Smoke, Flame & Explosives

Smoke Effects

Only controlled smoke emitters – such as electrical fog machines, haze machines, dry-ice systems, cigarettes, cigars and pipes – may be used on the stages. Flash paper/smoke-powder systems, smoke bombs, fireworks, and homemade, fire-based smoke are not permitted under any circumstances. If using smoke, care must be taken for the safety and comfort of crew and performers, the smoke must be prevented from escaping into other portions of the building.

If the intent is to make a thick smoke or fog, the stage supervisor must be informed so false fire alarms may be avoided. Triggering a fire alarm may result in a fine being imposed on the College, which will in turn impose a fine on the student production designer.

Open Flame

All flame use must be discussed at the original stage reservation meeting and approved by the Stage Supervisor. Only certain kinds of flame may be used on stage. Candles, flame bars (using propane), oil lamps, and other small gas-based fires may be approved as long as proper precautions are taken.

Any flame near the floor requires a substantial barrier, such as asbestos or concrete, to keep the flame from scorching or burning the floor. If the fire is to be near set pieces, the set must be treated with a commercial flameproof solution or paint designed for the kind of material the set is built from. A flame test must be conducted after the material has been treated to ensure the set piece is truly fire resistant.

The fire must be at least six feet from any soft goods (curtains, bedspreads, etc.).

Burning a log or a piece of furniture is not allowed on the College stages, but burning small items such as paper or money, or another small, quickly consumed prop, may be acceptable upon approval from the Stage Supervisor. In these cases, the fire should be done over a container of water if possible. Otherwise, the floor must be protected, and a container (such as a metal can) present to contain the fire as it burns out.

Whenever a fire is burning a dedicated crewmember must be standing by with a charged fire extinguisher. All fires should be extinguished or turned off when not needed for shooting or rehearsal. This will result in fewer accidents and less danger to the crew. Anything that has been burning may flare up in the presence of oxygen; therefore, do not place seemingly extinguished fires out of sight or near flammable items.

The fire extinguishers on the sound stages are for emergencies. The student production designer must provide a safety fire extinguisher for fire FX and it must be of the type approved for such FX (effects). The Stage Supervisor will approve the type of extinguisher needed.


Please reference the Weapons Policy. Only approved explosives or explosive forces (such as squibs or air cannons) may be used on the sound stage after discussion with the Stage Supervisor. FSU Police must be notified, and only a licensed operator may deploy the explosive device. The area surrounding the direction in which the explosive force will be deployed must be cleared of any obstruction, and there must be sufficient distance from any equipment or materials to avoid damage to the stage. People in the vicinity must wear eye and ear protection, and care must be taken to avoid damage to structures, set pieces, and people. The student production designer is solely responsible for any damage that may occur due to the use of explosives.