Saturday, March 24, 2012

Actress Katie Holmes's Brush With Fire Safety

The life of a Hollywood actress isn't all champagne parties and award ceremonies; they also have to put in some hard work too. All those salon sessions and shopping trips with professional stylists take their toll on you, or so I hear. But without all the glitz and glamour they would not win roles in big film productions around the world.

Now this is where the trouble comes in. Film sets can be just as dangerous as any other work environment. Especially from a fire risk perspective. In fact there are a lot of hazards on location. For one thing think about all the complex electrical equipment. Cameras, monitors, computers. The list is endless. Then there are the lights. Make no mistake, studio lights can get hot. Really hot. Touch one and you will burn your skin off in a very bad way.

Now add to this the special effects equipment and you can see how accidents can happen.

Whilst filming in Australia on 'Don't be Afraid Of The Dark' Katie Holmes was in a car on set that caught fire. During filming of the sequence the car battery exploded and set the vehicle ablaze. The engine started to spark and smoke fumes came out as the car then began to burn.

Luckily Katie managed to escape although she was reported as being a little shaken up. A source on the film was quoted as saying Katie has filmed scenes since but it has made her think about her safety on set. She will be shooting the same scene at a later date."

Well, big film companies do take safety seriously. Especially in Hollywood with all the legal actions and insurances required.

The types of fire safety equipment often deployed whilst filming includes the CO2 fire extinguisher. Often in 2kg and 5kg sizes so as to effectively tackle any fire that may occur.

The CO2 extinguisher is perfect as it is designed to be safe to use on electrical equipment without damaging it any further. It's worth remembering that a film camera could be worth in excess of US$200,000 so using a powder extinguisher is not an option. You don't want the powder getting inside and destroying the unit. That's an expensive fire.

Another type of extinguisher to consider is the automatic kind. They used to be filled with Halon but now come in FE-36 which is much better for the environment. These extinguishers can be placed inside a car engine and will only go off when a fire starts.

They have a temperature sensitive bulb that breaks at a certain heat and then flood the area with the FE-36 gas. This acts in the same way as CO2 by dispersing and replacing the oxygen, thus starving the fire source and putting it out.

The usual use for them is in engine compartments and computer server racks.

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