This is the story of how a piece of equipment I purchased for a film two years ago saved my house and my home.

Here is a list of safety bulletins provided by the Contract Service Administration Trust Fund. These bulletins cover everything from General Safety, Blanks, Live Ammo, Trailers, Boating, Cranes, and even how to handle live venomous snakes.

But fires and accidents don’t just happen on large sets – they can happen on small productions as well. Here are a few safety tips I have to stay safe during your production.

  • Always have a fire extinguisher on hand and that everybody knows where it is.
  • Never leave lights on unattended. If you leave the set shut all lights off.
  • Keep hot lights away from flammable materials like sheer curtains.
  • Repair or replace any extension cords (stingers) that get damaged on a set.
  • When rigging up DIY electronics, make doubly sure that positive and negative wires do not touch. They will short and couple destroy your equipment.
  • For open faced lights, use a scrim. The will reduce the light by a bit but if the bulb inside should explode (as the can when they reach the end of their life), the scrim will contain the flight bits of hot glass.
  • Don’t overload your circuits. Know the wattage of your lights and keep the amps you’re running below the rating of the outlet and stingers you’re using.
  • Know where the circuit breaker is for the room you are working in.
  • In buildings with sprinkler systems – keep the lights away from the sprinkler heads. The sprinklers go off at a certain temperature and you don’t want to set off the sprinkler and create a wet mess.
  • Make sure to secure your light stands. Use sand bags for larger stands.
  • When using a C-Stand with gobo arm – keep the tension knob on the right. If the arm should start to fall down, it will tighten the screw.

Do you have any more safety tips? Please share them in the comments below.

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