Paddyback from the dead...sort of
884 posts
Location: 4341'N 7938'W


Posted:
Hey gang,

I've got a couple of indoor performances coming up. I haven't spun indoors before and I personally I think whitegas is too risky to spin with inside, so I'm planning to use the purest lamp oil I can find.

The question is: has anyone ever had any problems with smoke detectors going off? I know lamp oil isn't 100% smoke free. I did a search and couldn't find anything about this risk. And I reeeeally don't want to set off any alarms.

Has this happened to anyone before? Can anyone familiar with indoor performances give some tips to reduce the risk? Thanks all.

NYCNYC
9,232 posts
Location: NYC, NY, USA


Posted:
Uh... yeah, turns out fire will infact activate smoke detectors. We've done that a few times in sitations where it didn't matter. First, find out if the detector is wired to call the fire department. Cuz that's bad. If it's just an independant one that beeps for a bit then the worst case is that it beeps.

I have no information on how different fuels affect the detector... I think we used whitegas and it still went off...

Well, shall we go?
Yes, let's go.
[They do not move.]


Paddyback from the dead...sort of
884 posts
Location: 4341'N 7938'W


Posted:
Will have to look into that. Thanks NYC.

I wonder why smoke detectors don't go off with all the people smoking cigarettes in clubs. Often the air is misty with that smoke, which would set off optical sensors, and the smell is *more* than apparent, and that means thatchemical detectors would probably be set off too. Maybe the tolerance is set really high?

NYCNYC
9,232 posts
Location: NYC, NY, USA


Posted:
Excellent point about the cigs. I know that sprinkler systems are heat activated.

Dunno.

Well, shall we go?
Yes, let's go.
[They do not move.]


tiamat_22580I will kill all mods
210 posts
Location: mods suck


Posted:
i think you should always stay outside but in your case i suggest shutting off the alarms and smoke detectors or cover them up with a towel


Astarmember
1,591 posts
Location: Nova Scotia, Canada.


Posted:
I know there are two types of smoke detectors. Ones that have a light beam and if smoke passes across that beam the light that reflects off the smoke hits a light esnsor and sets off the alarm. and ones that have two plates that send ionized particles between them. when smoke enters it disrupts the flow of ionized current and the smoke detector detects a drop in current passing between the two plates and sets off the alarm.

arashiPooh-Bah
2,364 posts
Location: austin,tx


Posted:
first of all, let me say that doing a show indoors is a _very_ serious affair. it is best to go through legal channels and make sure your fire dept. knows about your show and has approved. then they usu. have a fireman there and if the alarm goes off they can just disregard it and turn it off, unless there really is an emergency. usu. they will manually shut off the sprinklers, too. having said that ...
well i can only speak from my own experience. but i have found that it is best to ask to see which kind of system they have. some just have sprinklers. regular old school smoke detectors usually aren't too bad with ultra pure in short bursts. if there is a computer, definitely go with ultrapure, and at least cut it down with a generous amount of coleman's. (but research the best way to transport fuel and soak outside in secure area or on roof and move your soaked equipment indoors when using coleman's). using straight ultra pure lamp oil in a large sized club will probably set off a computer. believe me, it's embarassing. (that's why i like to pack as much of my fuel stuff as possible BEFORE a show ) i find that if you are indoors it helps if you really keep the fire moving (not holding a wick still for long) throughout the show so there is less smoke. don't breathe fire under a sprinkler!!!
but really, it also depends on how long your show is. a four minute routine is one thing. but a twenty minute show? that's a lot of smoke, yo. fer real doe.

[ 02. December 2002, 22:44: Message edited by: arashi ]

-Such a price the gods exact for song: to become what we sing
-Seek freedom and become captive of your desires. Seek discipline and find your liberty.
-When the center of the storm does not move, you are in its path.


Paddyback from the dead...sort of
884 posts
Location: 4341'N 7938'W


Posted:
both of the shows I'm doing (if they work out) will only be four minute performances. hopefully that will work out in my favour.

I think I will contact the local fire deptarments and give them the heads up. excellent idea, arashi, thanks man. and thank you everyone for the help.

fireballsmember
8 posts
Location: ff


Posted:
Hey there....if you gonna do a indoor show it's a couple of things that you have to find out...
if it calls to the fire-department (big fines!! ) another thing is that every alarm lives it's own life (am an electrician, been fixing and installing loads of alarms...and they can be hell...)...So some detectors can be very sensible when they shouldn't be...and then it takes nothing to make the alarm go of....watch out!!....
Another thing is that on some alarms you can turn one or more detectors of for a preset time or untill you turn them on again..ask the one who own it.....just remember to turn the detectors on again....you dont want any fires on your neck
and at last.....it also depends what kind of detector you're dealing with..'smoke' or 'heat'(there is different kinds of them both, but smoke or heat is the main catagorys)
if you have a heat detector i'd say your safe because you need a lot of heat to activate them....(we test them using a lighter)
but watch out for the smoke ones cause they are a bit more unstabile....
And just use common sense.....playing with fire is fun....but you have to know what you're doing if you gonna do it indoors

Jack

CharlesBRONZE Member
Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
3,989 posts
Location: Auckland, New Zealand


Posted:
DO NOT TURN OFF ANY FIRE DETECTORS IN A PUBLIC OR PRIVATE BUILDING!

