Dry-ice Machine Safety

May 21, 2012 by CHAUVET DJ

by Nick Airriess, CHAUVET® DJ product specialist

Dry-ice machines produce a completely different effect than fog and haze machines. While fog and haze machines produce an effect that floats through the air, dry-ice machines produce thick, white fog that hugs the floor and dissipates without rising. These machines are simple to use and easily create the frequently requested “dance on a cloud” effect. Before using this fixture at a gig, read on to ensure you’re following the proper safety procedures.

1. Water Water Everywhere
Dry-ice machines require a lot of water to function properly. Built-in heaters increase water temperatures upwards of 175 degrees Fahrenheit. If you have to move the machine after you set up, make a conscious effort not to spill. You may sustain a severe burn, or if you forget to clean it up, someone may slip and fall.

2. Brrrrrrrr!
Dry ice is the very cold, solid form of carbon dioxide — I’m talking -109 degrees Fahrenheit cold. When handling dry ice, avoid direct contact with skin and always wear gloves or some other type of protective gear. Touching dry ice with bare hands will leave you with severe pain or frostbite.

3. Room to Breathe
Storing dry ice in an insulated, ventilated cooler is extremely important. Dry ice expands as it sublimates and will cause an airtight cooler to expand and possibly explode. Always operate your dry-ice machine in an area with adequate ventilation. Too much carbon dioxide and not enough oxygen in a confined space can lead to asphyxiation.

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