheDonkey

    TheDonkey Active Member

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    It'd be kinda funny if one day, the announcer gets papers mixed up and accidentally calls Dr. Jones to ER instead of Pediactrics

    But yeah, my dad's been spending last couple months in the hospital to care for my baby brother(his liver failed),and he's got a fair percentage of the basic codes memorized, like code Blue is someone's lungs or heart(IE, no air), but I don't remember any more...
     
  9. kiwitechgirl

    kiwitechgirl Well-Known Member

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    Nope, I asked the guys about it the other day but they hadn't heard anything. I suspect it may not have got back to Martin yet - given that it was broken, I would think it wasn't sent via airmail and so may still be on a ship somewhere between New Zealand and Denmark!
     
  10. Eboy87

    Eboy87 Well-Known Member

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    Code Blue means a patient is in cardiac arrest.

    My Dad's a doctor
     
  11. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    And what's the derivation/origin of "stat"?

    My sister is a 30+year surgical nurse, but it's more fun to ask here.:)
     
  12. Eboy87

    Eboy87 Well-Known Member

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    May I answer this one Derek, or is this for the general population?
     
  13. renegadeblack

    renegadeblack Active Member

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    I remember me, my mom, and my aunt were in the hospital visiting my grandmother. They came over the PA and said that an emergency had been reported in the hospital. Please wait while this emergency is confirmed. Please move towards the stairs on your level and proceed to the nearest exit.

    At about this time, we are in need of being checked-in for cardiac arrest, which is convenient because we were on the cardiac floor.

    We see the nurses and every one else acting like nothing happened. Apparently, it was just a drill. How useful is a drill when everyone simply ignores the message?
     
  14. lightman02

    lightman02 Active Member

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    I would say a faulty capacitor or you had the light pluged into a dimmer circuit (which is a NO NO) which will do bad things especially if the dimmer is not at a 100%. By the way the capacitor has nothing to do with the igniter.
     
  15. kiwitechgirl

    kiwitechgirl Well-Known Member

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    We most certainly did not have the light plugged into a dimmer circuit! My operator is far too smart and far, far too experienced to even consider doing that - and even if, for some inexplicable reason, he had considered it, every other technician (and also me) would have asked him what on earth he thought he was doing. The faulty capacitor is probably what it was, we just haven't heard anything official yet.
     
  16. Chris15

    Chris15 CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Mr Sands is not known up here either... I surmise it's a Kiwi thing like Fush and Chups.

    "Would the Station Master please report to the Station Master's office" really means fire alarm with Cityrail, as confirmed by all the fire doors unlocking when that started over the PA... Everyone has some sort of panic mitigation measures in place...
     
  17. achstechdirector

    achstechdirector Active Member

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    ours for lockdown is "the superintendent is in the building"
    ours for fire is "Would a janitor please report to 17G" (The hgihest is 16G which is The booth)(I know, weird that they gave the booth a number)
    I believe that all the techs know what the codes are and if they don't, they should because sometimes they are in the theatre alone or in a small group without staff so if there is a fire they need to know and if there is a bomb threat (which is pretty common in A wing) they need to know
     
  18. Les

    Les Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Our code for fire is "WHOOOOP WHOOOOP WHOOOOP..."






    Actually, at my local community theatre, there is an annunciator that comes in through the sound system and says in a very calm female voice "There is an emergency in the building. Please move toward the nearest exit". This happens any time the fire alarms go off and the sound system is on. I can't decide if it is better or worse than just the standard shrieking alarm, because the voice almost confirms (in audience member's minds) that there actually IS an emergency somewhere, even in a false alarm (which has happened during a show more than once). There's also this cool talkback mic at the alarm panel (located in the box office) that allows you to talk to the entire building through the fire alarm speakers. We make it a point that even though it is cool, to never play with it. Plus, it sounds all tinny. The alarm system is made by Silent Knight.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2009
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  19. willbb123

    willbb123 Active Member

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    I've only heard our fire alarm once (renter didnt use water based haze, preshow btw). It is not the regular alarm, it is more of a loud bell dinging.
    There is a stage manager mic backstage that is normaly used to page down to the dressing rooms. But there is an emergency button that will put the mic over the mains, lobby, dressing rooms, and even offices. It has its own amps so it will work if the sound system is on or off.
     
  20. TimMiller

    TimMiller Well-Known Member

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    I have had caps fail, and its not always pretty. Usually what happens, especially in cyberlights, is that the cap fails and your amperage about doubles, in which there piece of crap breaker is supposed to trip, but it naturally does not creating a lovely meltdown in the fixture, resulting in flames occasionally. Normally turning off the pd causes the flames to extinguish soon after. I have never had to take a fire extinguisher after a light yet. Normally giving the light a good blow of air, you can blow out the little flame. I once had a par can catch on fire that was a nice looking show, esp since it happened in the middle of a show. Someone apparently replaced a ceramic, and wirenutted the connection and wrapped it in e-tape, a good bit of e-tape. And the connection heated up and caught fire. It went out after it ran out of e-tape to burn through. Ever since then, i now use insulated crimp terminals rated for 130 deg C.
     

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