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Fog machines

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by HighWattageKid92, Jul 29, 2008.

  1. HighWattageKid92

    HighWattageKid92 Member

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    Does anyone know if you are required to have a specific license in the state of New York to use a fog machine in a school theater, house, and dance area? Im good with disabling smoke alarms (hehehehe) but as far requirments my local fire department was no help and had no clue.
     
  2. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    I've never heard of licensing requirements for fog... but I'm not from NY.

    The disabling the smoke alarms is something you should think about and plan carefully. Just because you can doesn't mean you should. I would talk with the fire marshal about that. You wouldn't want them to come shut your event down or have a real fire and have a lot of people get hurt. There is a proper procedure to follow that will allow you to use your fog and keep the place safe. What that procedure is depends on your fire marshal.

    Sometimes it's ok to use the strategy "don't ask questions and apologize later if you get caught" (for example when dealing with a school district weapons policy and having prop weapons on stage). However, when it comes to rigging and fire safety questions the "getting caught" part involves severe injury, death, or damage to the facility. So when it comes to rigging and fire safety, always ask questions first and do exactly what the experts tell you. The risks are just too great.
     
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2008
  3. HighWattageKid92

    HighWattageKid92 Member

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    Im very careful when it comes to disabling smoke alarms do to past experiences (wasnt me) when our director for Wizard of Oz without thinking turned on a 5,000 cbc ft per min fog machine in a high school theater. I only use fog machines at parties. Thanks for the fast reply :)
     
  4. BillESC

    BillESC Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I used to work a lot in NY and there was no special permit required for fog machines. However, Gafftapers advise is excellent.
     
  5. HighWattageKid92

    HighWattageKid92 Member

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    Thanks alot guys. And yes Like I said I am very careful when it comes to smoke alarms the (hehehe) was just a little joke. Fires are all to close to me personally. But thank you once again for giving me tips and clarification.
     
  6. Les

    Les Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Yah I was hoping that was a joke. I'm pretty sure you can go to jail for that.
     
  7. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Not everywhere, but I believe yes in some places it is a felony to disable a fire alarm without notifying the fire marshal and performing their prescribed firewatch procedures. It's definitely illegal everywhere and you can get shut down and possibly fined.
     
  8. Sayen

    Sayen Active Member

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    What type of smoke detector is it? I was under the impression that different types of machines play nice with different types of detectors.

    Our smoke detector is a light beam across the stage, so every type of smoke sets it off, along with curtains that get pulled too far or large flown scenery.
     
  9. JD

    JD Well-Known Member

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    Ion detectors (old) and heat detectors generally will not trip, but photo-optic ones will.

    In Ion detectors, the charged particles produced in a fire is what trips them, but they use a little bit of radioactive material so they have fallen out of favor. The newer photo-optic ones look for anything in the air that interrupts light.

    Here's the kicker- It's usually not the room detector that goes off, it is the "duct" detector in the HVAC system. That being said, it usually takes a lot, but good systems put out a lot!

    Generally, ask to have the system put on "test" and have a fire-watch. (where applicable by code)
     
  10. HighWattageKid92

    HighWattageKid92 Member

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    I called my Fire Department today and I meet all standards I am just required to notify them if I am disabling a detector and what time and date.
     
  11. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Good WattageKid you get a cookie!

    Now head on over to the New Member Board and introduce yourself and you'll get the glass of milk to go with it!
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2008
  12. HighWattageKid92

    HighWattageKid92 Member

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    Gaffer can you make it chocolate chip and the milk 2%?
     
  13. TimMiller

    TimMiller Well-Known Member

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    I asked one local hotel about using fog machines. They said they didnt know and they were about to go through some construction. They called me and told me to come up there with my fogger. When i showed up they had me set up the fogger in a room that had a detector in it, the detector was setup in front of the air handler intake incase of fire. He said the system is disabled and the fire alarm company just tested the detector. They had a red led on the side of it that would light up if it was triggered. We smoked out the room really well and it didnt go off, so they told me i was good to go. Never hurts to ask. I have had hotels freak out when i have just brought a fogger in the door, like it would randomly go off on its own and set off the smoke alarm. I have also worked at some other shows where no one said anything and set off the fogger, next thing i knew we were all standing outside waiting for the fire dept to show up.
     

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