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Le Skunk


member
Location: NYC, New York, USA

Total posts: 84
Posted:OK, here i go again gettin all preachy...i was at a party this weekend, a party which i was scheduled to perform at but got cancelled and then relocated, but to make a long story short, i get there and there are about 7 or 8 people there doing poi and staff.i go running to join them, and find out they have no means of safety, no fire extinguishers, no spotters, no wet towels, nothing. this was on a rooftop, water was not readily available, and it was quite windy. I look down and i see the fueling area is RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE of the circle where people are spinning. furthermore, i see some people lighting up their wicks, without spinning off excess fuel first, and while the fuel drips from their wicks they light up while hanging DIRECTLY over the fuel can. When i approach the person doing this and ask them to kindly move, he says to me "oh, it doesn't matter. kerosene isn't going to explode, don't worry".Now this person obviously didn't know who he was talking to, he had no idea that i had any experience at all, but still, to stand there and explain to me (and i do have quite the background in chemistry and understand well the concepts of volatility and vapor pressure) that this was "safe" instead of taking the same amount of time and energy to move 15 feet away (5 meters for you on the decimal system) so as to eliminate the risk completely, is absolutely stooooooopid. Why, oh why, would you even wanna take the chance? and by the way, i've seen kero tanks explode. they may not quite go boom, but they are readily happy to set fire to anything and everything around.People, please, for the love of all that is sacred, please practice safely. I can't stress this enough. it takes minimal effort and is so worth it. I understand that very few people actually get hurt, but you might curse yourself if you don't take precautions and end up with 3rd degree burns on your face. If anything EVER happens to anyone because they were unsafe and got hurt, all of us who perform for a living and do it safely would be out of a job. people will no longer understand that a fire performance CAN be safe and all venues will shut down their fire priviledges. cities and countries will pass laws forbidding these practices and we will all be arrested. and lord knows i don't need to be arrested any more times...I apologize for the rant, but once again, cannot stress enough how important safety is. and yes, people have gotten hurt in the past. really hurt. people who are better performers than most of us can ever hope to be. if you ever talk to an experienced performer, i'm sure such person will echo my sentiments. as my legendary fire performance idol Joemama once told me, "what would your mama say if she knew you were playing with fire without safety? or all fucked up?" she would not be happy. think about it.safe peax,SkunkPS another point of safety - heads up!!! if you have a lot of people around you, or if a bunch of people light up at once, you gotta keep your eye out not to jump into someone else's patterns, unless of course this is a practices skill and is mutually consensual.

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:here,hereand eeeh gads, people really do that shit?!
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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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Posted:Hey, pal, don't apologize! You're right on. If I was there, I'd have moved the fuel dump myself. If they're stupid enough to take that risk, I'm going to do my best to ensure that some innocent party-goer doesn't suffer for their idiocy. BTW, you know Joe Mama?! He's one of my dearest fire kids. DianaDiana

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Twist


member


Total posts: 160
Posted:Solemn nod. 'S pretty bad out here... I saw a kid hand a woman (no experience) a pair of lit poi and say "Try!"I don't think I've ever moved faster in my life...and replied..."Don't try!" as I removed the chains from her hands.

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nomad
BRONZE Member since Jan 2001

nomad

retired
Location: Paris, France

Total posts: 356
Posted:Le Skunk, pardon my ignorance but... what is a spotter? Someone who watches out for fire performers? Also, do you guys always have fire extinguishers handy when you perform?I am slowly getting into performing for audiences and the only thing i have so far is a safety person with a wet towel and a bucket of water.Thanks for any advise.nomad

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Dr.NoodleHead
BRONZE Member since Mar 2001

member
Location: The Giant Mushroom, United Kin...

