REGULATIONS CONCERNING LASERS (MAINLY PERTAINING TO THE UNITED STATES)
In the United States, and several other nations such as Germany, the United Kingdom, Australia, France, and Singapore, there exist regulatory measures that have been established to guarantee the secure execution of laser exhibitions and the safety of individuals attending them.
Our primary emphasis will center on regulations within the United States, as they are generally recognized for their rigorous standards. Additionally, it is noteworthy that several other nations tend to align with the safety guidelines set by the United States in the context of laser shows.
Within the United States, the operation of laser lights , as well as lasers in a broader context, falls under the regulatory purview of the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and its subsidiary agency known as the CDRH (Center for Devices and Radiological Health). The CDRH has been mandated by Congress to establish uniform safety standards for the performance of all laser products that are introduced into the American market. It is imperative to note that, in accordance with their guidelines, all laser products produced and distributed in the United States subsequent to August 2, 1976, are obligated to adhere to these regulations.
To use a laser show projector, the system must be CDRH certified
In the laser light show
industry, compliance requirements in the United States, particularly for laser show projectors rated as Class 3 or higher, necessitate obtaining certification from the CDRH (referred to as a manufacturer's variance). To secure this certification, the laser must incorporate the following essential safety features:
1. **Interlock System:** This is a compact device that must be connected for the laser to activate. Most professional laser systems employ a 3-pin XLR E-stop safety mechanism.
2. **Keyed Activation:** As the name suggests, a physical key is required to initiate the laser. Without the key, the laser remains inoperative.
3. **Mechanical Shutter:** Positioned within the laser apparatus, this device automatically obstructs laser emission if the projected content is deemed unsafe. It's typically situated close to the optical scanning system.
4. **Emission Delay:** This setting introduces a brief delay in laser output upon system startup, preventing an inadvertent laser beam from accidentally hitting someone nearby.
The operator of a laser projector must also have a "license" to run his program
Furthermore, individuals operating laser projectors are also obliged to obtain an "operator's variance," akin to a license for legally conducting laser shows within the United States..
When conducting laser displays within the United States, it is imperative to adhere to a set of fundamental guidelines:
1. Employ Compliant Equipment: Ensure that the laser show projector
you use is officially certified and compliant with U.S. regulations. Unfortunately, certain unscrupulous companies may falsely claim their products are U.S. certified. Do not readily accept such assertions. Numerous individuals have encountered problems by utilizing non-compliant laser equipment. You can verify the certification status of a laser projector by visiting www.regulations.gov. There, you can search for the manufacturer's variance and confirm whether they are genuinely offering compliant laser show projectors.s
2. Possess a Variance: It is essential to possess a valid laser show variance when conducting laser displays
in public within the United States. This variance can be likened to a license, granting you the authority to execute laser shows in public settings.
3. The 3-Meter Rule: When projecting lasers toward an audience, maintain a minimum distance of 3 meters above individuals. Never project lasers directly into the audience unless you have received proper training and possess the requisite variances, certifications, and equipment to do so.
4. Outdoor Shows: During outdoor laser presentations, ensure that your laser beams terminate, meaning they do not extend into airspace but are physically obstructed by an object, such as a wall or building.
5. Outdoor Shows with Non-Terminating Beams: If you intend to conduct an outdoor laser show
without terminating beams, it is imperative to secure prior approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). This step is essential to safeguard pilots in flight from unintentional laser beams being directed at or near their aircraft.