How to report a potentially unsafe laser show

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Responsible laser show producers will keep beams from entering audience areas, or will ensure that audience-scanning beams are at eye-safe irradiance levels. Unfortunately, it is not always possible to tell by eye, or from a video, whether audience beams are too powerful.

It is better to be safe than sorry. Therefore, if you have concerns about the safety of any laser display, contact the venue, the producers, and also any appropriate government agencies. These can include local fire code enforcement, and local, state and federal regulators.

For example, in the U.S. contact the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health, and your state laser agency. In the U.K., contact Public Health England and the local authority for approving shows. Links for agencies can be found at the Links and Resources page.

In March 2015, ILDA asked an FDA representative how the public should contact the agency, if they see a potentially hazardous laser show. The reply was to have the concerned person write a letter to the FDA at the following address:

       U.S. Food and Drug Administration
       Center for Devices and Radiological Health
       Document Mail Center – WO66-G609
       10903 New Hampshire Avenue
       Silver Spring, MD 20993-0002

FDA has an emergency telephone number, staffed around the clock, for “an FDA-regulated product that requires immediate reporting.”

For non-emergencies, to voluntarily report a suspected problem or injury, you can directly report to the FDA by completing and mailing the Accidental Radiation Occurrence Report form.

If the show was done by an ILDA Member (see here for list), you can also file an Ethics Complaint. ILDA can investigate and can take action within the association. Our most serious penalty is to expel a Member from ILDA.

However, any serious problems or concerns should first be addressed with the venue management and government regulators. They have the authority and duty to stop unsafe or illegal laser shows.

For more information, visit our other ILDA websites:

Stacks Image 11369 Membership database and event management, including joining ILDA
Stacks Image 11372 Information about safe laser shows, including laws, regulations, checklists, and more

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