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Forums > Social Chat > How can I protect my arms from fire poi?

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Posted:I have been using fire in other realms of juggling for awhile, but none of them have ever been very dangerous. However, now I'm using poi and I am concerned about getting my arms caught in them (tangled) during advanced tricks. Should I wear a long sleave shirt or is that a bad idea.Just curious. . .J.P.

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Jesse


member
Location: Pittsburgh, PA/ USA

Total posts: 118
Posted:I wear a long sleeved 100% cotton long-john shirt, and I find it gives me a few extra precious seconds to disengage. In general 100% NATURAL FIBER materials are the safest thing to wear if you want a little bit of protection. But the best protection would be practice...

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:I'm inclined to think that if you are tangling that often that you might not want to light up just yet.
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A bit more practice and I bet you'll not be knocking yourself at all.
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Also, when you do tap yourself it doesn't burn, just leaves a sooty mark. Bu then tapping is *way* different that tangling.100% Flannel is good for protection. Also leather bracers, but in truth...practice unlit....Safe blazes------------------Pele Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir...


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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nomad
BRONZE Member since Jan 2001

nomad

retired
Location: Paris, France

Total posts: 356
Posted:I was actually gonna ask something similar. How do you guys dress when you spin fire, for practise and performances? I guess all black attire for a performance would be good because it emphasizes the flames. What about safety concerns? Is spinning.... say.... topless.... a big risk? (compared to a t-shirt or a sweater)

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Posted:Yeah - I agree with Pele, unless you are happy to take the risk (something I WOULDNT encourage) make sure you have all your tricks NAILED before you try them on fire. That way you will usually know if something is going wrong before you get completely tangled, and the worst you will come out with is a tap.Taps are fine on bare skin - thats what leg wraps are all about too...athough I must say, wraps are a bit more comfortable with a bit of cotton in between your skin and the flame..I peformed last weekend with no shirt on, it was kinda fun actually...Hair is more of a problem I reckon...
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Josh


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Jesse


member
Location: Pittsburgh, PA/ USA

Total posts: 118
Posted:Nomad: I spin reletively toplessly, and don't consider myself to be at a big risk of obtaining burns from my wicks themselves. I can smack myself with them all day long and not get burned. It's really a tangle with the chains that I fear the most. A cotton shirt or bracers will give you a few extra seconds to untangle yourself before your skin starts to sizzle, should you manage to wrap a chain around your arm somehow. The reason we all like natural fibers and leather so much is that it takes them a lot longer to catch on fire, and if they do (knock on wood) they won't melt and bond with your skin. Your skin being pretty much like leather, it will not catch on fire unless you have somehow managed to get a fair amount of fuel on it... So to a certain extent being topless is safer than wearing a nylon (extremely flamable, and likely to melt) shirt... But less safe than having that extra protective layer between you and the chains. One of the things I practiced before I started performing in a barer state was purposefully tangling myself in my chains and then extracting myself as quickly as possible (Unlit of course!). Tangle until extracting yourself is REFLEX, because when you are wearing something as hot as those chains get, you don't have time to think... And a lot of time if you do think, panic is what ensues first! You should ALWAYS have a safety on hand to help you, but ALWAYS be prepaired to have to help yourself. Because you can almost always help yourself faster than they can get to you.

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:It depends on what type of show I am doing Nomad. For most I wear a spaghetti strap cotton shirt and jeans or leather pants. For trailing I wear a leather tank top and leather shorts (protects the important parts
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). For Ren I wear a short sleeved cotton Ren blouse, leather bodice and leather pants, though soon to change to cotton bodice and pants.No matter what I wear I try to keep my arms in general cover free, at very least my forearms. I also don't wear jewlery on my hands or wrists. A fellow fire eater has custom made torches he is able to spin around his middle finger. I watched one of the torches slip in it's spin from clicking on the ring on his adjascent finger and become off balance, then getting caught on his dangly bracelet...toasting him a bit.As for the hair issue, well, I shave my arms for trailing and such. I also wet my hair (to the point of damp, not soaked) before all shows and pull it back somehow.No burns (knock on wood) yet.Jesse's right about practicing entanglements but beyond practice the best thing you can do is *always* keep a cool head.My best.------------------Pele Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir...[This message has been edited by Pele (edited 21 February 2001).]


Pele
Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir
"Oooh look! A pub!" -exclaimed after recovering from a stupid fall
"And for the decadence of art, nothing beats a roaring fire." -TMK

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adrian


member
Location: sydney

Total posts: 58
Posted:i would have to agree with jesse...i only EVER where pants and boots when useing any kind of fire implement, be it poi(my fav) staff, ot fire breathing or whatever, if you are tangeling often practus more before you light up, the only thing on your poi that will burn you is the chain itself and any screws inside the flame, the wick itself wont burn you it will just make you blackened. a quick trick for if you do get hopelessly tangeled is to drop your arm to the ground and put the poi next to your arm, that way the flamw wont singe your arm hairs and stink reely badly,,,,plus i think for a gut to perform topless and a chick to perform almost topless makes it look far more professional cos your audience will think you must know what your doing if you are not afraid of being burned...but if you decide to do it topless please make sure you know your moves BEFORE lighting up....------------------ladies and gentelmen take my advice, pull down your pants and slide on the ice...

ladies and gentelmen take my advice, pull down your pants and slide on the ice...

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adamrice


adamrice

poo-bah
Location: Austin TX USA

Total posts: 1015
Posted:Speaking as one who's recently had a crash course in arm-hair singeing, it really isn't bad. Maybe I should take a tip from Pele and shave 'em. I haven't done anything to hurt myself (yet--knock wood), and the only burns I've seen on other twirlers is from rare and momentary contact with metal, as someone else mentioned.I have seen some twirlers wearing something like leg-warmers (remember those?) on their arms, but I've also seen those same twirlers going completely topless (and yes, they're women). I've also seen heavy leather wristbands, but that's as protection for wrist-wrap moves--though again, I've seen one of the same performers with the protective wristbands doing unprotected *neck* wraps (!).I've been wearing only a T-shirt on top, and plan on going topless myself.------------------Adam Rice :: www.fire-gear.com

Laugh while you can, monkey-boy

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nomad
BRONZE Member since Jan 2001

nomad

retired
Location: Paris, France

Total posts: 356
Posted:Thanks a lot guys, this helps.

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melissa
BRONZE Member since Jun 2001

member
Location: madagascar, USA

Total posts: 156
Posted:for arm protection i would recommend buying a pair of kevlar arm shields. it is fire retardant and strong. racecar drivers use them under their clothes to prevent burns from car wrecks. basically it is a glove that covers your arm and palm of your hand (not fingers) look up racecar supplies on line for info. they also sell head/face hoods and full body suits. it doesn't look great but it works for new moves or to shield yourself from heat. they also work great as arm heat shields for glassblowing.

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