Total posts: 170
Posted:Just imagine the worst case scenario......- a burning poi flies off into the crowd- your soak tray catches fire- your poi tangle around your leg/arm/head- you set your hair/clothes on fire- a child runs into the performance area- the grass/bushes/drapes catch fireCould you handle it quickly and safely?Make sure the answer is YES Noods
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Fish are just like trees except they move and they're invisible

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melissa
BRONZE Member since Jun 2001

member
Location: madagascar, USA

Total posts: 156
Posted:when my troupe performs or practices we try to do the following to avoid excess burn grief, unintended torching or cop harasment:1. have 1-2 fire extingishers on hand2. wet towel seperate from the wet extinguishing fuel towel3. sober performers and spotters4. review basic fire safety do's and don'ts with all of our performers,spotters, and musians ahead of time. this includes mock trial runs of potential accidents (kind of like "what would jesus do if his head caught on fire?")5. have fuel areas seperate from fire area, extingishing area, and the audience/musician area.6. spin out before lighting7. burn kit on site8. keep fuel in non-breakable plastic containers 9. wear all natural clothing10. wet down hair and tie it up either in a bun or wrap cloth around head. 11. every couple of fire up times double check the condition of your equiptment to see if it needs to be rewicked or repaired. 12. use common sense, if your instincts are setting off red alerts don't do it.

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Frenzie
BRONZE Member since Jan 2001

member
Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia

Total posts: 515
Posted:I guess i have been sitting and not commenting on post in the past about "fire safety" and i know we have done the "when does it become paranoia" thread before, but i mean really?!!! How many of you have actually set stuff on fire?!!!!Sure i agree that having your fuel dump in the middle of where playing is going on is absolutely ridiculous, and commented on that something similar on the weekend, and i hate people who dont spin off before lighting up, and spotters are definately great, but fire extinguishers and wet towels all the time???? You do this even when practicing?Yeah ive seen a wick fly off into the crowd, didnt light anything up, even the person it hit!!! What was more dangerous was the fact that it was a hot, heavy metal based meteor travelling at high speeds!I guess in the end its each to their own!Perhaps we are not the most "fire safe" people in some peoples eyes, but we are quite aware of our surroundings and where we are twirling and what dangers could occur, and if there are too many cons, then we go elsewhere!

- Industrial design knows of no article more useful than the milk crate -

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:I set Prom's ass on mini-fire (more like a flicker)and the "safety" patted it out with an oversized blanket...it was really funny. Thank goodness it was a Ren comedy show!
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------------------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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Frenzie
BRONZE Member since Jan 2001

member
Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia

Total posts: 515
Posted:hehehewould have been funny to watchi know how id react if my ass was on fire :P

- Industrial design knows of no article more useful than the milk crate -

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Ade
SILVER Member since Mar 2001

Are we there yet?
Location: australia

Total posts: 1897
Posted:At an absolute minimum when performing with fire I'll have a wet towel and a bucket of water, and my hair tied back and wet(I love my dreads too much to risk losing them after I sent them on fire in my early twirling days). But really, getting this stuff together is as easy as filling a bucket - quite second nature and not the main focus of preparations - takes all of a minute to organise (so I don't think it borders on paranioa just yet
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But common sense is the key for my thinking. The unfortunate thing is, it's not very common.
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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:Did you know that water will spread a fuel fire and not put it out? Which is why a fire extinguisher and a blanket are more commonly suggested. And damp (not wet) towels should only be used to smother a tool, not a person as steam burns can be worse than contact burns.Just some interesting points my first aide training gave me.------------------Pele Higher, higher burning fire...making music like a choir...[This message has been edited by Pele (edited 23 May 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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Frenzie
BRONZE Member since Jan 2001

member
Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia

Total posts: 515
Posted:Yeah thats what i thought Pele, that water isnt good for fuel fires, years of working in kitchens and staring at fire extinguishers during my breaks.I can understand with dreads and your hair, the stuff that most people pout on them, like waxes and gels and stuff would probably set alight. But i dont have them, just plain hair. I dont wet it down, and never had a problem

- Industrial design knows of no article more useful than the milk crate -

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BEZERKER


BEZERKER

enthusiast


Total posts: 237
Posted:Saw a guy twirl in Byron last week who incredibly good (and I've seen a few!). During his set his beautiful dreads (I guess he was pretty beautiful himself hey Flash
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)on fire on the very top of his head.Without so much as flinching (I mean he didn't even duck his head) he patted it out and continued to move through his BLISTERING set.I know you guy's have only the best intentions but again I feel logic prevails. Practise, use a good fuel vessel, put it aside from your performance area, shake off fuel and be aware of your surroundings. All the stuff you suggest I feel (this purely me here) is a tad too overboard (no flaming please). I've been playing with this shit for five years and common sense and logic has and always will prevent big mishaps.Anyway, just my thoughts, it never hurts to be too cautious right
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Ade
SILVER Member since Mar 2001

Are we there yet?
Location: australia

Total posts: 1897
Posted:All good comments, cheers.

