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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Up in smoke! » » Do I need a permit for flash paper? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

awe124
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Denver
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A close friend in magic told me awhile back that if I am going to use flash paper in shows at restaurants or country clubs that I need a permit per legal reasons?

Is this true and if so how do I acquire a legal permit for flash effects?

Thanks
Awsum
Steve Brooks
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Northern California - United States
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Good question.

I'm not an attorney so cannot give you legal advice. However, I have used flash paper for years while performing without incident.

That said, I think it really depends on where you live as state and county laws vary. I see magic shops selling the stuff without asking for I.D so who knows really.

I personally see no difference between flash paper and a pack of matches, but again that's just me. Smile

Sorry I could not be more help. Smile

---
"Always be you because nobody else can" - Steve Brooks
awe124
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Denver
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Ok, thanks Steve
Harrismatic
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Greece
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Most of the time, prohibition has to do with the unawareness of the actual product used. Also, many restaurant and clubs tend to prohibite flash stuff comparing it with the prohibition of smoking, or others do not allow them for not having any customer harmed in any case.

The important part is to inform the person who supervises the place about the use of flash stuff and get the permission. Flash paper consists of a pyrotechnic material, so restrictions that have to do with possesion and use of those stuffs may apply but for example I do not know any place in the world that requires permision in order to use a sparkler on a birthday cake. You would may need permission to make it , but other than that, it has to do whether a stuff is forbiden or not. By the time flash paper is not a forbidden item, I think you can use it. Just be careful to people who may cause you problems claming that you put them in danger, because in this cause you may deal with problems for improper use.
Ray Pierce
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Los Angeles, CA
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Flash paper is classed as a deflagrating explosive. If you think it's harmless, try packing a bunch of it in the steel tube and igniting it. It has a similar chemical composition to nitroglycerin so yes, in certain areas it is a very regulated and requires at least a performers class card to use. As is mentioned, it just depends on the area. In California frequently have to have a fire permit for any open flame including candles on dinner tables for a restaurant. To that end, in some locations you must pull a fire permit to strike a match on stage. You can sometimes get away with it but it just depends on the experience of the venue. There have been many issues with magicians improperly utilizing flash paper and throwing it towards an audience member when it didn't go out in time. That doesn't mean that every venue will have an issue with you using it in the safe and appropriate manner. Just do your research.
Ray Pierce
<BR>www.HollywoodAerialArts.com
elmago
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Northridge- Los Angeles, CA
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You can't use flash paper without a pyrotechnic license and a permit for that event. Plus, the fire marshal has to be present at your show. California is no fun when it comes to flash paper. Maybe you can get away with it at your buddy's house along with a technically illegal card game with real money where no one will say anything. But public places, you are looking at a fine for yourself and the establishment. Of course Denver may be different.
"Excellence is not a single act; it's a habit" Shaq quoting Aristotle after winning NBA MVP.
Faizimran
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Maybe he meant that in the sense, what will you do if something were to go wrong and get damaged you will be held liable so maybe check if your insurance covers fire damage?
Ray Pierce
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Quote:
On Apr 11, 2016, elmago wrote:
You can't use flash paper without a pyrotechnic license and a permit for that event. Plus, the fire marshal has to be present at your show.


You do technically need a pyro performer's class permit or greater and fire permit to use it in CA but this is one of the tougher states in the country for pyro work. It is usually MUCHH easier on other states. For the record, a Fire Marshal isn't required to be present, that is assessed on a case by case basis. You will typically be required to show the AHJ (Authority Having Jurisdiction) the effects you'll be using along with your safety protocols and procedures. At that point they will make a safety assessment based on many factors including their feelings on your experience and qualifications. They can deny the effect or require someone from the FD to be present at your cost... or just tell you you're ok. Remember, if the Fire Marshal signs off on it, they are on the hook for your performance. If anything goes wrong their judgement will be called into question. I've been doing pyro for many decades and have no problem working with the local AHJ. My goal is to always make them comfortable and give them more information than they need to know proving my experience and training with the needed effects. If they trust you and feel you're experienced and safe, they can make it very easy for you. If not, they can do what ever it takes to make sure their jurisdiction remains safe and they don't have to call out a FD team to take care of a problem.
Ray Pierce
<BR>www.HollywoodAerialArts.com
Bill Hegbli
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Fort Wayne, Indiana
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Like anything, the minority makes the majority get punished. It is banned is some bars here in Indian, simply because people being not responsible. When I was working a bar, I did a flash bill effect. One day, after I let the flash bill, I noticed a fire ball heading toward me and the customer I was showing the trick to. Well, that ended the use of flash paper in the establishment. People throwing flash paper at people is the same as attacking a person. If that flash paper lands before it is extinguished, it could burn people or start a fire. Alcohol burns, and could very easily start a fire.

Once in the local magic shop, the clerk, got out cake pan tin they kept the flash paper in to demonstrate the product. She forgot to replace the lid on the container. She lit the paper she was holding, and whatever happened, the whole tin and pad on the counter, as she had several laying out, went up in flames. It happened so fast, it startled everyone. Luckily, they went out just as quickly and there was not flammable material near by.

The stuff is dangerous, just like all things, that are not handled properly.

Flash paper can also burn slowly, because of humidity, thus if you have it in your pocket on a humid day, it is even more dangerous, because it will not burn completely by the time it hits the floor or a person.

