Hi everyone, long time lurker here.
I've been working freelance for a few years and knew about this problem, but had never really needed to worry about it until now.
I was recently hired full-time as an in-house videographer / editor for a company, and have been working out of a standard office cubicle and external locations for the first few months while a studio space is built in a large partitioned area of the workplace. The space will be used for shooting products, promo videos and misc. video tasks (e.g.: brand managers, rep training videos etc.).
Camera and other gear aside, for lighting we have purchased a 4-head Lowel lighting kit coming in at ~1700W. This may or may not be supplemented by more lighting down the track.
I personally own an Ianiro 3x 800W redhead kit and a single 650W Arri fresnel, which I have used for most of my freelance work over the past year or two. For a few of these jobs, we have worked in a space where smoke and/or heat detectors are either absent, or able to be manually overridden / shut off temporarily.
Currently we are looking at ways to avoid the issue of lighting setting off the building's fire alarms and costing us thousands each time the lights are switched on.
The company HQ is on the top floor of a 3-floor office building with standard 10-12ft office ceilings. Fire department protocol dictates that smoke detectors must be spaced in a grid pattern every 7m throughout the building. It also dictates that installing an extraction fan would be against the fire code, as any fire that starts would potentially spread into the roof cavity via that duct and worsen the situation.
The body corporate has informed us of some smoke detector "condoms" that are made to fit over the smoke detectors temporarily as a barrier to stop any particles reaching them (they're basically glorified plastic cups). Ironically, it's against the fire code to install them for anything other than fire system test / technician work...
For the size of the space (approx 8x8m, or 26x26ft, or 676 square ft.), going the Kinoflo / LED panel route with lighting would not be an option as we're looking at $8K to $10K of lights to adequately meet the needs of this space, which I can't swing in the available budget.
Has anyone had experience setting up a studio space, other than in purpose-built buildings, garages or warehouses (all of which I'm more used to working in)? If so, how did you get around this issue? Our lights will be thoroughly "burned in" outdoors, so a lot of the factory chrome / paint will already be cooked before setting them up indoors, but even my own lights, which have seen heavy use over the years, still smoke occasionally like all tungsten / HMI / anything-with-a-heating-element will.
Lots of reading on the net, plus talking to fellow video people has told me that it's either something they've never thought about, or it's something that's been solved by "less-than-legally" overriding the detectors / whole alarm system. I know what I'd do, but unfortunately I'd most likely foot the bill personally should anything disastrous happen.
Any advice would be great.