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Kat
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Kat

Pooh-Bah
Location: London, Wales (UK)

Total posts: 2211
Posted:I have had strangers (and friends who should know better) ask can they try my fire poi. I have told them that if they can swing the unlit poi without hitting themselves then they can light up. No beginner has passed the soot mark test yet!Hee, hee!

Come faeries, take me out of this dull world, for I would ride with you upon the wind and dance upon the mountains like a flame.

- W B Yeats

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Posted:I reckon youse are all big scardy cats, with your saftey checklists, and all that shit. Wheres the danger? You aint gonna turn noone on with your wet blankets. sometimes you gotta get burned to know how close you can get!Word to frenzie and Beseker you kids got da logic down
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flame on.FyreTwitch


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flash fire
BRONZE Member since Jan 2001

flash fire

Sporadically Prodigal
Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia

Total posts: 2758
Posted:::flash snikkers to herself, wondering who the hell FyreTwitch really is::

HoP Posting Guidelines
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kmactane


member
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 97
Posted:Skunk--I agree with you, these people were dangerous (for what they were doing) and complete morons (for not altering their behavior when advised of the problem).I notice you live in the Big Apple. I hope that's where this was going on (i.e., that you weren't on a road-trip or something), because I like the idea of having 3,000 miles between me and those people.Of course, that's not a real solution. My friend who used to go to the Burning Man monthly beach burns here in SF said he'd seen at least one person light up there without spinning off first. Feh.FWIW, you have my sympathies for having those people associated, however loosely, with your social circle. When you hear that one of them is in the hospital with third-degree burns, it won't be on your conscience -- you tried to warn them -- but I'm sure it will still suck to hear, regardless.Diana--Excellent point about moving the fuel dump yourself. I'm not sure it would have helped in this situation, though. Nothing can be made foolproof against sufficiently determined fools. I think my favored option would have been:1) Move the fuel dump,2) Tell anyone who would listen about fire safety;3) Then leave, before something went "Foomph!"(That last step assumes that at least one or two of them wouldn't listen. Which seems warranted, given Le Skunk's experience.)NoodleHead--I like your examples of worst-case scenarios. That's a good checklist to go through before lighting up, and it makes me think about my own practice sessions.Luckily, some of those problems are ones I don't need to worry about. I generally practice in the street in front of my house, which is a pretty secluded little alley in the middle of the club district -- we're right around the corner from a nightclub, a motorcycle and scooter shop, and a gay leather biker bar.This means there are no bushes or grass anywhere around -- it's basically concrete, asphalt, and a little bit of (admittedly flammable) trash that litters the street. And there are no children anywhere around.
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Not after dark in this neighborhood.But flying, flaming poi and hair/clothes fires are definitely a risk. Indeed, I caught my hair on fire a couple of weeks ago, and my fire safety (who's also my girlfriend) immediately yelled, "Stop!", darted over and put it out. Once we'd trimmed the charred bits off, there was hardly even any noticeable difference in my hair style. She handled things calmly, efficiently, and effectively.Melissa--Love your phrase about "WWJDIHHCF"! Somehow, turning it into wine doesn't seem like the right answer.
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Frenzie--I'm about where you are on safety; maybe just a bit more paranoid. We don't have a fire extinguisher at my practice sessions. We do have a fire safety for every burn, with a wet towel. No bucket of water, for much the reasons Pele mentions. Everyone knows to spin off excess before lighting up -- even the newbies who are still just practicing with Zuni and haven't lit up yet have picked up on that one, just by observation. And we'll probably institute at least an informal policy that nobody lights up without first being taught both ends of fire safety: the kind of knowledge of fuel characteristics that a performer needs, and knowledge of how to be a fire safety/spotter for someone else.I feel that both of those aspects are necessary to fully "know" fire safety. The only exception I'll make there is that I know some people who are interested in being spotters, but have no real desire to light up and perform. So they can get away with not knowing the performer's side of it -- but most of them are very interested in knowing that anyway, and I highly encourage that.I think that a person who hasn't been a spotter for another performer at least once, and preferably twice, isn't really a full, complete fire-dancer. (They're close, but I think that aspect is crucial.)And someone who doesn't know enough to spin off their excess fuel, to have a spotter, to keep open flames away from fuel dumps is not a fire-dancer at all -- that person's just a dangerous pyromaniac, and a menace to him- or herself and everyone nearby.


