Running a hazer with smoke alarms in exhaust ducts

gafftaper

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I am using the MDG Atmosphere in 4 venues all with alarms in ducts and one with beam detectors on the ceiling. Before purchasing the last one I tested it thoroughly for three hours on two different days whith hvac running. Extremely dense haze as I was trying to trip the alarm (it was of line and on watch). It passed the test.
I run the MDG from several consoles including an ETC ION and Jands. It is very easy to control. It has a Co2 20# tank (food grad) and uses very little Co2. The Co2 is basically to push the haze fluid the micron atomizer. it's not the co2 causing the effects, it is the micro haze particles that put a perfect look every time.
Although it has a muffin fan , I add a small fan to help steer it for an event. Let's see if I have some pi cs on my phone. pm me if you need anything. Also check out "CCCLIFE.org/service NJ by"9 am sunday
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Thanks, that's really helpful Intel!
 

Dan Fischer

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Nov 6, 2015
Location
Rochester, NY
We never use mineral oil based hazers in a theatre. The lenses will eventually get a film of oil on them. Anything with a fan will like projectors, moving lights, etc will as well. We use a Blizzard Tour AtmosFear HZ and it covers a 50' proscenium opening in a 1200+ seat house with no issues. We ran a test at our facility with security personnel on hand in case we set off the fire alarm and we never did. My advice is to run a controlled test with as close to show conditions as possible.
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Aaron S.

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Mar 8, 2017
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Los Angeles
Do not turn off your system or cover up areas that lead to smoke detection. That is not the answer. Those systems are in place to prevent tragedies. Don’t just “turn it off for the show then urn it back on”. If you are going to turn your fire detection system off, go through the proper channels and have the proper people on site.

Every time I have turned off a fire system I have had a Fire Marshall on sight from the moment the system goes off line to when it comes back online.

Just my 2 cents.
 

MNicolai

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Sarasota, FL
@Aaron S.
Gaff's definitely not the kind of person who's looking to defeat his fire alarm and detection systems. He's looking for appropriate ways to peacefully coexist. Good message though for other people looking to solve a similar problem.
 

Aaron S.

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Mar 8, 2017
Location
Los Angeles
@Aaron S.
Gaff's definitely not the kind of person who's looking to defeat his fire alarm and detection systems. He's looking for appropriate ways to peacefully coexist. Good message though for other people looking to solve a similar problem.
I know Gaff never mentioned turning the system off, but there are other people that have mentioned it. And I just don’t want someone else to read this thread and think it’s ok to just turn that stuff off willy nilly
 

cbrandt

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Dec 7, 2011
Location
Michigan
We never use mineral oil based hazers in a theatre. The lenses will eventually get a film of oil on them. Anything with a fan will like projectors, moving lights, etc will as well. We use a Blizzard Tour AtmosFear HZ and it covers a 50' proscenium opening in a 1200+ seat house with no issues. We ran a test at our facility with security personnel on hand in case we set off the fire alarm and we never did. My advice is to run a controlled test with as close to show conditions as possible.
As an FYI, even with water-based hazers, you are still going to get film buildup over time on everything with a lens or a fan. It will take a lot longer, depending on density and airflow, but cleaning those things are still required maintenance.
 
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gafftaper

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@Aaron S.
Gaff's definitely not the kind of person who's looking to defeat his fire alarm and detection systems. He's looking for appropriate ways to peacefully coexist. Good message though for other people looking to solve a similar problem.
Oh I used to be... but my 20's was a long time ago. :angryoldman:
 

macsound

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Jun 15, 2018
Location
San Francisco, CA
In theatre and non-theatre I've used a bunch of hazers and my real takeaway is maintenance. a DF-50 is bulletproof. Most community theatre shows I did were about 40 shows over 6-7 weeks. The hazer would have cues written into to the SMs book so someone backstage could consistently turn it on and off during the show, usually during songs so it wasn't audible. After the entire run of the show we'd use maybe 1/4 of the tank.
With water based machines, sometimes they'd be in cleaning mode when you wanted them on or the nozzle would be clogged and you'd find the floor covered in fluid. Not to say they weren't ok most of the time, especially a run of Les Mis, it was nice to have output and fan control from the console, but I just never trusted them.

