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Fire on High School stage causes $25,000 damage

Discussion in 'News' started by derekleffew, Sep 25, 2008.

  1. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    This just in. Story here. Thankfully no injuries.

    Rope Lighting, both the incandescent and LED varieties, can get incredibly hot, especially when not strung out in a line. I once came upon a mass of melted, Dali-an shaped mess when a 50' string had been coiled and inadvertently energized for several hours.

    I am not saying that's what happened in this case, but I was prompted to take a look at the packaging from some LED ropelight purchased from my local Home Improvement Center. It does carry an UL Listing, but also includes warnings that the product may get hot, and should be used only when fully extended.

    Interesting information here: Rope Lights and UL Ratings.

    02/10/14: Updated link.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2014
  2. MNicolai

    MNicolai Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    Talk about the most expensive rope lights they'll ever buy.
     
    Charc and (deleted member) like this.
  3. Pie4Weebl

    Pie4Weebl Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    all the more a good reason to hate rope light (in case it always looking like crap wasn't enough of a reason)
     
  4. mbandgeek

    mbandgeek Active Member

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    Would wrapping it in diffusion help? :rolleyes:
     
  5. Les

    Les Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately it was probably a student technician who came up with hanging the rope light for backstage lighting. I'm not speculating that it was improperly installed or anything but still, I'll bet they feel pretty bad right about now!
     
  6. Hughesie

    Hughesie Well-Known Member

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    another thing i see that is a fire risk at my school is desklamps covered with gels (including the heat outlet)

    i ask that we all try to minmize the amount of desklamps used in this fashion as it is a fire risk and although if done properly could last one run should be used properly by replacing the globe with a blue one.
     
  7. cdub260

    cdub260 CBMod CB Mods

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    I keep a stock of 11 watt, red and blue light bulbs for just that purpose. I find that when I need backstage running lights, these are quite sufficient. It's also a whole lot easier than taping a gel to a clip light. I'll grant that I've never actually bought one of these, as when I joined the Pageant staff back in 2000, we already had several dozen.:rolleyes: I still have a dozen left from this original stock.

    You should be aware of what wattage light bulb you're putting in your clip lights and what the light socket is rated for. Far too often, I've seen 100 watt light bulbs in light sockets rated for 60 watts. It may be a while before the socket deteriorates from the heat, but it's an accident waiting to happen.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2008
  8. len

    len Well-Known Member

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    LED replacements (and rope lights) are worth the expense. The chance of fire is minimized due to the low heat generation. That doesn't mean, of course, that you can use them without exercising reasonable care.
     
  9. mnfreelancer

    mnfreelancer Active Member

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    The choir director at my highschool insisted on using white ropelights under the lip of the deck to outline the thrust. I eventually talked him out of it but there are many, many taped concerts where the stupid things could be seen during black-outs. If a camera op for some reason had his/her camera on auto-focus the lens would seek during the blackout and the line of rope lights would go in and out of focus making it look even worse and making me question that camera op's upbringing.

    Sad about the damage...an industry lesson (re)learned?
     
  10. genericcomment

    genericcomment Member

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    That's why we don't get nice things.
     
  11. venuetech

    venuetech Well-Known Member

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    sad as it is, it does bring into focus the need for qualified staff to supervise student operations. hopefully the school board and administration will recognise that.
     
  12. What Rigger?

    What Rigger? I'm so fly....I Neverland.

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    I've flown people on that stage a few years back, like four times in one year if I recall. They had two crashed/locked out linesets then. Typical high school, in my opinion, with almost no technical knowhow around the stage.
     
  13. TimMiller

    TimMiller Well-Known Member

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    I was doing lighting at a dance place the other night. They had pulled down all of the rope light they had around the room along with pulling all of the extension cords out of the celing that were connected to 2 pin spots and a mirror ball. They said that the fire marshall told them it was against fire code. He also really freaked out on the fact that there was a set of tails hanging out of the front of a disconnect that was energized, i wonder why...... I am suprised he didnt say anything about the 6 awg wire that was comming out of the top of this disconnect box running up the wall and to the a/c. The disconnect was fused for 200A, and the wire was not running through any conduit. I mean i know they have open air ratings but talk about rediculous, and the fact that it is supposed to be run though conduit.
     

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