Fog/Haze without setting off fire alarms

Bryce_J

Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2014
Location
chicago il
I am DJing a dance tomorrow. The room I will be using is mane 200 or so Square Feet and I have a fat beam laser that needs fog. The problem is that the room has smoke detectors and fire alarms that are connected to the fire department and my crap 1000 watt fog machine is known to set off fire alarms and it just so happens that the smoke detector (the one with the strobe on it that is attached to the fire Handel) is only 8 feet or so from where I'm setting up so that would increase my chances of setting them off even more! Normally I would just rent a hazer but I am doing this for free for my church so i have very little to no money to spend and no time to rent. I want to be able to use fog unless it's not at all possible to do.


My question is if anyone knows a good method of making my fog work like haze or a way to possibly cover the smoke detector that won't set it off that I can do just before and just after the dance. I am willing to build something as long as it doesn't exceed around 20-30 dollars to do.

Please get back to me ASAP!


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Wood4321

Active Member
Joined
Oct 22, 2009
Location
Minneapolis, MN
I am DJing a dance tomorrow. The room I will be using is mane 200 or so Square Feet and I have a fat beam laser that needs fog. The problem is that the room has smoke detectors and fire alarms that are connected to the fire department and my crap 1000 watt fog machine is known to set off fire alarms and it just so happens that the smoke detector (the one with the strobe on it that is attached to the fire Handel) is only 8 feet or so from where I'm setting up so that would increase my chances of setting them off even more! Normally I would just rent a hazer but I am doing this for free for my church so i have very little to no money to spend and no time to rent. I want to be able to use fog unless it's not at all possible to do.


My question is if anyone knows a good method of making my fog work like haze or a way to possibly cover the smoke detector that won't set it off that I can do just before and just after the dance. I am willing to build something as long as it doesn't exceed around 20-30 dollars to do.

Please get back to me ASAP!


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Nope, Don't disable the smoke detector in any way.
The only way to do this correctly is to hire a fire watch, (often the fire marshall) and disable the system.
I think you are stuck not using the fog.
And as for the laser, do you need a variance for its operation in a public space? Check that out before you use it..
Sorry I couldn't provide better news.
 

TheaterEd

Renaissance Man
Fight Leukemia
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Jan 21, 2013
Location
Near Milwaukee
The first time I tested a fog machine in my space we invited the fire marshal to supervise. He told his men to ignore any alarms in the next ten minutes and we tested to see if we would set off the alarm. There might not be enough time for you to do the same though.

As Josh said, do not disable the smoke detector in any way. This can end very badly for you and anyone else involved.
 

Bryce_J

Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2014
Location
chicago il
I will see if we can talk to the fire department. But I have no intent on disabling the alarm but just putting a pice of gaff tape over the opening in the one smoke detector. Also I'm not certain if I need a variance for my laser but I don't think so it's a Chauvet scorpion rgy and I'm going to have it about 10' but I'll look into that just to be safe.


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Wood4321

Active Member
Joined
Oct 22, 2009
Location
Minneapolis, MN
I will see if we can talk to the fire department. But I have no intent on disabling the alarm but just putting a pice of gaff tape over the opening in the one smoke detector. Also I'm not certain if I need a variance for my laser but I don't think so it's a Chauvet scorpion rgy and I'm going to have it about 10' but I'll look into that just to be safe.


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I strongly feel you shouldn't tamper with the smoke detector in any way...
Or if you feel you need to, then discuss it with the fire marshall first.

And according to Chavuet, you are correct, no variance needed.
That being said, make sure it cannot hit the audience at any time.
Also be mindful of anything the laser could reflect off of, and hit the audience.
 

Bryce_J

Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2014
Location
chicago il
I agree. I'm most likely not tampering with the smoke detector. I think I'm most likely going to contact the fire department about it and see what they want to do. Also I have heard people talk about things you can do with fans to get a haze-like effect from a fog machine. Thank you for the advise.


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JD

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2005
Location
North Wales PA
Have had to do that before.
Of course, the show was at the firehouse, so it was a pretty easy task ;)
The new photo-optic style detectors can even be tripped up by haze. Anything that gets in the way between the lLED and the photo diode sets it off.
 

BillConnerFASTC

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2010
Location
Clayton NY 13624
Working with authorities, if its a modern alarm system with a central panel, you can silence that one detector or room, and arrange a fire watch. Some jurisdictions will require you hire fire service, others are quite fine with knowing who it is and deciding the person is rsponsible and understands the issues. It varies.

We make sure detectors where we have a choice are heat detectors, which don't detect theatrical atmospheric effects, but return air ducts above a certain size are required to have smoke detectors, so remain the problem.

Good luck.
 

Les

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2004
Location
DFW, Tx.
I agree. I'm most likely not tampering with the smoke detector.
Fixed it for you. Even a piece of tape is considered tampering, and can land you in jail very easily. It's that big of a deal.

If the laser is 5mw or above, you need a variance, but I don't believe the Scorpions are. Just don't do any crowd scanning, watch for reflective surfaces, etc.
 

Bryce_J

Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2014
Location
chicago il
I understand. By "most likely" I meant doing anything with the detector. If I have anything done It will be done by the fire department. If i end up using fog it will be a few quick bursts into a fan/blower. If I remember correctly it looked like they had 1 smoke detector on a wall about 8-10 feet from where I'll be and then i think there was 2 heat sensors on the ceiling. The laser will be on a tripod behind my booth at about 10 feet And there are no reflective surfaces in the room. Thank you for the help.


