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Thread: New UK Anti Smoking Laws & Hazers

  1. #1
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    Question New UK Anti Smoking Laws & Hazers

    Hi All

    On July 1st new laws were introduced in the UK which bans smoking in all enclosed public spaces. This obviously covers all the places where you're likely to use a laser indoors such as Pub's and Nightclub's etc.

    I guess that cigarette smoke in clubs was generally a good thing when it came to lasershows and reduced the need for foggers/hazers. Now that the ban is in place some sort of hazer or fogger would seem to be an essential requirement for producing a decent beamshow.

    The way I see it is that it will only be a matter of time before Council Environmental Health Officers latch on to the concept that both haze and fog could be construed as smoke and are therefore potentially harmful to health. I suppose that haze and fog was somewhat disguised in an already smokey atmosphere, but now there's no cigarette smoke it will be blatently obvious that there is artificial smoke being produced.

    There is already a problem with regard to foggers, in so much as venues like hotels place restrictions on their use because they are concerned that they may set off fire alarms or cause stick residue etc.

    We then have the problem that actors unions and stage performers are not too keen on some of the foggers/hazers, alleging that they can cause dry throats or trigger off asthma etc.

    So, what is the solution?

    The fog generated by foggers looks too much like smoke and WILL I expect come under the close scrutiny of the HSE.

    The Haze generated by a hazer is much finer and consistent, it is therefore much less noticable and may be able to be used without catching the attention of the HSE (or hotel managers worried about their fire alarms and sticky residue).

    This all brings me on to the question I was wanting to ask at the beginning of this posting....

    What is the safest (to health) solution to use in a hazer, and what is the least noticable solution to use (in a venue) that still gives good beam effects. Also, what solution has the above attributes and also doesn't smell or leave residue? Does such a perfect hazer/solution combination even exist? What are the benefits/drawbacks of Glycol, Glycerol or Oil baser hazers, is atomised oil better than heated oil? Arrggghhhh... There are so many questions

    It's just that I was thinking of getting a Hazer and then I started thinking about all of the above. All of a sudden it wasn't an easy decision anymore.

    I await the debate that's sure to follow, but somebody had to ask

    Cheers

    Jem
    Last edited by Jem; 07-21-2007 at 00:54.

  2. #2
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    As far as I know there is no real alternative to hazers and fog machines.
    Safest way is to not to use any fog!.

    Over here in Canada everything is done for one purpose...money. If there is a new law it means that somehow it'll make someone rich.
    Over in Europe....I have no idea what purpose all those stupid laws serve.
    I can forgive greed but stupidity....no. And whats going on in UK anyways?.
    Euro Tunnel under bankruptcy protection. Metro have just bankrupted. Cameras everywhere. Road Tax is insane. Congestion Charges.. brrr...
    Whats going on there...?!?! (Sorry for my political offtopic)

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Laser View Post
    And whats going on in UK anyways?.
    Euro Tunnel under bankruptcy protection. Metro have just bankrupted. Cameras everywhere. Road Tax is insane. Congestion Charges.. brrr...
    Whats going on there...?!?! (Sorry for my political offtopic)
    Hmmm... I know exactly what you mean. However, I was taught to be cautious and not to get into discussions relating to politics and religion

    I was thinking of getting out of the UK and coming to Canada, seems like there's plently of room there

    Back on topic now please

    Jem

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    There has been a ban on smoking in bars where I live for years. I have never heard anything bad about fog machines or hazers. I think most people are opposed to smoke in bars because of second hand smoke risks and it makes your clothes stink. Fog and haze doesn't really do that. I would be surprised if it becomes an issue. We'll see.

  5. #5
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    Sorry Jem but a lot of councils have already put the squeeze on fog

    Basicaly if you want to use a smoke machine in a venue you have to notify the local council .... below is an excerpt from the Fyde Borough councils regulations to clubs and venues in lancashire for thier premises licence

    No pyrotechnics including fireworks shall be used or stored at the premises unless notified to the Licensing Authority and they are used in accordance with any guidance given by Lancashire Fire Service.

    No dry ice machines or cryogenic fog smoke machines or fog generators shall be used at the premises unless notified to the Licensing Authority and used in accordance any guidance given by Lancashire Fire Service.

    Lasers shall only be used on the premises in accordance with the requirements for the safe use of lasers as set down in the HSE Guide, The Radiation of Safety Lasers Used for Display Purposes [HS (G) 95] and BS 60825: Safety of Laser products British Standard 4803: part 3.

    No strobe light shall be used in the premises unless a notice which can be clearly seen and easily read warning that strobe lights are in use in the premises is displayed at each entrance to the premises.


    Another big problem is that due to the smoking ban, all newly built venues will have smoke detectors fitted instead of heat detectors, and it is a offence to overide the detectors. so it does not look good for lasers here

    all the best ... Karl

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    Jeex Karl,
    it sounds like you have it particulary tough in yor area , someone really needs to challange that , it seems really truely and hopelesly over the top !

