Some U.S. states and localities may require registration or regulation of laser devices, show equipment and/or laser operators.

Below is a selected list of such states and localities. The list is not comprehensive, and of course, laws can change.

  • If you will be doing a laser show in the U.S., do not fully rely on this list. You should independently research what state, county and city laws and regulations, if any, might apply in addition to federal requirements.

  • If you are hiring a professional laser show company, such as an ILDA Member, they should be aware of any and all requirements and should take care of the paperwork and details for you.

To find out more, download a spreadsheet of federal, state and local contacts and requirements, created and maintained by Roberta McHatton of Laser Safety Services. You can also check Rockwell Laser Industries’ list of state laser safety contacts.

Fire watch when using theatrical smoke or fog

Often laser shows put fog or haze into the air, in order to make beams more visible. For indoor shows, this can cause smoke detectors and even sprinklers to go off.

To help prevent this, a producer can arrange for a fire watch. Smoke detectors are turned off during the show and additional staff, usually from a local fire department, watches for any fire problems.

This requires coordination with the facility and with the local fire department. More information is on the page Haze and fog for laser shows. For a sample fire watch cost, see the item above for "Florida - Orange County (Orlando) Convention Center."

For additional information

See the Links and Resources page. The pages that are listed will have additional links, such as to specific FDA documents and forms.