Smoke, Haze, Fire Alarms, and Angry Fire Marshals

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djmazaltov

Mobile DJ
It's a fact...lights look better when theres smoke or haze. But it's also a fact that if you fill a room with smoke you will have people running for their lives and the fire marshall strangling you within 10 minutes. Word around the campfire had it that haze would eliminate my fire alarm issue but I'm not 100% sure that what they say is true.

In response to this I purchased a Chauvet HZ-1000 (something on the cheaper side so I could see if it was something I definatly wanted to invest in) However, I haven't used it much becasue I'm still unsure about the effects of it regarding fire alarms.

Does anybody have any solutions for how get smoke or haze in a building without setting off the fire alarm?

Thanks!

Ari
 

djrufhouse

New Member
A hazer will set off alarms but I will definitely say that there is a huge difference in the atmospheric conditions when using a fog machine versus something like the HZ1000. I never had problem with the HZ1000. Run it as needed but do not be overly aggressive with it. It takes very little.
 

bjojade

New Member
The thing about using smoke or haze is that you have to do the ground work to make sure that it's not going to cause a problem. Make sure the venue allows it, and the smoke detection system is prepared for it. Some places may allow the use of smoke when the fire detection system is turned off, but this requires a fire marshal to be present during the event. This is obviously an added cost to the client. If they want it, they pay for it.

Make sure of the rules before you decide what you are going to do.
 

DJPop

Uh, My Real Name is Jay.
To be technical(maybe):

The Chauvet hazer is nothing more than a glorified fogger. It uses the same fog juice as other foggers.


Now, from what I read, the Le Matire Hazer uses something totally different. Non-Oil based. Now, I am not sure if it produces a different "haze", but it could be a solution. (maybe)
 

musicbydj

New Member
The LeMaitre will set off alarms, but the point is that it is much less of a chance that with a regular fogger. I have a venue that gets set off by anythign including candles, cigarettes, etc. I tested my Lemaitre out for 2 hours and NOTHING......it's the only thing I've found that I can use in that venue. I do recommend going and trying it there first like I did BEFORE a gig.
 

BillESC

Member
Smoke detectors read PPM (Parts Per Million)

Once you reach the concentration of particulate matter the reader is set to...ALARMS WILL GO OFF.

Fog and Haze is a place where less is more.
 

DJ Dave

New Member
I use a Volcano/Fazer and have yet to set off the fire alarm at any venue so far. I use it very sparingly if at all. Most venues and even some schools don't want any type of fog/have.
 

NickyB

Gear and Equipment Moderator
I've got two LeMaitre's and a Chauvet I bought when one of the others went down ..... I use nothing but LeMaitre hazer fluid in all of them (yes including the Chauvet HZ-1000). However, I always check ahead of time with management as to their policy on the use of atmospherics. And with a hazer, I've actually convinced schools to change their policies by demoing the difference between foggers and a hazers. I've found through experience that the principle offense against using atmospherics by 95% of the naysayers has always been "over use" by a Band or DJ in their past.

NickyB
 

Mixmaster

Member
Just about all the places in my area forbid using these devices. Too many bad situations in the past.

Mixmaster
 

DJ Ron Auger

Account Closed
Ari: What area are you in. I was a career firefighter in Milford before my early retirement 3 years ago. I worked a great deal with fire safety education. I maybe able to give you some advise.

Because of the Rhode Island night club fire 3 years ago the Fire Chiefs, State Fire Marshall's office and Building inspectors have become real strict on these issues. Amazing it took the deaths of 100 people for these people to wake up. I use to beat my head against the wall every time I played a venue and found fire safety issues. It took the Coconut Grove fire to create the NFPA. I think some must have forgotten about that one as well.

Anyway it can be tricky with smoke and hazers depending on the venue. Most venues don't even know what they have for protection system.

Smoke detectors read PPM (Parts Per Million)
This is true but there are two types of smoke detectors, ionization and photoelectric. They both sense smoke in different ways. There are now duel type detectors that are both ionization/photoelectric combined. In larger venues you have smoke detectors that are located in the air handling units on the roofs. These are the detectors that trip while exhausting the smoke. Some places you may not even find smoke detectors, just heat detectors in certain areas. Smoke machines will not set off the heat detector and these can look exactly like a smoke detector.

Lots of information I know. How many hall managers or wedding coordinators do you think have a clue. Our schools are not allowed to use smoke machines since they tripped the alarms at the middle school during a show.
 

DJGK

New Member
My fogger is no longer used at any public facility. It is pretty much relegated to one night a year at this point.......scaring the bejeezes out of the little kids at my door on Halloween night.
 

dj4Him

New Member
Most venues don't even know what they have for protection system.
I ask them this exact question, they can never tell me. I think the problem is is that venue owners/managers have heard to many stories, and decided against the use of fog/haze. I have a fogger, I have used it in 2 reception venues, a large hotel auditorium, a bunch of churches and have not had a problem yet. I do agree though that using haze is a better option being that it is not as "thick" as smoke/fog when it comes out, just in case you directly underneith a smoke detector.
 

djmazaltov

Mobile DJ
The company I work for is based out of Peabody, but most of the events I do are in the Greater Boston area. I was hoping to bring haze to more school events, but like you said, if there are particle detectors then the alarm will almost inevitably go off.

Being a fire fighter, what would you reccomend is the best approach to go about in getting clearance to bring haze and getting the alarms in the room deactivated? (If they are the type that will be particle-sensitive)

Is it possible to find out beforehand from the fire dept./venue itself what type of smoke detectors a venue has? (Taking into consideration what you said about most venues have no clue what they're talking about when I mention types of smoke detectors)

Thanks!
-Ari
 

len

New Member
djmazaltov said:
The company I work for is based out of Peabody, but most of the events I do are in the Greater Boston area. I was hoping to bring haze to more school events, but like you said, if there are particle detectors then the alarm will almost inevitably go off.

Being a fire fighter, what would you reccomend is the best approach to go about in getting clearance to bring haze and getting the alarms in the room deactivated? (If they are the type that will be particle-sensitive)

Is it possible to find out beforehand from the fire dept./venue itself what type of smoke detectors a venue has? (Taking into consideration what you said about most venues have no clue what they're talking about when I mention types of smoke detectors)

Thanks!
-Ari
ANY atmospheric CAN cause a fire alarm. It depends on a combination of factors from the amount of particulate in the air to the way the air is flowing and where the machine is positioned, to what kind of detectors are in the building. Because there are a number of factors involved it is impossible to give a blanket statement about any particular kind or brand of atmospheric.

The best way to avoid all this is if you are using an atmospheric is to contact the fire department and schedule a fire watch. Basically, they send a fire fighter (usually an off duty officer) out to stand there. The fee varies. SOMETIMES, the venue will insist on doing it for you and tacking on a fee for doing so. The hotels around O'Hare (Rosemont, Illinois) charge up to $500 for making that phone call. The fee to the fire department is $25 an hour, 4 hour minimum but the hotel gets an ADDITIONAL $500.
 

BillESC

Member
Len is correct. The only real and viable solution is to have a Fire Watch.

As stated the fees involved vary. The larger the city the larger the fees. We once did a pyrotechnic show at the Hilton Hotel in NYC. The FDNY required 4 fire fighters to be on watch, of course we were setting off indoor aerial fireworks, ground fountains and concussion mortors. :twisted:

It is up to the person hiring you to pay the fees if they want the effect.
 
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