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melissa
BRONZE Member since Jun 2001

member
Location: madagascar, USA

Total posts: 156
Posted:one of the major reasons beside your health to have a good concept and practice of fire safety is that it helps when dealing with angry cops or paranoid venue owners. I live in a town with a lot of really board officers (bellingham is right next to the us/canada border so there are more cops per person than seattle) with alot of free time on their hands. a number of times our practices or performances are interupted by the police but with each incident they tend to back off when we can demonstrate that we know what we're doing. i figure that having strong fire safety is a good pay off for ensuring the health of our performers (even though we have had remarkably few incidents of even minor concern) and the ability to continue performing without harasment.

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firestarter


member
Location: San Francisco, CA USA

Total posts: 2
Posted:hey peeps, it's fire princess here. i am a firm believer in respect for the fire. if a person has respect for the fire (( as fire is a such a stronger element than mere human flesh )) then things will work out and the fire performer wont get burnt. so remember folks, just as a the surfer has to have a deep respect the ocean or else she'll get swallowed up the the big wave, so does the fire performer have to respect the fire, or else she'll surely get burnt to bits.that's my two cents sierra~------------------http://geocities.com/seeds_of_fire

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Shouden-CrD
SILVER Member since Apr 2001

Veteran Member
Location: Tampa, FL, USA

Total posts: 495
Posted:kmactane,I think you had very valid points in stating that everyone should be taught both the precautions of fire performance and fuels, and how to be a spotter. I'm hoping to light up in the next couple months(even if only two do weaves and forward spins!!! hehe), however I don't have anyone around me to teach me these things. Could you either recommend a webpage(or something to search for here), about fire safety, and the do's and dont's of fire twirling? I would be very interested in reading this.I also read in this thread that you shouldn't put a fire out with a wet towel as the person can get steam burns. (makes sense.) What would be the best way to put a fire out? ie...if someone was twirling and I was their spotter, and they caught their clothes or hair on fire. What's the best way to put it out?Are there fire extinguishers that put out non-toxic material? (ie..something you could spray onto someone who was on fire) Obviously the first rule everyone learns is Stop, Drop, and Roll.When I do light up, it will probably only be on the beach, readily near plenty of water. (If not standing in it.) I feel this will reduce the danger somewhat. I'd mostly only have to worry about wrap burns.
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Has anyone burned themselves with fire poi, WITHOUT accidentally wrapping themselves? I haven't been able envision how to burn myself without doing a wrap as the fire really doesn't burn you unless you are eithe rslow reacting, or it sits on your skin.Another question from a newbie.
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Heat rises. How do you keep from burning yourself when twirling lit poi? Do you just keep them spinning and then when you are done, put them out?*tries to absorb as much experience based knowledge as possible from all the other fire twirlers out there*Any and all recommendations, hints, or suggestions are OF COURSE always welcome.
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Thanks!------------------ [PLUR]-=Crazy Raver Dude=-


