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Thread: fog machine

  1. #1
    Forum Member TNFF319's Avatar
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    Default fog machine

    Does anyone use a Halloween fog machine to "smoke" up areas for training? Some are on sale and I wanted to know if its worth the buy.
    Thanks
    FF/Paramedic


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    MembersZone Subscriber dmleblanc's Avatar
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    Yes, we use them all the time. Works great. We bought some small ones from Wal-Mart on the after-Halloween clearance a few years ago for next to nothing. You might need 2 or 3 to smoke up a room as well as 1 "professional" model, but for the price they work pretty well. 3 of them smoke up our whole station (3 engine bays) pretty good.

    The little pumpkin face even comes off so it doesn't look so silly
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
    Paincourtville, LA

    "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream — and I hope you don't find this too crazy — is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
    — C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"

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    MembersZone Subscriber dmleblanc's Avatar
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    Wally World's website...

    http://www.walmart.com/search/search...ry=fog+machine

    ...has some for 40 or 50 bucks. I don't remember if we paid that much for ours (probably not). I know they were marked down after Halloween, so you might want to wait a week and check your local stores.
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
    Paincourtville, LA

    "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream — and I hope you don't find this too crazy — is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
    — C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"

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    Forum Member TNFF319's Avatar
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    Ok, thanks. They were on sale for $20 so thats not that bad.
    FF/Paramedic

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    Quote Originally Posted by TNFF319 View Post
    Ok, thanks. They were on sale for $20 so thats not that bad.
    It's a decent enough tool. The smoke isn't dark enough in my opinion, but it is still very effective at creating low to zero visibility conditions. By controlling openings you can create a decent enough smoke layer to practice crawling under. Plan ahead so that you are filling the area while you're doing your briefing or equipment preparation.

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    MembersZone Subscriber dmleblanc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by YFDLt08 View Post
    It's a decent enough tool. The smoke isn't dark enough in my opinion, but it is still very effective at creating low to zero visibility conditions. By controlling openings you can create a decent enough smoke layer to practice crawling under. Plan ahead so that you are filling the area while you're doing your briefing or equipment preparation.
    Yeah, that's the only problem with smoke machines in general, the smoke doesn't behave like real "hot" smoke, i.e., it doesn't rise. It tends to fill the whole space evenly, so you really don't get the layering effect.
    Chief Dwayne LeBlanc
    Paincourtville Volunteer Fire Department
    Paincourtville, LA

    "I have a dream. It's not a big dream, it's just a little dream. My dream — and I hope you don't find this too crazy — is that I would like the people of this community to feel that if, God forbid, there were a fire, calling the fire department would actually be a wise thing to do. You can't have people, if their houses are burning down, saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!' That would be bad."
    — C.D. Bales, "Roxanne"

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    Forum Member FWDbuff's Avatar
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    Why would you waste money on something that could be done just as easily by turning around someone's hood or even by duct-taping over the mask?????
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    Why would you waste money on something that could be done just as easily by turning around someone's hood or even by duct-taping over the mask?????
    Fair enough question. Turning a hood around still creates enough light that you can still see farther than in the fog smoke, unless the hood is a black one. Also, the tendency with hoods is to bend your neck and head at the right angle which creates a slight gap allowing the person to cheat and look through the gap. Duct tape takes longer to apply and or creates a sticky residue that now must be cleaned off properly.

    The benefit of fog machine smoke also includes showing hydraulic ventilation, vertical ventilation, horizontal ventilation by controlling openings. Be being creative with your openings you can create more realistic scenarios than just simply covering with the mask. With the cost being low this time of year it is no longer prohibitive.

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    Forum Member GTRider245's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FWDbuff View Post
    Why would you waste money on something that could be done just as easily by turning around someone's hood or even by duct-taping over the mask?????
    Becuase it is something different and creative. It also lets you get used to how much of a feild of vision you actualy have through a mask.

    You could "if" this one all day long. Why waste money on duct tape when you can just tell everyone to close thier eyes?
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    We use the smoke machines too. we turn off lights and make sure the room is completely dark. Then we use "turboflares" in a corner of a smoked up room so when the guys get close enough, they can see "the seat of the fire." We turn tables on their sides to create barriers that are easily changed between evolutions. I even made a soundtrack of "fire sounds" on a CD and play it in a loop. I play the track loud so the guys have to work to keep communication with the rest of their crew and outside... just one more curveball for them.

    I know it sounds like dumb training but on a shoestring budget, it works for us. On top of that, the guys like the hands on stuff, which makes it worthwhile.

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    I've done fog before, and its not bad. During my FFI/II course we used wax paper, folded a few times and placed inside the SCBA facepiece. This worked very well and was just about as cheap as you could go.

  12. #12
    Back In Black ChiefKN's Avatar
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    We have a really good one.

    Just be careful with breathing in that "fog"...

    I guess i'm just a nervous nelly but that stuff creeps me out. I keep waiting to find out that someone is allergic to the stuff.

    .
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

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    wax paper works better.
    Remeber you also have to continue to buy the liquid stuff to put in them and that can get expensive.

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    Forum Member pewter98's Avatar
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    My department has 2 of the "professional" type smoke machines that we got a deal on from a costume/dj supply store and they work great! Like ChiefKN said, some people can't breathe that fog for too long. Thats one of the reasons we use our spare SCBA packs when we train with the fog machines. It's a great way to give everyone (especially the probies) some training while on air, all while in a safe and controlled enviroment.
    IF YOU CAN'T TAKE THE HEAT, GO BE A COP!

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    I bought some smoke generating candles from an online vendor. They work great. Light 2 or 3 of them and you have a thick smoke that stays four at least the whole drill. The only downside is that it is very toxic, so SCBA is a must. I want to get a smoke machine so we can put victims in the training area without SCBA.

  16. #16
    Back In Black ChiefKN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlandfordFire View Post
    I bought some smoke generating candles from an online vendor. They work great. Light 2 or 3 of them and you have a thick smoke that stays four at least the whole drill. The only downside is that it is very toxic, so SCBA is a must. I want to get a smoke machine so we can put victims in the training area without SCBA.
    Check your state laws... in NJ, you'd have to meet certain requirments to do that sort of "smoke" training.

    .
    I am now a past chief and the views, opinions, and comments are mine and mine alone. I do not speak for any department or in any official capacity. Although, they would be smart to listen to me.

    "The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list."

    "When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water."

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