In all cases, we usually locate the ac return and place the hazer on the opposite side of the stage. Always wanting to make sure the haze is even, we would use a box fan facing 90 degrees from the hazer about 10 feet away, so you encourage some airflow but you're not blowing the haze directly.

The only time I've had residue issues is with water based hazers because they vary their output. If the element wasn't quite at the right temp or the fan and output were both at 100%, the output is like shower air, moist to the touch, and willing to be absorbed onto soft surfaces (legs).

edit: I've gone comma crazy
 

Starr T.

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Jun 18, 2014
Location
SCC Sylva, NC
My 2 cents; its also good to communicate with your fire dept, and dispatch, and alarm company, even after thoroughly testing systems. Its real embarrassing & inconvenient to have dancers, scantily clad, out in cold alleys while guys in full turnout gear go room by room before calling "all clear." Or an audience of elders & donors to evacuate during a show... been there done that. Relationships help smooth & quicken those "not again" moments.
 

TheaterEd

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Going back to the topic above of forest fire smoke in the air making great natural haze....
This was the theater two weeks ago :
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Last year they started grilling burgers for the concession stands near my air intake. So when I suddenly had smoke in the air it took me a while to track down the culprit. Thank goodness it smelt like burgers or I would have been much more concerned. Anyways, our stage had a similar amount of haze from that effect, and the grill was moved to be further away from the building.
 

gafftaper

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Last year they started grilling burgers for the concession stands near my air intake. So when I suddenly had smoke in the air it took me a while to track down the culprit. Thank goodness it smelt like burgers or I would have been much more concerned. Anyways, our stage had a similar amount of haze from that effect, and the grill was moved to be further away from the building.
If only haze came in BBQ Smoke scent.
 

RonHebbard

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Jun 12, 2004
Location
Waterdown, ON, CA
If only haze came in BBQ Smoke scent.
Shazamm! Where's @varietyler, the young poster who asked about licensing requirements for producing, marketing, and distributing his own, (home brewed) liquid nitro' at under 16 years of age? BBQ scented haze could potentially expand his product line.
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard
 

derekleffew

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Aug 21, 2007
Location
Las Vegas, NV, USA
If only haze came in BBQ Smoke scent.
You're probably too young to remember when GAM (I think it was) offered a line of scented fog juices. IIRC, they had about ten "flavors", none BBQ I don't think, but I did find the inclusion of marijuana-scented rather odd.
 
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gafftaper

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You're probably too young to remember when GAM (I think it was) offered a line of scented fog juices. IIRC, they had about ten "flavors", none BBQ I don't think, but I did find the inclusion of marijuana-scented rather odd.
Yeah I remember those. I did Wizard of Oz at the high school and let the girl who was playing the wicked witch choose the smoke flavor as she got blasted with it when we did the melting scene.
 

Michael K

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Oct 23, 2015
Location
San Jose, CA
Shazamm! Where's @varietyler, the young poster who asked about licensing requirements for producing, marketing, and distributing his own, (home brewed) liquid nitro' at under 16 years of age? BBQ scented haze could potentially expand his product line.
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard
You're probably too young to remember when GAM (I think it was) offered a line of scented fog juices. IIRC, they had about ten "flavors", none BBQ I don't think, but I did find the inclusion of marijuana-scented rather odd.
Froggy's Fog seems to be the one now filling that niche these days, and among their 29 scent flavors are indeed BBQ Pit and Cannabis Hemp (apparently there's a demand!) I never made it over when my previous job used them last year, but I remember hearing that they worked as expected.
 

Allana

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Joined
Aug 19, 2015
Location
Minneapolis
Just popping in to talk about Covid.

This is the notes I took from a Monona Rossol webinar from yesterday (if you don't know Monona, you really should - a theater safety legend!) about atmospherics:
  • Studies have proven that Covid attaches to (/is more concentrated when there is) air pollution. Although there haven't been any good studies related to fog or haze, it is a fair assumption that Covid would behave similarly with these substances. Avoid fog/haze!
Also, gotta say, she's not a big fan of fog/haze even in good times. Lack of research on long term health effects combined with too many variables (how thick, ventilation settings, etc) leads her to a better-safe-than-sorry sort of approach. She's lived longer and fiester than anyone else I know (except maybe RBG, god rest her soul) so I'm inclined to agree.