Sorry for yelling, but in many countries, you can get a huge fine or even go to jail for doing that.

As alreayd suggested, call the fire department and tell them what you intend to do and ask them what procedures need to be followed.

Here in NZ, there must be registered fire marshalls present if the fire system is turned off. It needs to be turned off by one of the marshalls, and turned back on by the marshalls.

Anyone else touching it will get an instant fine, criminal conviction and possible jailterm.

Please remember, your show is not worth endangering someones life, including your own, and this should always be our first consideration.

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Carmapictmember
5 posts
Location: scotland


Posted:
I think it depends on what type of venue you are gonna be performing in. I've been in nightclubs and hotels where it did'nt pose any problem. Nightclubs especially are unlikely to have there alarms set off due to the fact they use smoke machines and in some, pyrotechnics. This may be because the alarms are not set off by smoke but by heat. It is probable worth finding out what kind of alarms your venue uses and what will set them off. If you are in a large space them smoke defuses fairly rapidly and is not concentrate enough to trigger alarms. Its worth remembering to dip you fire stuff immediately after they go out as this will help reduce the amount of smoke and fumes comming off of them. Finnaly if you have not performed indoors before then make sure you have plenty of space at a reasonable distance away from people, you dont want anyone getting in your way and running the risk of spoiling your : flow. (people can be really dunb when it comes to fire not realising if they get too near they may get burnt!)

CharlesBRONZE Member
Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
3,989 posts
Location: Auckland, New Zealand


Posted:
Just because it's happened before doens;t mean what you are doing isn't illegal.

I'm deadly serious about this, and while I apologise for coming on so strong, don't rely on the fact that the owner doens't have the fire system turned on to protect you from prosecution.

Indoor fire shows are dangerous, and have ruined performers and killed people in the past.

If you don't go through official channels, it coudl completely destroy your career, life and the loved ones of others.

Forget how many times it has gone ok in the past, if you can't do it through offical channels, don't do it at all.

Please?????????

HoP Posting Guidelines
* Is it the Truth?
* Is it Fair to all concerned?
* Will it build Goodwill and Better Friendships?
* Will it be Beneficial to all concerned?


arashiPooh-Bah
2,364 posts
Location: austin,tx


Posted:
charles something tells me that the last post was somebody who didn't really read the thread...
i think he was responding to paddy and not to you. i hope. i can't imagine anybody being reckless enough to turn off an alarm themselves right before lighting large fuel soaked wicks in a crowded area . plus he's just plain wrong about the smoke not setting off alarms .

-Such a price the gods exact for song: to become what we sing
-Seek freedom and become captive of your desires. Seek discipline and find your liberty.
-When the center of the storm does not move, you are in its path.


CharlesBRONZE Member
Corporate Circus Arts Entertainer
3,989 posts
Location: Auckland, New Zealand


Posted:
Thanks, Arashi.

I'd guessed that might be the case, however, if he hasn't read the whole thread, there was a chance that others will only read his post, and feel assured that they can turn off the system themselves.

Unfortunately, this is one of those threads which needs to managed carefully, in case the wrong message ends up killing people...

-----------

HoP Posting Guidelines
* Is it the Truth?
* Is it Fair to all concerned?
* Will it build Goodwill and Better Friendships?
* Will it be Beneficial to all concerned?


Rick aka LokiBRONZE Member
member
134 posts
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada


Posted:
We've done indoor shows here in Canada (where we have a national fire code that covers all the provinces), where Paddy's from, and what we've found is this:

Officially, the venue owner needs to call the fire department and have them handle the operation and disabling of the system. For the length of time the system is off, there needs to be an appointed watcher from the fire department in the venue. This costs the organizer about $200, as I remember, which is a deterrent for some venue owners. This brings us to...

UNofficially, some venue owners will choose to shut down their system and turn it on again at the end of the performance/pyrotechnics/smoke machine use/ etc. and either have their own staff be on fire alert or not.

The choice to shut down the system is NOT up to the performer, but the choice as to whether you will work for a venue that chooses to avoid the fire marshall's fee by not calling the fire marshall about the event is.

In addition, the national fire code of Canada prohibits indoor open flame performence. This includes candlelight church services, flambs in resaurants, and, obviously, anything we do. Again...

Officially, "don't do it" is the word from the fire marshalls of Canada, and most building insurance companies. Unofficially, so long as you've got your own insurance that covers liability and fire damage (see Al Fellerman Insurance, the only broker available to Canadian performers for reasonable rates), a number of venues will let you perform in their space. At that point, it's up to YOU to decide if you can perform safely in the space they have and given the conditions available (you know your performance better than they do).

Always be as safe as possible, always inspect the venue ahead of time if it's at all possible. You can always say no and tell them that the venue doesn't meet your safety requirements.

Remember, too, that if one member of the fire community causes an accident or any amount of damage during a show, it can screw things up for all of us.

Have fun.

oh, p.s. We've found that Coleman's actually produces MORE smoke in the same amount of time than pure lamp oil, because it burns at a faster rate. Some recommend camp fuel, but I'd go with smokeless lamp oil for indoor performance, if I were you.

cheers.

-Rick aka Loki
oh, man, a signature?... uuh... this is like coming across wet cement... uuh, shoot, I had something clever I was saving... I hope I don't run out of sp


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