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Les

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2004
Location
DFW, Tx.
In my experience, detectors usually trip when you inundate an area with fog. A few quick bursts may not cause any issue, but YMMV. You can further help the cause by placing a fan behind the fog machine to help direct the output away from known alarm sensors. I am familiar with your plight, believe me. There have been so many instances where I have done some type of event in an unfamiliar venue and had to cut or dramatically throttle back the fog due to either power availability or alarm concerns. It's very frustrating since the light show looks 1,000 times better with atmospherics involved.
 

wolfman005

Active Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2013
Location
St. Louis MO, USA
So a church I do lighting for sometimes has the same problem. I googled the local fire dept and found an email for the fire marshal and asked him about a fire watch but he never responded. Does anyone have a baseline price for one? And a contact? Although I'm thinking for a contact that would only be good if you lived near said church.

Can a responsible adult at the church be trained as a fire watch?
 

Les

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2004
Location
DFW, Tx.
So a church I do lighting for sometimes has the same problem. I googled the local fire dept and found an email for the fire marshal and asked him about a fire watch but he never responded. Does anyone have a baseline price for one? And a contact? Although I'm thinking for a contact that would only be good if you lived near said church.

Can a responsible adult at the church be trained as a fire watch?

Unfortunately these are all questions that can only be answered by your local fire marshal or AHJ (s). Every municipality operates differently. Trust me - my company deals with these things on a daily basis.

Their charge for such a service, should they require it, is all over the place. There really is no base line.
 

Les

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2004
Location
DFW, Tx.
No problem! I will say that they generally charge hourly with a set minimum (usually 4 hours or so).
 

Footer

Senior Team
Senior Team
Premium Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2005
Location
Saratoga Springs, NY
I trip smoke heads pretty regularly in my grid... 60' away from where we set up hazers. Don't ever think that just because your a decent amount away from the smoke head that you won't trip it. Either get it disabled or don't use the haze. Fire trucks role quick.
 

lwinters630

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 12, 2011
Location
west of Chicago
I am DJing a dance tomorrow. The room I will be using is mane 200 or so Square Feet and I have a fat beam laser that needs fog. The problem is that the room has smoke detectors and fire alarms that are connected to the fire department and my crap 1000 watt fog machine is known to set off fire alarms and it just so happens that the smoke detector (the one with the strobe on it that is attached to the fire Handel) is only 8 feet or so from where I'm setting up so that would increase my chances of setting them off even more! Normally I would just rent a hazer but I am doing this for free for my church so i have very little to no money to spend and no time to rent. I want to be able to use fog unless it's not at all possible to do.


My question is if anyone knows a good method of making my fog work like haze or a way to possibly cover the smoke detector that won't set it off that I can do just before and just after the dance. I am willing to build something as long as it doesn't exceed around 20-30 dollars to do.

Please get back to me ASAP!

P.m.
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First off, fog machines usually run dry ice and almost never trip alarms. If you mean smoke or haze they can easily trip alarms depending on building design. Ours will, depending on the weather, blow it outside during the air recirculation cycle, drift over and drawn into a different section of the buildings hvac fresh air intake.
I have triped them in 30 sec or 3 hours. Our solution is to only run dry ice fog, or with permission of building management and the local AHJ and fire department to go on fire watch. This involves us, taking the alarm off line, training a responsible adult to constant monitor the fire control panel. If a sensor trips they radio maintenance who will check the zone for more than haze. If it is a pull station trip, then the person monitoring will dial 911, then have maintenance turn on building audible alarms to clear building. The asumption is only people who see a fire will use the pull station. The alarms company is notif ied to reset once our event is over.
Proper announcements are given prior to the show re: use of smoke, haze and lights. exit location in the event of emergency. We also have trained staff around room during evevt.

P S : Don't just email the fire marshal, pick up a phone call the non emg number. They will connect you to them.

As for cheap hazer, take 3 gl pail, run 3 ft length of 1/4" copper tube conected to air conpressor. Make one turn around bottom of pail and drill four 1/16th holes on bottom of copper tube. pour 2 bottles of mineral or baby oil in pail. Insert a 2" pvc tee into lid with single exit hole out top. 10 psi will fill 500 seat auditorium in. 20 min
 

Bryce_J

Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2014
Location
chicago il
Yes the DIY fog chillers there are hundreds of designs out there. I've been trying to get it right for about 2 years now and the on that I have had work the best is the trash can model with the coiled 20' dryer hose, fill trash can with ice, then use the low lying cryo fog fluid by froggy fog (I highly recommend froggy fog's fluids! In my opinion they make the best fog juice out there and they are not bad on the wallet.) also many people say to put a trash bag on the end or to put it in a box but I prefer the cloudy effect that you get by leavening the dryer hose exposed.

Hope if your interested In making one this saves you the trial and error a thousand times.

This is a link to the fog juice I recommend for any low lying effect, it stays low for a long time and doesn't rise in thick clouds.

[url='http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B004B4902K/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?qid=1394812086&sr=8-1&pi=SY200_QL40"]1 Gal - Cryofreeze - Stage and Studio Low Lying Ground Fog Machine Fluid:Amazon:Musical Instruments[/url]



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Bryce_J

Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2014
Location
chicago il
Thank you everyone for all your help the dance was a successes and no alarm problems at all!


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