Author Topic: PROPS: Prop Fire Extinguisher  (Read 4907 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

smccain

  • Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 67
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
    • Stage Managing Life
  • Affiliations: AEA, SMA
  • Current Gig: I am the PSM for Theatreworks USA's national tour of Charlotte's Web.
  • Experience: Professional
PROPS: Prop Fire Extinguisher
« on: Dec 10, 2013, 01:11 pm »
Hey everyone,
I'm doing a developmental workshop of the new musical Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, and we are using the workshop as an opportunity to test out some special effects. The show will eventually go out on tour. We have some moments where we would like to get the effect of a thick cloud that can be used to reveal the god Ares. We could just use a CO2 fire extinguisher, as it is not being pointed at any actors, but the cost of refilling a CO2 fire extinguisher once a week gets to be a bit too expensive. We would like to explore an alternative, perhaps with some kind of compressed air fire extinguisher that sprays talcum powder (or something similar.) It would need to be able to be re-loaded with an air compressor that would travel with the show. Has anyone dealt with this? I've been researching prop fire extinguishers, but can't seem to find one that would work for us. If you know where we could get this kind of extinguisher, I would appreciate any information. We present next week, so time is limited. Help! Thanks, everyone!

Sean

Edited to add topic tag- Maribeth

« Last Edit: Dec 12, 2013, 07:26 pm by Maribeth »
Sean

ejsmith3130

  • SM Expert
  • ****
  • Posts: 155
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
  • Affiliations: EMC
  • Current Gig: Coordinating a Move to Napaskiak AK- Harder than any show I've ever done!
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Prop Fire Extinguisher
« Reply #1 on: Dec 10, 2013, 03:13 pm »
Maybe I don't fully understand: why would it have to be a fire extinguisher type thing? Could a regular fog machine be used? They can produce a thick cloud.

KMC

  • Forum Moderators
  • *****
  • Posts: 962
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
  • Current Gig: Project Manager, Systems Integration
  • Experience: Former SM
Re: Prop Fire Extinguisher
« Reply #2 on: Dec 10, 2013, 03:29 pm »
If you are going to use a real fire extinguisher there is potential risk involved with CO2.  CO2 extinguishers extinguish fire by injecting a high concentration of CO2 into an area; this removes the O2 from the area which is, as we know, what fuels fires - that's good!  But O2 is also what fuels humans, so removing that from an area inhabited by humans is bad.  They're used primarily in areas with mission-critical electronics - e.g. datacenters, control rooms, etc...  The benefit is that they put out fires without dousing expensive electronic equipment and surrounding area with water, but there is real hazard for the operator (let alone someone in the path) of the extinguisher if this is used in a reasonably confined space.  The person operating this would also need to wear some PPE - gloves and pants - as if any part of the canister comes into contact with exposed skin during or immediately after operation you risk cold burns (I realize PPE is not always available in a fire, but if you're planning to use CO2 you can plan to have PPE).  I would not recommend this for special effects.

ejsmith's question is important - does the effect specifically call for a fire extinguisher, or do you just need a lot of fog in a hurry?  Low fog systems are good for this, or dry ice if you're on a budget.
« Last Edit: Dec 10, 2013, 03:36 pm by kmc307 »
Get action. Do things; be sane; don’t fritter away your time; create, act, take a place wherever you are and be somebody; get action. -T. Roosevelt

smccain

  • Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 67
  • Gender: Male
    • View Profile
    • Stage Managing Life
  • Affiliations: AEA, SMA
  • Current Gig: I am the PSM for Theatreworks USA's national tour of Charlotte's Web.
  • Experience: Professional
Re: Prop Fire Extinguisher
« Reply #3 on: Dec 12, 2013, 01:07 pm »
Thanks so much for all the info everyone. The reason we were looking in the fire extinguisher direction is because the scenic designer had used one in a past production, but it poses both budgetary and safety concerns on my part. We'd like to be somewhat mobile, so a dry ice fogger is out. Our designer did some additional research, and we're looking into using this instead: http://www.cryofx.com/products-page/cryofx/cryofx-cryo-gun/. The idea apparently is to have a quick blast of lots of fog, and for it to very quickly dissipate without leaving residue, so the talcum powder idea is out. Thanks for all your feedback!
Sean

 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
14 Replies
14310 Views
Last post Oct 28, 2014, 05:07 pm
by leastlikely
16 Replies
13611 Views
Last post Jan 02, 2008, 11:26 am
by jspeaker
3 Replies
3265 Views
Last post Oct 29, 2012, 04:12 pm
by loebtmc

riotous