    We have had the smoking ban in scotland for a few years, and there was a flurry of clubs refusing smoke in premises but it seems to have a relaxed a little and its really is down to the individual management team in place now.

    The last few clubs i have been in have all had their own foggers installed , one guy i spoke to said they dont set off detectors ........ maybe a year or so from now when the bans been around a while the legislation will still sit there but basically be ignored like a lot of rules , until of course theres some sort of claim when the insurance company will manage to use it to invalidate your insurance ! ce la vie !

    PAUL
    In the beginning there was none. Then came the light - #1 UKLEM - 2007
    BUY UK LEGAL LASER POINTER :: NEW - Blue 460nm Laser Pointers

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    This is a long shot, but you might try telling the venue owner (and any local council, if they get involved) that you are using a "theatrical fog machine" or a "theatrical hazer". If they press you for details, explain to them that this is the same equipment used in performing arts venues everywhere and point them to a website or two. Whatever you do, don't call it a smoke machine. (It seems that the term "smoke machine" is more popular in Europe, whereas over here the generic term is "fog machine".) Obviously "smoke machine" has more negative connotations than "fog machine". I think if you choose your words carefully, you'll have better luck.

    The problem is that fog machines are often used to test the smoke detectors used for fire detection. We had a hell of a time finding a place that would let us use a fog machine for SELEM... And in fact, though the place that we finally chose will let us use one, they said that it will probably set off the fire alarm. (It has done so in the past.) That's one reason why they're going to have a representative present while we're there - so they can call the fire department and let them know it's a false alarm!

    Finally, consider a hazer if you can afford it. Normally hazers won't interfere with smoke detectors, and hazers are generally more benign than fog machines are. You may find it easier to get permission for a hazer vs. a fog machine. However, they're also a lot more expensive, and you'll loose the ability to create some effects because the hazer's output isn't dense enough. Sigh... Trade-offs, always trade-offs!

    Good luck!

    Adam
    Last edited by buffo; 08-22-2007 at 09:21.

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    I've never set any smoke detectors. Set CO2 detector once by using too much dry ice machine but never with fog machine or hazer.
    Hmm regarding fog machine vs smoke machine. You need to clarify if smoke machine is just a UK way of saying fog machine....because here smoke machine is a machine only used for fire training....fire system tests...and wind tunnels.

    Funny but here in Canada when no smoking law passed.....man it was almost impassible to go to the clubs... You would need a biorespirator to kill all that smell....well you know.... but I changed a lot since then. I think it's a big bonus for mankind. Hygiene.

    PS. About politics and religion.....I know, Echelon is watching!

  9. #9
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    Liberty Fire Services came out to the plant where I work about a month ago and tested all our smoke detectors. They had a small, battery-powered "smoke generator" that was mounted on a stick with a large funnel at the end to catch and hold the smoke up against the detector.

    They said they had to "reload" this thing while they were there, so I watched them. (I was expecting them to light a piece of paper on fire and stick it in the chamber to let it smolder or something.) To my surprise, they pulled out a gallon of "halloween fog fluid" that they purchased at Walmart! They poured about 2 ounces into the thing and screwed the cap back on.

    Sure enough, it was nothing more than a very small fog machine. It didn't make much fog, but it was enough to set off the particle detectors in the smoke alarms we had installed throughout the building... Now, granted - our building doesn't allow smoking, so maybe we have more sensitive detectors than most. But then again, I've set off the smoke alarms in my home several times using my fog machines. If you're careful and always keep a fan running you can minimize the chance that you'll get an alarm, but if the fog gets thick enough it's going to trigger an alarm.

    Adam

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    Quote Originally Posted by Buffo View Post

    Finally, consider a hazer if you can afford it. Normally hazers won't interfere with smoke detectors, and hazers are generally more benign than fog machines are. You may find it easier to get permission for a hazer vs. a fog machine. However, they're also a lot more expensive, and you'll loose the ability to create some effects because the hazer's output isn't dense enough. Sigh... Trade-offs, always trade-offs!

    Adam
    That's exactly the reason i'm thinking of a 'Proper' Hazer rather than a Fogger/Smoke machine. I guess it would be less likely to attract attention in the first place as its almost invisible, to the best of my knowledge they won't set off smoke detectors and finally the local councils tend to use the wording Fog or Smoke machines. It could be argued that a Hazer is a completely different concept - couldn't it?

    So the last part of my question is still relevant - Suppose I go for a Hazer, what is the best liquid to use in it? Glycerol, Glycol or Oil?

    Cheers

    Jem

    P.S. Just watched 'Dance Extra' on BBC1 (sad I know). They MUST be using a Hazer to get those lighting effects. I'm sure they wouldn't use anything detrimental to health, anything that set off fire alarms or that left a sticky residue in a TV studio, anyone know what the BBC use?

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