How JBA provided fire protection consulting for the iconic Las Vegas attraction
It’s not every day you get to work on a project that uses high pressure gas to create fireballs and multi-story jets of flame,” says Greg Shino, Technical Director for JBA Fire. Shino headed the fire protection team that made sure the iconic Mirage Volcano would be safe for audiences and staff when it was redesigned and rebuilt in 2007-2008.
After six eruptions a night for more for almost seven years, it still performs flawlessly, allowing audiences to experience the thrills and heat of a volcanic eruption with none of its danger.
- The Volcano became the Strip’s first great outdoor themed attraction when the Mirage opened in 1989.
- JBA did the bulk of the engineering for the original resort.
- JBA provided life safety consulting for the rebuilt attraction.
The re-launch of the Mirage Volcano took almost two years of planning plus 10 months of construction. The work included an all-new facade, a new concrete pad for its three-acre lagoon, new fountains, new fire effects and a new electrical, gas and plumbing infrastructure.
Fire protection challenges included:
- High-pressure gas would be used to create the flame effects.
- Audience members would be in close proximity to the flames.
- The lagoon water supply had to be maintained throughout construction, since it feeds fire suppression systems throughout the property.
The new Volcano is spectacular. Hourly from 7 p.m. to midnight, a low rumble and churning water signals the waking of the sleeping giant. As the sound rises, water and lighting effects simulate the flow of lava, while 15’ balls of very real fire burst from the lagoon. At the climax of the show, high-pressure gas feeds a flame that leaps to 60’ above the top of the mountain.
JBA Fire provided:
- Safety protocols for the high-pressure gas lines, including venting gas lines, lightening protection and leak detection with automatic shutdown.
- Life safety code consulting, including an egress plan for operators and engineers.
- Requirements for fire sprinklers within the mechanical and control rooms.
- Recommendations on perimeter intrusion system to shut down the attraction should anyone attempt to enter the show area.
- Recommendations on a wind detection system that prevents the start of the show in the event of high winds.
Hazardous materials consulting to address chemicals for water treatment of the lagoon.