-=razyRaverude=-

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kmactane


member
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 97
Posted:Thanks for the kind words, CRD. I'll try to answer your questions, but of course, others may have other opinions.Re: steam burns from wet towels. I don't see that as being that much of a problem. Skin and hair have a much lower burning temperature than fuel does; I have trouble imagining that a person on fire could be burning hot enough to cause the water in the towel to become steam that fast.Heck, to phrase it from experience: a wet towel worked great on my hair a couple of weeks ago.
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Of course, if you have a fire blanket, that would be better.Pele, have you really ever encountered a situation where a person being smothered got steam burns?For fire safety information on the Web, here's a few links. But note that the first one, from this site, says right at the top: "I highly recommend learning to perform with fire from an experienced fire user only." I'm not sure where you are, so I don't know how difficult that might be.But here's some links... http://www.homeofpoi.com/firesafety.htm
http://www.foreworks.com/fire.html
(and following pages linked from the bottom) http://www.geocities.com/firepoi/
(this is a framed site, so you'll then need to click on the "Fire Safety and First Aid" link in the upper right -- or just go straight to http://www.geocities.com/firepoi/safety.html
) http://fireflys.hypermart.net/safety.html
That's about what I can find at the moment, and should get you started.As for fire extinguishers -- I understand that water extinguishers are bad to use on fuel fires, because they simply push the fuel around. (OTOH, they'd be fine to use on a person whose hair or clothes had caught fire, if that's all that's burning.) CO2 extinguishers are bad to use on people, because that stuff is cold!!!, and will give the person cold-burns (on top of any normal burns they're already getting -- yuck!).Then there's the ABC kind, which spray a toxic chemical. These are what most fire performers keep around, and the idea is that you use those on inanimate objects that may happen to catch fire. Some folks will tell yuo to never use them on a person; others say that if you must do so (i.e., the emergency is pretty serious), then don't point it anywhere near their head.You can indeed burn yourself without wrapping -- hair burns quite nicely. All it took to set mine afire was a momentary bonk, in which one poi bounced off my head and didn't even hurt. Had my GF/spotter not been so quick (or had I been a moron, and lit up with no safety), I could easily have had second- or even third-degree burns on my scalp, with nary a wrap anywhere in sight. (I would certainly have noticed the smell of burning hair moments later, but then what? Patting it out would have been interesting, because not only could I not see my own forehead, but I had flaming poi strapped to my fingers.)Of course, an entire ocean is enough to put out nearly anything (except napalm). Indeed, it's probably overkill.About the heat rising thing -- I assume you mean when you've first lit the poi, and they're dangling from your hands? It's not that much of a problem. Unless you have really short chains or something, you have enough time to start them swinging before your hands even get noticeably warm. Even just swinging them back and forth like pendulums is enough to dissipate the heat.As far as stopping, I think at least one of the links I gave you mentions it, but just in case: when you see that the poi are starting to go out, you spin them around really fast for a bit to put them out, then have your spotter cool them down a bit with the damp towel. If you're just practicing, rather than actually performing, you could just keep spinning until they go out on their own. In a performance, of course, that makes a crummy finale.
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Hope all this has helped, and would love to see other people's responses as well.


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Posted:Hello all,What a good and savory thread. Thanks. Firstly, please don't poo-poo the danger of steam burns. It's real. It happens. Make sure your safety towel is fully emersed then rung out thoroughly. Safety towels should be *damp*, not dripping. Secondly, y'know, some movement always helps, kmac, I've seen fuel dumps go up under situations descibed here. Those sad kids didn't even have a towel. It was us who were actually prepared for what we were doing that took care of their mess. Luckily noone was hurt. Any move you make for more conscientious fire safety helps. At least it raises consciousness. At most, it'll save a life. Oh, kmac, I didn't give you my full list. Move the dump, stop anyone too wasted to play, stop anyone hasn't spun out (if they're already light tell them to slow down until excess fuel is burned out), inform about safety, and leave. Let's see, fire extinguishers. Here's the connundrum. Each type of fire extinguisher has its ways. I came up as a fire performer learning that extinguishers are *not* for people, simply because you can do a lot of harm by using the wrong extinguisher or the right extinguisher in the wrong way. I'd still stick to the "no extinguishers on people" rule, unless you have your own and train your safety people accordingly. Dry Chemical: not for people. CO2: for people ***only if you're more than FIVE FEET AWAY******NEVER POINT AT THE FACE***Water: OK for people. The best for people is still the fire blanket, a large tightly-knit wool number. Think army blanket. Second best is damp towel. For dry chem, fire marshalls usually require at least a 2A 10BC. This is the bare minimum. Do better if you can. For CO2, at least one ten pound. If you're doing big fire or have a large scale show, these minimums should be upped. Geesh, I poured a lot of verbage on y'all. Hope this helps some. (I'm sure I'll think of more later. This is one of my favorite rants, er, topics.
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)Diana


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Posted:Oh, I should rephrase something. Fire blankets are best for catastrophic people fires. Damp towels are best for smaller people fires. There, better. Diana

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kmactane


member
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 97
Posted:I think that may be why I have trouble imagining the steam burns. I've only ever dealt with damp (not dripping) fire safety towels, and I haven't run into a catastrophic people fire yet. (Here's hoping it stays that way.
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)Looks like your list is a lot like mine, only better thought out and more detailed. It should have occurred to me that some of these crazies might be non-sober, in addition to everything else.
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Thanks.


