Do they allow things that emit fog at cons?


Well-Known Member
I was wondering what sorts of rules they have for props at big conventions like Comic Con.

For example, let's say you had a steampunk outfit. Would you be allowed to use dry ice to emit a steady stream of "steam"? Could you emit actual steam in small quanitites? Could you use a CO2 cartridge to emit a burst of steam from a pipe? What about a gun that shoots a burst of steam?

Or if you were a ghostbuster, what about a trap that uses dry ice or one of those tiny foggers magicians use to make their hands smoke?

If there are no steadfast rules about these sorts of things, what have you seen security allow in the past?

And if none of this is allowed, do people often show this sort of stuff off outside the building?

Obviously I'm not talking about a fog machine emitting a steady stream of heavy haze. I wouldn't do that simply because it would annoy people. I'm talking small amounts of steam, fog, or vapor which dissipate quickly and are relatively harmless. No chemical smoke or pyrotechnics.
Never been to a con, but with all this security hype nowadays, I wouldn't think so. Outside the building doesn't sound to be a problem though.

Others with first-hand experience will give you a concrete answer though.
I doubt there's any sort of standardization in terms of this. You'd have to inquire with whatever cons you plan on attending to see what their stance is.

That said, I'd probably make sure that any fog feature doesn't use any common allergens, is designed so there's little chance of catastrophic pressurization, and in general is unlikely to cause any harm.
One of my top ten memories of all the Con's I've ever went to (I go to a LOT of them), was 4 guys dressed as Ghostbusters running in the hotel with a somking "trap" yelling "ALL SAFE! WE GOT IT!"

I've seen people use "smoke" with lasers, as part of girl had this awesome "Evil Witch" thing going where the black smoke was comming from under her dress so it looked like she was walking on fog. Honestly, about the only real "Rules" are:
1. If its sharp, peace bond it
2. if it shoots, peace bond it.
Honestly, not sure. I've personally not seen any think like that at a con before. I would say go for it and when they ask you to stop, you stop. Or you could be all responsible and write the con and ask. :unsure
'Tis better to ask forgiveness than permission. :) A local branch of Ghostbusters found that out when they asked a theatre if they could show up in uniform for the Ghostbusters return to theatres in October.

My main concern isn't that they'd tell me to stop, it's that they wouldn't allow the device on the con floor at all, whether its in use or not. And since it would be integrated with the costume, and perhaps not easily removed, that might cause problems.
I attend annual trade shows where they sell fogging systems. Those vendors have to work it out with the convention organizers and the building management, so they can make a determination about the alarms and safety issues. I don't think that small of an amount would have any effect in a high ceilinged room, but check with the organizers of the con first before you do anything like that. There are also other con-goers who might have health issues that you could affect, so be careful.
My experiecne with foggers at a con aren't so much as an objection from the organizers as much as other con attendees. No matter what safety measures are made for the fog juice that has been produced for foggers, and stated as so on the label, someone will object to the presence of a fogger and the fog it produces because that someone will claim they are allergic to it. Even when there is documentation to prove otherwise, they will insist the device be shut down and will get the backing of the con organizers to make it happen.

I've seen dry ice dumped into a hotel swimming pool at one time with the expected fog as a result. Cool effect, but these same people with this allergy still complained.

I just don't bother with it anymore.

So their ya go. That's the advice I have for whatever it's worth.
The only time I saw anything like this was on a very small scale. At DCon, there was a guy in a Darkwing Duck costume. He had a gas gun, and there was a tiny bowl/chamber thing inside. He had a bottle of the stuff that's used to make toy train engines emit smoke. You can buy it at hobby stores. He would put a few drops of that into the end of his gas gun, but like I said, it didn't create a huge fog. It was just a little puff of smoke for pictures, as if he had just fired the gun. No one batted an eyelash at that.
That's the sort of thing I was thinking about, except with CO2 instead of smoke fluid, so there's no odor and it won't linger in the air. (And like the gas gun, it would have a wide nozzle both for accuracy and safety.)
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