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Author Topic: A School and Haze Machines...  (Read 2333 times)

Ben Lagman

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A School and Haze Machines...
« on: July 25, 2010, 06:02:06 am »

Although it's summer, my school's student council has started to talk about homecoming, which is the dance that occurs very early in the year. We want to use a Haze Machine, and I talked about it with administration and they thought it'd be a cool idea, but they have no idea whether the alarms will go off. If I do the school's homecoming, and provide the lighting and sound, how can I find out if they are particle detectors? I don't want to risk the hazer (which would be the Radiance) setting off the alarms.

When used, I'd put barely any haze in the air. Just barely enough to make the beams of the lights visible, nothing more. All I know is that the janitor told me that the alarms were made by Simplex Grinnell and can be disarmed. like I said, I don't want to risk anything, but then again everybody thought it would make a huge difference in the appearance of the dance, along with adding the 'wow factor' to the lighting. We've thought of hiring a fire marshal to disarm the alarms, but I need more ideas. Has anybody worked with a Haze Machine in a school, with preferably Simplex alarms? I've used one in the Middle School near us, without any problems, but our school is fairly new, with it being only about 7 years. They are though supplied with the same manufacturer of smoke alarms, I'm not certain with the model though. Thanks guys.


***I Found the types of alarms used, they are Simplex Grinnell TrueAlarm Sensors
 http://www.simplexgrinnell.com/Solutions/FireDetectionAndAla  rm/Products/InitiatingDevices/Addressable/Pages/TrueAlarmSen sors.aspx

They are Photoelectric sensors also.
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Tim Palmer

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Re: A School and Haze Machines...
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2010, 10:04:50 am »

So the fire alarm system will be under a maintenace contract by a fire alarm or electrical company, there will be a sticker on the fire control panel with the companies contact information, the last time it was inspected or services, etc. There should also be a fire alarm system book that logs in all the service calls, maintenace work, etc. that has been performed on the system. You contact them to get your questions about the system answered, anything else will be a guess so go to the source.

The detectors are probably transponders, they are addressable and communicate back to the central panel where they can be programed for sensitivity levels, thresholds, etc. and perfomance can be reviwed, etc. it really dont matter to you what type of detector it is, you just dont want the fire alarm going off from your haze..........

Dont know what more ideas will do for you but you already have hit on the best solution, short of not using haze, have the school administrators pay the fire maintenace company to have the zones bypassed for the event and provide whatever additional fire protection is required by the LHJ for the event.

Anything short of that and your playing with fire......
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Thomas Bishop

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Re: A School and Haze Machines...
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2010, 01:12:50 am »

What kind of money are we talking about for hiring a fire "watchman?"  I don't need specifics, just an idea.  One of my best clients does not allow haze in the college gym, to the detriment of the shows.  Are we talking $50-100?  $500?  $1,000?  We have a meeting in a couple of weeks (I believe the fire marshal will be there) and I'd like to bring it up at that time.  I need to be as prepared as possible so I can make a strong case with the client and fire marshal.

Sorry, don't mean to hijack, just figured my questions were thread appropriate...
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Ben Lagman

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Re: A School and Haze Machines...
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2010, 03:24:08 am »

Thomas Bishop wrote on Mon, 26 July 2010 01:12

What kind of money are we talking about for hiring a fire "watchman?"  I don't need specifics, just an idea.  One of my best clients does not allow haze in the college gym, to the detriment of the shows.  Are we talking $50-100?  $500?  $1,000?  We have a meeting in a couple of weeks (I believe the fire marshal will be there) and I'd like to bring it up at that time.  I need to be as prepared as possible so I can make a strong case with the client and fire marshal.

Sorry, don't mean to hijack, just figured my questions were thread appropriate...



Don't worry about it. A Fire Marshal I believe is around the $35-55 range per hour. I believe there are some venues that charge a little more just so the venue is paid as well as the fire marshall. When I did a gig last with a fire marshal, the guy was there from setup to the event to tear down. You should call your local fire dept. and they'll direct you to a number of where to go, and you can ask them how much a fire watch is.
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len woelfel

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Re: A School and Haze Machines...
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2010, 07:19:12 am »

Since it's a school dance, maybe you can get the FD to do it for nothing.  The worst they can say is that you have to pay like everyone else.  

As for whether an atmospheric will trigger an alarm, it depends on a number of factors, and likely the alarm install/maintenance company won't tell you because they can't be 100% sure.  Plus, if they say absolutely that the alarms won't go off, and they do, it could be argued that they would be responsible for paying for the false alarm.  

Regardless, IMO, you're better off with a fire watch.  Cheaper in the long run.

Ben Lagman

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Re: A School and Haze Machines...
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2010, 12:54:15 pm »

len woelfel wrote on Mon, 26 July 2010 07:19

Since it's a school dance, maybe you can get the FD to do it for nothing.  The worst they can say is that you have to pay like everyone else.  

As for whether an atmospheric will trigger an alarm, it depends on a number of factors, and likely the alarm install/maintenance company won't tell you because they can't be 100% sure.  Plus, if they say absolutely that the alarms won't go off, and they do, it could be argued that they would be responsible for paying for the false alarm.  

Regardless, IMO, you're better off with a fire watch.  Cheaper in the long run.



Very true. I'll just tell them that they need to get a Fire Marshall. Not sure how it will work out very well though, because the school is so big, having so many zones for the smoke detectors. Is there usually just one big panel for the smoke detectors?..

ie. One panel controls all, like a central panel, or are there usually several panels around a building?
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Ray Cerwinski

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Re: A School and Haze Machines...
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2010, 05:17:30 pm »

Ben Lagman wrote on Mon, 26 July 2010 12:54


Very true. I'll just tell them that they need to get a Fire Marshall. Not sure how it will work out very well though, because the school is so big, having so many zones for the smoke detectors. Is there usually just one big panel for the smoke detectors?..

ie. One panel controls all, like a central panel, or are there usually several panels around a building?


Warning: this is a super basic explanation and being supplied with this information in no way makes you a fire alarm professional. The best advice was already given, to call up the servicing/monitoring alarm company. That said:

It all depends on the system. Your two basic system types are known as "addressable" and "conventional" but buildings can be a combination of both due to construction or retrofit.

Your addressable systems identify every device with a point I.D. Each smoke detector, heat detector, pull station, etc. has a unique number assigned to it and is programed back at the fire alarm control panel (FACP). You can bypass single devices or large groups if programmed into zones.

Your conventional systems have multiple devices of any combination all on one loop, if any go into alarm, you have no way of knowing exactly which one it is. Problem with these types of systems is it could just be one hallway of devices, or an entire wing all on one zone.

Lucky for you, you can potentially have just the devices located inside and adjacent to the event space bypassed and only require firewatch in these areas as opposed to the entire school. This would still require involvement with the servicing/monitoring company to complete the programming for you.

The bad news about Simplex? They are extremely tight-lipped and are the brand of choice by electrical contractors. Your servicing company might not be the same as the people who installed it who might be different from the monitoring company. It just all depends.
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Ray Cerwinski

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