You can shoot anything from t-shirts to confetti out of a air cannon, and these air-filled marketing tools promise to add a bit of something extra special to your next event. In order to function, air cannons are connected to a can of compressed air. If you are shooting items from the stage, you can set the compressed air canister on the stage, but if you are mingling with the crowd and shooting items from there, you need to carry the canister of compressed air with you.
Carrying the compressed air through a crowd requires extra safety and precautions. Here's what you need to keep in mind:
1. Make sure that all of your pipes, hoses and fittings work with your compressed air.
Air compressors all have different levels of maximum working pressure, and their pressure levels are typically measured in terms of psi or pounds per square inch. The accessories connected to your air compressor must be strong enough to handle the force of air that travels through them.
For example, if you are using a tank of compressed air that has a very high psi rating but the hoses hooked to it are only rated for a low psi, you risk the air rushing through the hose and potentially breaking it. Alternatively, too much pressure could cause the hose to disconnect from your can of compressed air, fly through the air and hit someone in the crowd.
To avoid these risks, only use pipes, hoses and fittings that are designed to work with your can of compressed air. Ideally, you should get all of this equipment directly from the company that offers air compressor rentals, and you should not mix or match hoses or other items from one canister of compressed air to another.
2. Use accessories so you can carry the canister of air without hurting yourself.
When you are using an air cannon in a crowd, you are going to spend a lot of time walking around. If you have a large can of compressed air, it can get heavy and potentially hurt your back or strain your muscles. To protect your body, use something to help you carry the compressed air.
Many rental companies offer backpacks. The backpack holds the can of air on your back, and you hold the barrel of the air cannon in your hands. Essentially, this set-up looks similar to the equipment used by the Ghostbusters from the popular film and cartoon series of the same name.
Alternatively, you can use a small cart with wheels to move your air canister around. These carrying devices are very similar to the pull carts used for golf bags.
3. Look for a comfortable grip on the trigger.
Whether you are using compressed air hooked to a air cannon or for some other purpose, you should insist upon a comfortable grip. A trigger with an ergonomic grip allows you to shoot the compressed air cannon multiple times through multiple events, without worrying about damage to your hands.
Unfortunately, repeatedly gripping something can lead to repetitive stress injuries such as trigger finger or tennis elbow. Ultimately, this can be very painful and even debilitating.
4. Shoot up not out.
Finally, once you are sure that your hoses are correctly matched to your compressed air and you have found ways to ensure that the cannon doesn't hurt your back or hands, you need to think about shooting the cannon.
Remember that even if you are shooting out soft items like t-shirts, they are backed by a lot of pressurized air. You need to protect the crowd from these forces, and to do that, you should shoot up rather than out. If you shoot outward, you risk hitting attendees in the faces or backs. If you shoot upward, the items will fly into the air and then gently come down into the crowd.
Want more tips on using air cannons with compressed air safely? Then contact a company that rents out air cannons or canisters of compressed air.