View Full Version : Oops - Fire Department Visit

Joe Pelonio
06-27-2006, 6:34 PM
Well, I just had the fire department here.

The business above me complained about a "burning rubber" smell and thought someone's wiring might have overheated or something, so they were investigating. I told them I've been cutting 1/4" acrylic all day, but have been using the laser for two years and that hasn't happened before. Turns out, when we went outside to look, these people have installed a window fan in their rear window which is less than 10 feet from (above) my exhaust vent. It's apparently sucking in the fumes. They don't have A/C and were trying to cool things off. The fireman had a look at the laser and basically told me that I was doing nothing unsafe or illegal. He was going to suggest that they put their fan in the front of their place instead of the back, or get a window A/C that uses the inside air. I did tell him that I would try to do as much of it as I can in the early morning while it's not so hot, but often I have to run all day to get my orders done in time.

I suppose I'll be hearing from the landlord in the next day or two.

Mitchell Andrus
06-27-2006, 6:43 PM
Perhaps you can run the vent up to the roof line... or along the wall to a more closed place??

I have multiple tenants in my buildings and getting everyone to compromise is always a tug of war.


Bruce Volden
06-27-2006, 7:15 PM
GOOD LUCK Joe!!! Not much stinks worse than rubber:p :p , bone, acrylic... Maybe you can get on their good side with some cherry plaques???


Lee DeRaud
06-27-2006, 7:15 PM
Know how that goes: the neighbor's gardener started banging on the door one day. He was working right below the vent when I was cutting MDF, and thought the house was on fire.

Wouldn't have been that big a deal, except his English is almost as bad as my Spanish.:p

Joe Pelonio
06-27-2006, 7:18 PM

It's not worth too much trouble with only 6 months on my lease and plans to move. I'll be as cooperative as I can within reason. The trouble is I have an overhang that's between floors, would have to put a big hole in it to go up the wall, plus I'm running 20' horizontal so I'd also have to get an additional fan to go another 15+ feet vertical.

Dave Jones
06-27-2006, 11:28 PM
My business is in the second floor of an old brick building in the downtown of a small town, with apartments all around. I decided I couldn't just vent straight outside here. The local fire department is very paranoid. This whole town burned to the ground in the late 1800s, and they send the trucks out at the slightest hint of smoke smell.

So I spent $4k+ on an exhaust system that has an electrostatic smoke absorber followed by a filter unit with dust, HEPA, and charcoal filters. It gets every bit of smell and fumes and simply blows the clean air back in the room. I then have a wall exhaust fan that vents the room to the outside, but there's no smell whatsoever in the room or outside (well, except the smell that comes out when I open the lid to take out the cut parts).

The lease for this 2200 sq. ft. space is so much cheaper than the cheapest industrial space out of the village limits, that it would have cost me a lot more to move.

Mike Mackenzie
06-28-2006, 12:39 PM
Heres a funny story that happened to one of our customers.

A model maker he cuts wood and acrylic all day and into the evening he works out of his house and vents out of his garage roof. One evening he had a large acrylic cutting job he had to finish so he had his system running continuously it was about 10:30 pm when all of a sudden his door was kicked down and he was greeted by several swat members in full riot gear with there gun's a blazon.

Needless to say the guy was shocked all he could say was DON'T SHOOT I AM JUST A MODEL MAKER.

It turns out that some of the neighbors complained of the strong odor and they concluded that he must be a METH Manufacture thus the raid.

Shortly after his ordeal he moved his business into a commercial center he said it is not worth losing my life to cut parts for my models.

Joe Pelonio
06-28-2006, 3:44 PM
:eek: That would have been funnier if I was not planning to move the shop to my house, keeping in mind that my laser has been going 8-10 hours a day lately. Now our homes are pretty far apart on 1/3-1/2 acre lots, so I'm hoping not to have a problem, but I have to say I'd prefer the Fire Department to the Swat team.

Ed Lang
06-29-2006, 7:27 AM
Maybe the taxes and cutting of the grass on my little 3 acres is not such a big price to pay to keep the SWAT team and the F.D. away.

One thing for sure, I can tell when my wife is running the laser when I walk from the woodshop to the house.

Best wishes to everyone in moving, venting and staying stealth.

Joe Pelonio
06-29-2006, 7:59 AM
I had a different but related incident last night at home. I had made a pizza for dinner, and being a hot day I decided to cook it in the gas grill
instead of the oven. So, I cranked up all 6 burners on high to preheat it,
with hickory chips for extra flavor.

After 5-6 minutes I have the smoke alarm upstairs in the hall start shreiking. I run up stairs and find that my daughter's window (old room)
has the window open, and she's running a fan sucking in the fresh air.
Well the BBQ was directly below her window, smoke was being blown into her room, setting off the alarm in front of her door. She was at work at the time.

Dave Jones
06-30-2006, 6:11 PM
But now she has a hickory flavored room. :D