NYC_not_PK
NYC_not_PK

One Tyred Guy
Location: Camaiore, Lu, Italy
Member Since: 13th May 2001
Total posts: 203
Posted:So I'm sitting in my stupid Chemistry Ed. course and my mind starts to wander to fire poi... Here's a question that's been bugging me for a while:Why not use water to put out poi fires?No, wait. Hear me out. I KNOW that if a bucket of Kero tips and lights and you throw a bucket of water on it you'll end up burning down the neighborhood. I KNOW that water spreads out a fuel fire. But at the burns that I've been to the situation has been as such: A person soaks their poi in fuel, spins out excess, moves away from the fuel, and lights up. As far as I can tell there isn't that much fuel present in the poi (maybe a half a cup each?) Here are the critical situations which could occur...1) A person wraps a body part badly and can't untangle.2) A person hits clothing or hair and lights it, it stubbornly won't go out (AKA "A DOUG")If I hit em' with one of those HUGE OLD water filled extinguishers I can't see it making the situation worse. The shirt or hair will surely go out and I can only assume that the poi will be diluted to a point of no longer being flammable. I know most fuels won't burn if they are diluted to less than about 50% water. In LA my students used to steal these HUGE metal fire extinguishers that you fill up with water and then pump up manually (to do drive bys on the freshman... very funny, I mean.. er... inappropriate.) Trust me, they can drench a person right quick.I realize that this may seem counterintuitive and I'm NOT suggesting anyone do it at this point. But I would love to see what you true fire people think. My theory rests on the fact that there isn't THAT much fuel being burned when someone is spinning a traditional fire poi and if you can get enough water on them it should put the fire out.Thoughts?

PK is a god.. i love the Peeekster.

.:PK:. [poiinthepark founder member]


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing smileSTAY SAFE! hug

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flash fire
flash fire

Sporadically Prodigal
Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia
Member Since: 25th Jan 2001
Total posts: 2758
Posted:hmmmm, I'm certainly no expert on this topic, but I have to agree with you mrmo. When a human is on fire, be it their body, hair or clothes, it's them that is burning, not the fuel. The fuel simply ignites the flame and leaves it to the hair/clothes to finish the job.I could be wrong, but if I saw someone on fire, I'd definitely throw a bucket of water over them. Fortunately, us Aussies seem to never be in this situation ::touches wood:: I've yet to come across anyone requiring more reaction than simply dropping their toy.------------------"she dances in a ring of fire and throws off the challenge with a shrug"

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Posted:Though I balk at considering myself a "true fire person", I contribute what I know. Actually, you're not on a bad train of thought here. The whole water on burning fuel, yes that's a recipe for disaster. I'd make a joke about Mrs. O'Leary's cow, but I don't want the point to be confused. The best way to deal with flaming fuel is to not have it to begin with. If you don't collapse your fuel dump (pack up all open fuel and safely stow) after you soak, have someone sober and aware there to make sure someone doesn't walk by with a cigarette or accidently kick over a can. Barring that, CO2. Dry chem will work bu leaves a messy residue and requires evacuation of a venue if it's released. CO2 is clean, but it's safety is limited when it comes to people. Not more than five feet away and not at the face. Closer than five and you can give frostbite and CO2 in the face can cause someone to loose their breath. So... Anyway... water on poi. The best thing I've see for putting people out is the damp towel. This is not a wet towel. This is a full size bath towel fully soaked in water and then rung out till no more water escapes. With a damp towel, it's not the water that quenches the fire. The water creates a seal, so when you cover the fire with the towel it's effectively denied oxygen. A wet towel meeting fire in that situation create steam with the excess water and can burn the person you're trying to put out. Ideally, one person with a towel for each performer. I'd stretch that to maybe three performers to one safety, *maybe*. But speaking as a performer who's done a lot of safety as well. More than three for any length of time is really fatiguing and the last thing you want in a safety is someone who's having a hard time paying attention. So, uh, what was the topic?
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The advantages of a damp towel is you can get in and out fast with the least mess. If the performer has enough awareness of the environment and the safety is sure of what they're doing, you can put someone out without breaking stride. The advantage to a water extinguisher is you can out a fire from a distance. But you can also get water on the stage with an H2O that's safety'll have to be on with a dry towel so the performers don't fall and feel silly. Remember, an extinguisher from a distance is a much less percise tool than a damp towel right there. The other way towels work better is that is you have to put out someone's tools with a towel, they can still light them right back up. If they get too much water from the extinguisher, they're done for the night. Hope this didn't bore... I mean helps. Diana