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Le Skunk


member
Location: NYC, New York, USA

Total posts: 84
Posted:Hey, i've been away for a little while, and would you look at this thread. makes me proud...as for the people who claim that fire safety is expendable and "you need to get burned to know what you're doing" i'd love for you to tell me that when you have 3rd degree burns on your face. I know it doesn't happen often but it DOES HAPPEN and if you feel like you're too good, too much in "total control" of the most fascinating element of nature well i hope the fire gods can see you and come back to bite you in the ass. it's people like you that ruin the fun for people like me, because i pick up the towel and i stand there watching attentively over everyone that plays with fire around me because i care for them just in case, not because i think they're gonna hurt themselves. and because when you burn yourself i will not be allowed to do my thing.Diana-I met joe mama at the festival of Now last year (june 2000 in upstate new york somewhere) when i was just starting out with spinning. needless to say he immediately became my idol...is he really made from rubber?

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melissa
BRONZE Member since Jun 2001

member
Location: madagascar, USA

Total posts: 156
Posted:here is the fire safety guidlines that joe mamma taught me way back when i was first learning. read and enjoy!-----------howdyso here are my neurotic fire safety guidelines. tell me if you see anything i left outstill making preparations for tourjoe mamaThis is a public service announcement brought to you by Joe Mama. Does your mom know about the dangerous stuff you are doing?? Don't you think she worries for your safety?? She would be so happy if she knew you were being SAFE. Do it for good ole mom.SAFETYBE AWAREBE SAFEtry not to get overconfidentThese are guidelines for being almost 100% safe. Being 40% safe is definately better than 20%. What I am saying is that you do not need to do everything in here, but at least try to make your current routine safer. As Joe Mama, I must voice the concerns of all the Moms out there who are worried sick that their child is going to burn themselves because they are playing with fire unsafely.who:a sober practiced performer. When lit up, be comfortable with the fire. try not to do a trick that you have not yet practiced. Stick with tricks that you are very comfortable with. If you are not 100% sure about a trick DO NOT DO IT. You could injure yourself, those around you, and/or burn the building down. Wet down hair to keep it from burning. If it is too cold to wet your hair, cover it with a non-synthetic stocking cap. Clothing should also be made of natural fibers. Synthetic materials tend to be petroleum based. When synthetic stuff burns, it melts and creates major burns. Aloe is really good for burns.ALWAYS PERFORM WITH A FIRE SAFETY PERSON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!A sober safety person armed with an ABC fire extinguisher and a medium sized wet towel, damp but not dripping. The size is important. A small washcloth will not be effective for smothering a fire. Use bathroom or beach sized towels. The fire extinguisher is used only in cases of property damage. Use the extinguisher only if a building is burning and the fire can not be smothered with the towel. Fire safety people need to be dedicated. Remember, they are there to save us from possibly hurting ourselves and others, so you want them to be coherent and focused. They need to be closer to you than anyone in the audience. They should have the towel open in their hands ready to extinguish a fire. The extinguisher should be by their feet. It is only to be used in the case of major property damage, like a building burning down. All other fires can be smothered with the towel. An extinguisher should not be sprayed on a human. CO2 extinguishers cut off oxygen to the lungs and Dry chemical extinguishers are bad to get on your skin. Encourage fire safety people to be alert but not to over react. Explain to them how important they are. I usually try to get them a round of applause from the audience at the end of a show.Scenario-Someone wraps a chain around their arm and it's burning their skin, cover the wick with the towel and hold the wick away from their arm.Fire Extinguishers.There are three different classes of fire extinguishers that put out different types of fires. Fire extinguuishers (in the U.S.) can be type A, B, C, or all 3 classes.Class A fire extinguishers put out fires consisting of natural materials (ie: wood, grass, leaves,etc) and tend to be water based. This is the only type of extinguisher that can be sprayed on a performer. Fire extinguishers that are only class A are not recommended for indoor fire safety unless they are also backed up with a class B extinguisher.Class B fire extinguishers put out fuel and petroleum product fires. This includes all of the type of fuels used for fire performance. Use a class B extinguisher if spilt fuel has caught fire. If a class A extinguisher is used or if water is poured on the fire, the fire will spread. The fuel floats on the water.Class C fire extinguishers can put out electrical equipment without conducting the electricity.My recomendation for a personal extinguisher is a class ABC fire extinguisher. This will put out all the fires.Teaching OthersDo it one on one. Be responsible for your students. Make sure that they will not hurt themselves. EMPHASIZE THE IMPORTANCE OF SAFETY TO THEM. If they burn themselves, it is not the fault of the student, but rather the fault of the teacher. We can not send students into the world unprepared. THIS SHIT IS DANGEROUS!! Even after teaching everything to a student, they may still burn themselves. Responsibility also comes in the form of knowing who should and who should not have this kind of information. Some people are not capable of doing fire performance safely. Not everyone should be a fire performer.Whattoys-Inspect all equipment before a performance. With chains, single key rings are a no no. Instead use heavy duty links that screw shut. These are available at hardware stores. If you are unable to use the more heavy duty link, then double or triple up the rings. They are not that strong and I know of a few occasions when they broke and sent fire into the audience. MOST IMPORTANT: Shake off before a performance. Swing them hard for a minute until no more fuel comes off of the wicks.Wicks: use professional fire wick made of fiberglass or kevlar. Cotton wicks burn themselves. The cotton will spark and eventually be unsafe.Fuel: The 3 most commonly used fuels are white gas, lamp oil, and kerosene. When doing an indoor show, use white gas because it is the most clean burning fuel of the 3. Never blow fire with white gas. Storage of fuel is important. It is flammable. Keep fuel in a large gasoline container or a small camping fuel conatiner. These are very secure and will not leak. Don't store fuel in plastic or glass bottles. Soaking containers should be metal with an air-tight lid.WhereSF fire marshall recomends the audience be at least ten feet away from performers. Outside usually the only fire hazards are dry grass, hay, brush, and other burnables above the performer like a tree with lots of dead leaves in it. For inside performances, always have a fire safety person with a fire extinguisher. This is just in case the unthinkable happens and the building is burning down.Always have a soaking and shaking out area that is not near the performance area. For indoor shows, try to soak outside and bring the soaked and shaken toys back inside. Fumes from fuels are poisonous and flamable. This area needs to be a fire free area. No open flames, lighters, sparks, or cigarettes should be allowed in that area.Joe MamaFireflies(415)273-4663Joemamafirefly@hotmail.com

