Theme Camp Flame Effects

Theme Camp Flame Effects

Postby hammer » Fri Jun 04, 2010 10:23 am

So this year my theme camp has decided to fund, design, and built a metal tower (secure scaffolding) with a "burst" flame effect as well as some constant-on, more artistic and less fwoompy flames. We plan to use it nightly just after dusk, and as the lead I'm following all safety regulations, clearances, etc., and my background in hydraulics, thermodynamics and nuclear safety engineering are also contributing to a safe and awesome experience. I set up our prototype last Saturday, using a 6.5 gallon expansion tank and a regular 20# grill tank for fuel. We get quite a nice flame, and are thrilled to share it :-). So my question to the more knowledgeable/people in charge is this:

I've read the theme camp rules about flame effects, and it appears that no certification/approval is required, but I'm planning on having the safety plan, first aid kit, trained crew, etc, regardless, in case an inspection and laminate are required for operation. However, it appears that there is a 40 gallon propane fuel volume limit for theme camp flame effects. [Edit: Decided against larger tank]. OK, new question (old one deleted/retracted): Is there a certification required for theme camp flame effects?
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Postby Dr. Pyro » Fri Jun 04, 2010 1:53 pm

FWIW our fire cannon (Barbie Death Camp & Wine Bistro) was prohibited from being set off within "the tent city". We had to move it by truck to the open playa. You might want to contact those in charge of flame FX and make sure you are not doing something that will be nixed. Frankly, after the Ranger and BLM official explained why we were banned, it made perfect sense. Well, after I sobered up it made perfect sense.
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Postby hammer » Fri Jun 04, 2010 2:01 pm

Dr. Pyro wrote:FWIW our fire cannon (Barbie Death Camp & Wine Bistro) was prohibited from being set off within "the tent city". We had to move it by truck to the open playa. You might want to contact those in charge of flame FX and make sure you are not doing something that will be nixed. Frankly, after the Ranger and BLM official explained why we were banned, it made perfect sense. Well, after I sobered up it made perfect sense.


Ruh roh... What was the explanation? Was it too low or near things that can catch fire? Our fire will be at the top of a sturdy steel tower, so it won't be anywhere near anything or anyone that is flammable.

Do you have any pics of the BDCWB flame cannon?
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Postby Dr. Pyro » Fri Jun 04, 2010 2:03 pm

We were ground level. You can try going to our website (www.barbiedeathcamp.com) and under pictures go back to 2005 through 2007. There have to be some shots of it there.
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Postby hammer » Fri Jun 04, 2010 2:07 pm

Nice flames! I can see why you can't fire that in the tent city :-). I hope ours will be allowed, it's really high enough (15+ feet) that it won't be a fire hazard to anyone except for flying insects and birds, and the flames go straight up into the sky. Also... it doesn't move ;-) (that will be next year)
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Postby LeChatNoir » Fri Jun 04, 2010 4:46 pm

Dustdevil might be a good one to ask about this. He's been very helpful to me before when I had a question I couldn't find an answer to.
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Postby dragonfly Jafe » Fri Jun 04, 2010 5:07 pm

in general, open flame is not allowed in the city areas (the outlined blocks on the city map). Tiki Torches, flame effects, etc are banned for safety reasons. Camp fires and cooking fires elevated off the playa are pretty much the only exceptions. Some camps do get away with this stuff, for a while.

Check with the Flame Safety Team.
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Postby hammer » Fri Jun 04, 2010 8:02 pm

I've read both what dragonfly Jafe just wrote, as well as this:

http://www.burningman.com/installations ... camps.html

so... since I'm an optimist, I think what I'm doing *is* allowed, as long as the rules are followed and safety is generally maintained. Tiki torches in a playa environment are just accidents/messes waiting to happen, this is a carefully controlled and engineered theme camp feature that follows applicable safety precautions and ASTM/NFA regulations. After rereading the above link, I think we're good to go - I've submitted everything to the flame effect people, and we're not talking HUGE flame effects here, just a simple "shoot propane fire straight in the air" like what is pictured at the link above. Perhaps a little more overengineered, but still in the same ballpark. Actually safer, since the propane outlet will be at least 15' off the ground.
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Postby oneeyeddick » Fri Jun 04, 2010 8:55 pm

Open LP flames are permitted, accumulated pressure LP bursts are not.

It really is that simple.

I have seen others get by with both in the past, it all depends on who's doing the complaining and who they are complaining to.

Good luck.
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Postby StevenGoodman » Sat Jun 05, 2010 3:11 pm

Having been part of the crew that built Dance Dance Immolation, yes Theme Camps can have Flame Effects.

http://www.interpretivearson.com/projects/ddi/

But, as has been mentioned, there are many issues you need to deal with.

One of the biggest things they look for is to make sure the Flame Effects are nowhere near the camping area, especially where the tents people are sleeping are.

If you have a small area this might be a problem.

If you are only using 20lb tanks as a source, there should be no problems. Just store the extra tanks elsewhere. Even a 100lb tank is only 25 gallons. We did need to get permission to use 3 100lb tanks, as that is 75 gallons.

Make sure you build everything to the correct specs, have a Fire Safety person, Safety plan, extinguishers, etc, you should be OK.

Good Luck!

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Postby Dustdevil » Mon Jun 07, 2010 9:53 am

dragonfly Jafe wrote:in general, open flame is not allowed in the city areas (the outlined blocks on the city map). Tiki Torches, flame effects, etc are banned for safety reasons. Camp fires and cooking fires elevated off the playa are pretty much the only exceptions. Some camps do get away with this stuff, for a while.

Check with the Flame Safety Team.


That is not exactly the case. Flame effects are restricted to size, tiki torches, fire pits etc are allowed. In your theme camp application there is a section for fire within your camp. There are precautions that must be observed, large flame effects will not be permitted, etc. If you are in an unregistered camp the proper procedure for flame effects would be to fill out an art application form and give the Fire Art Safety Team the details. If we have any concerns we will contact you pre Playa. You can expect a quick safety inspection visit on Playa. Yes, there are those who fly under the radar and they are left alone as long as there are no complaints or the Rangers or ESD teams don't see huge poofers etc.
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