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Superman
Superman

member
Location: Houston, Texas
Member Since: 13th Mar 2001
Total posts: 829
Posted:may i make a statement....??Dianna is one well rounded person."S"------------------"Only the warrior that hears the call will know when to leave, Where to go" -unknown"We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of the dreams"- Willy Wonka

Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear--not absence of fear.


- Mark Twain

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Pele
Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA
Member Since: 15th Dec 2000
Total posts: 6193
Posted:Few thoughts, having been there for the Doug incedent (and being the one to stop drop and roll him), not as a "true" fire person....Mr.Mo, your train of thought is right on in theory but from my perspective this is why I wouldn't use it...it is overkill. Kind of like using an auto-machine gun where a Colt 45 is asked for.Most of the goof up, set themselves on fire incedents I have heard of an seen, including Doug, has involved the person actually continuing the spin once they are extinguished. Those with professional contracts are usually obligated to spin for a set amount of time, barring emergency injury. As a performer who holds these contracts to be sacred, if my pant leg caught and you doused me with a water extinguisher, also hitting my tools, I think I would be miffed for two reasons. You just soaked my poi and so I couldn't continue my spin effectively. Two, you soaked me, I couldn't continue my spin without first changing my clothes as to avoid the dreaded steam burn (which is far worse than a contact burn), and that is assuming you hit just me in the right spot. Like Dianna said, a damp stage is almost more dangerous than my hair being singed. A DAMP towel and an on the ball safety are the two most priceless things any fire performer can have. Over kill will just leave a show all washed up.Also, I have safetied for four people at once and thank goodness there were no incedents as it is taxing, and I will never do that alone again. But in the same respect, I have seen three people safety for one spinner and when that person caught himself, only one went to the rescue, the rest stood there with jaws agape.As important as it is to practice poi before lighting up I feel it is important to at very least vocally go over with the spinner what the safety intentions are in any possible situation so that both can be on the same level of understanding, if possible, practice.Cheers------------------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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kmactane
member
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA
Member Since: 25th Apr 2001
Total posts: 97
Posted:Diana: Thanks for your well-phrased explanation on why a mere towel is better than an H2O fire extinguisher. It made a lot of sense, and wasn't at all boring.Pele, your additional reasons were also really useful.Although I personally feel like one safety for two performers is about the maximum I'd want to see, unless the safety person was really good -- like, had been doing it for years on a professional basis and assured me that sie could handle three performers.

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NYC_not_PK
NYC_not_PK

One Tyred Guy
Location: Camaiore, Lu, Italy
Member Since: 13th May 2001
Total posts: 203
Posted:Yup... I agree with everyone [Wow, that sounds weird.] I think that a damp towel is best for most incidents. I was just thinking of it as a worst case scenario "oh crap the shirt/costume/hair won't go out" KASPLOOOOOOOOSH! There, problem solved. I'd hate to see people NOT bring a water (Class A) fire extinguisher with them to the beach/roof/abandoned lot because they thought it would make the situation worse.I'll have to do some passive research on CO2 canisters as well. I remember seeing those stunt guys do it and they always put them out with what looks like CO2. Also, race car drivers always get hit with it... I know about the frostbite and suffocation problems associated with it.At some point I'd like to start a thread on peoples incidents/accidents. This way I know where problems can arise before they do. I think it could be useful in an "oh crap I never even thought of..." kinda way. I won't start it now because heading out (I need a drink)
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Happy 4th of July to all... Even those who lost the war
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PK is a god.. i love the Peeekster.

.:PK:. [poiinthepark founder member]


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing smileSTAY SAFE! hug

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