You've secured the gig. You've assessed your equipment specifications. You might have even pre-programmed your performance. But, have you factored in laser safety? Continue reading to discover the five crucial elements your laser show must possess to meet compliance standards.
1. Properly Labeled Projectors
Inspect your lazer lights. Are all stickers and labels intact, visible, and easily legible? Do they bear the original manufacturer's markings? If, at any point, they become illegible, contact the manufacturer to obtain replacements.
In the United States, it's vital to ensure the presence of a conspicuous bright yellow aperture warning label, as illustrated below.
Remember, all labels must remain visible and accessible throughout the entirety of the show.
2. Valid lazer lights Show Variance
No, a lazer lights cannot be operated without a valid variance!
Request a copy of the manufacturer's variance and verify its authenticity, ensuring it belongs to the actual manufacturer. If you are renting laser systems from another production company, obtain a copy of their variance as well.
Using a laser without a valid variance is not only illegal in the United States but also voids any insurance coverage in case of an incident.
3. Captive Key Switch & Emission Indicator
Two hardware components on the laser system are essential for legal operation. One is a captive key switch designed to secure the key in place and maintain the correct orientation during the performance. The other is an emission indicator light that must remain unobstructed during the show. This indicator enables laser operators to determine if the laser is active and ready to emit.
4. Remote Stop
Never underestimate the importance of the remote stop feature. In case of any potential harm from laser beams, do not hesitate to press the prominent red button!
The remote stop should be conveniently located within easy reach of the laser operator, often positioned beside their control console. A secondary remote stop can be placed in alternative locations, such as offstage.
Activating the remote stop instantly halts emission from all laser systems in the setup, deactivates their emission indicators, and prevents them from reactivating until reset.
5. Output Delay & Reset Function
Should you power down the projector and then restart it, a compliant laser system will demand that you press the reset button and include a brief delay before enabling output. When a proper Class 4 reset function is in place, you will never encounter a situation where the laser may emit immediately after power restoration.
If you are unsure whether your equipment incorporates this safety feature, test it by turning on the system without pressing the reset button on your remote stop. If the system initializes in a state ready to emit laser and is labeled as Class 4, it is non-compliant in the United States and should not be utilized.
While this might seem like a substantial checklist to keep in mind, it is imperative to verify each element for every laser light show. Remember, safety always takes precedence. What's better than an exceptional light show is one without safety concerns."