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Shouden-CrD
SILVER Member since Apr 2001

Veteran Member
Location: Tampa, FL, USA

Total posts: 495
Posted:Wow, thanks for all the wonderful information! *Absorbs* Just wanted to thank everyone who took the time to reply, and share their knowledge.
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-=razyRaverude=-

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Doc Lightning
GOLD Member since May 2001

Doc Lightning

HOP Mad Doctor
Location: San Francisco, CA, USA

Total posts: 13920
Posted:At the very least, I make sure to have a sober spotter with a bucket of water that is big enough to put out any small fire, but small enough to be thrown. I always say to the spotter "your job is to throw this at anything that catches on fire EXCEPT the dipping pan." The dipping pan is always set on top of something that can't possibly burn (normally on concrete). Better yet, I carry a small fire extinguisher in my car that I almost always have with me when I perform so that the spotter can put out any fires. I still have the bucket of water around for in case *I* catch on fire! I don't want to get fire-extinguished! :-)If I'm performing on grass, I always make sure that the grass has been sprayed with water before I perform.Some dancers like to dip, THEN light, THEN spin off the burning fuel. This is STUPID! Yes, it looks cool, but having a million little burning droplets of fuel flying through the air is a recipe for disaster.One other thing that nobody here has mentioned. If you catch on fire and you can put the pois down (because you are smart and are spinning on something that can't burn like sand or concrete), remember to STOP, DROP, and ROLL!-------------------MikeCertified Mad Doctor (in training)

-Mike )'(
Certified Mad Doctor and HoP High Priest of Nutella

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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adamrice


adamrice

poo-bah
Location: Austin TX USA

Total posts: 1015
Posted:MikeG--While I think we're both basically on the same page, safety-wise, I'd be unwilling to water down live grass. Live grass won't ignite very readily, and the water, combined with a little cast-off fuel (which is inevitable, even when well shaken-out) can be very slippery, which is another hazard.

Laugh while you can, monkey-boy

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