Just use common sense if you have any, if you don't, stay away from all things that use fire.
Graduate of Chavez College of Prestidigitation and Showmanship

"Magic With A Twist Of Comedy"
danaruns
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The City of Angels
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Quote:
On Apr 25, 2016, Ray Pierce wrote:
Quote:
On Apr 11, 2016, elmago wrote:
You can't use flash paper without a pyrotechnic license and a permit for that event. Plus, the fire marshal has to be present at your show.


You do technically need a pyro performer's class permit or greater and fire permit to use it in CA but this is one of the tougher states in the country for pyro work. It is usually MUCHH easier on other states. For the record, a Fire Marshal isn't required to be present, that is assessed on a case by case basis. You will typically be required to show the AHJ (Authority Having Jurisdiction) the effects you'll be using along with your safety protocols and procedures. At that point they will make a safety assessment based on many factors including their feelings on your experience and qualifications. They can deny the effect or require someone from the FD to be present at your cost... or just tell you you're ok. Remember, if the Fire Marshal signs off on it, they are on the hook for your performance. If anything goes wrong their judgement will be called into question. I've been doing pyro for many decades and have no problem working with the local AHJ. My goal is to always make them comfortable and give them more information than they need to know proving my experience and training with the needed effects. If they trust you and feel you're experienced and safe, they can make it very easy for you. If not, they can do what ever it takes to make sure their jurisdiction remains safe and they don't have to call out a FD team to take care of a problem.


My question is how do you get a performer's pyro license in California? I've been looking around the internet and there is plenty of info for commercial pyro licenses, but believe it or not for a performer's license this thread was the first thing to come up in a google search. So, with your experience can you tell me how to get the permit in California? What training is required, what experience, what test, and how to complete the process.
"Dana Douglas is the greatest magician alive. Plus, I'm drunk." -- Foster Brooks
dunraven
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Austin, TX
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You have to check state, county and city laws. Depending on where you live, each has jurisdiction to regulate pyro-technics. On top of that, your venue can further limit you by contract. I do an annual theatre show and in one particular venue in which we have held the show, the contract has an entire section on pyrotechnics of any kind. In another venue, the contract is silent. So yes, it can be a real pain figuring out what is and is not allowed. At the same time, the "pyro" laws are on the books primarlily because of high caliber concert effects that have caused major damage (and death). I must say, I have never heard of flash paper doing much harm (but am interested if others have). Ultimately, it's up to you to figure out the law, your venue's rules, and the level of risk you're willing to take to make some real magic happen!

And by the way, I am a lawyer ;-)
dunraven
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Austin, TX
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Did I mention that one of my favorite gadgets is Pyro? And that I have both the original and Pyro mini? Flame on . . .
Ray Pierce
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Los Angeles, CA
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Quote:
On Sep 9, 2016, schramek wrote:
I must say, I have never heard of flash paper doing much harm...


I know it seems pretty harmless but is actually classed as a deflagrating explosive (with the same base as nitro glycerin) which means that it can cause very little harm when ignited in the open but if compressed in a steel pipe or other container can blow a whole in the wall and become lethal for anyone in the immediate vicinity.
Ray Pierce
<BR>www.HollywoodAerialArts.com
Kleberdexter
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Brazil
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Quote:
On Jun 13, 2016, Bill Hegbli wrote:
Like anything, the minority makes the majority get punished. It is banned is some bars here in Indian, simply because people being not responsible. When I was working a bar, I did a flash bill effect. One day, after I let the flash bill, I noticed a fire ball heading toward me and the customer I was showing the trick to. Well, that ended the use of flash paper in the establishment. People throwing flash paper at people is the same as attacking a person. If that flash paper lands before it is extinguished, it could burn people or start a fire. Alcohol burns, and could very easily start a fire.

Once in the local magic shop, the clerk, got out cake pan tin they kept the flash paper in to demonstrate the product. She forgot to replace the lid on the container. She lit the paper she was holding, and whatever happened, the whole tin and pad on the counter, as she had several laying out, went up in flames. It happened so fast, it startled everyone. Luckily, they went out just as quickly and there was not flammable material near by.

The stuff is dangerous, just like all things, that are not handled properly.

Flash paper can also burn slowly, because of humidity, thus if you have it in your pocket on a humid day, it is even more dangerous, because it will not burn completely by the time it hits the floor or a person.

Just use common sense if you have any, if you don't, stay away from all things that use fire.


Thanks bill. I'd never thought that the humidity is more dangerous to flash paper.
I think that people like me, buy flash paper without information about that. This is the problem.
I didn't buy.
Here in Brazil they are some sellers that just sell for people over 18 years, but like a friend said they doesn't request for ID.
malaki
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162 Posts

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In MAGIC MAGAZINE, a few years ago, an incident was reported of a magic store owner who had a case of flash paper in his minivan. It went off, destroying his vehicle and killing him. The picture of his burned out van should be a warning to all of us.

Another thing to watch out for is smoke. I realize that there is little smoke produced by flash paper, but there is some, along with fumes. A magician I know was performing in a public area at a hospital several years ago. He realized, only after he set off a small charge, that he was standing under a smoke alarm. Smoke alarms in hospitals are VERY SENSITIVE, and this one went off, even though it was mounted in the ceiling, more than 10 feet above his head. This brought the show and the entire hospital to a sudden stop! Please be aware of your surroundings and do not use in areas that may be questionable.
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