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arashi


arashi

Pooh-Bah
Location: austin,tx

Total posts: 2364
Posted:hey everybody...
just wanted to let everyone know that,esp. if you are using any kind of alcohol based fuels(coleman, denatured alcohol, jet fuel,etc.) there are cans called safety cans that are the ultimate in fuel transport safety. they are really thick steel and have a lid that is spring loaded, so they can stand a direct fire and not explode. we use them to carry ALL fuels. also- i want to try and spread some love about fuels. kerosene is hands down the safest fuel, as it has very little vapour action and a high flash point. however, if you light up a lot or are a professional, you will find that in just a few short years your lungs will start to get really fucked, and the toxins that are in the fumes will start to fuck your immune system. we started to notice this after about 3 years. so the questin became -what can we do? well, the obvious answer would be to use pure alcohol, as it burns clean. the problem is that it is explosive which makes the whole prospect of fire dancing a whole nother story, esp. in the eyes of a fire dept. so waht can we do? well first, using pure paraffin is an immediate solution, as it gives off less smoke, but still has a very low vapor rate. we use paraffin as the foundation. then , if you still want an even cleaner burn, and i do, and the indoor crowd does too, you can add in varying amounts of coleman or denatured alcohol.

i only do this when iknow certain parameters are met- i can soak far away from any crowd, i have a SAFETY CAN to contain the fuel in, and i can pour the excess fuel back into the safety can before i leave the fuel station. this keeps from having a container full of fuel evaporating into the air and creating an explosion hazard. a lot of people use coleman for body transfers, and i feel we should all be doing these basic safety precautions. sometimes people smoke, and wind can carry a cigarrete right into your fuel!

anyway, i end up using a mix of alcohol and paraffin simply because we usu. have lots of help from people when we do shows, and i can feel safe that someone is there keeping an eye on the fuel. if u r going guerilla fire dancing, stick to paraffin or kero! and be aware of your fuel station! i've seen beginners doing shows with their fuel station right next to the crowd! and these people almost killed people like three times during their show. i almost cried. one bad fire dancing accident can make it bad for everyone, so be anal, and teach others!
one last thing... fire breathing... everyone knows that it is the most dangerous of the fire styles, but it is also the most toxic! putting anything but alcohol in your mouth is a bad idea. i used to know this and not care- i liked the way i could blow for a while if i was not using alcohol (alcohol burns your mouth, and it's hard to use more than a few times). so i used ultra pure lamp oil, which seemed to make me less nauseous than any of the others if i accidentaly swallowed a little. if you can't use rum for the burn, try ultra pure. but even then i still had problems. keep in mind i'm a pyro freak and have blown through countless bottles of lamp oil. and afterward my immune system just couldn't take all the toxins. and it's not just me! after a few years everyone starts to feel the effects, so why not stop early? anyway, this is all just my opinio, there are assuredly many more. but i am a fairly smart guy and have been thinking and experimenting with fire fuel issues for a long
time. by the way- does anyone know where to get 55 gallon drums of paraffin? boy am i not very good on the internet yet.


-Such a price the gods exact for song: to become what we sing
-Seek freedom and become captive of your desires. Seek discipline and find your liberty.
-When the center of the storm does not move, you are in its path.

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Knagi


member
Location: Brunswick, Ohio

Total posts: 397
Posted:Well said arashi! Could you go more into depth on how you knew when enough was enough and your system just couldn't handle anymore? Just how bad are the long term effects of this adiction?

We are all in the cosmic movie. That means the day you die you watch your whole life repeating for eternity. So you'd better have some good things happen in there and have a fitting climax. --Jim MorrisonIt's going to come from a direction you didn't predict at a moment of chaos which you didn't see coming. -- NYC

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arashi


arashi

Pooh-Bah
Location: austin,tx

Total posts: 2364
Posted:by addiction i assume you mean fire dancing. welcome to fire dancers anonymous. well, when my immune system really started getting weak, the symptoms were much like mono, which is another immune disease- constant exhaustion, getting sick easily, depression- i went to my accupuncturist and she did me up. started eating lots of spirulina and such and detoxing and i slowly got better. if you have been blowing fire with anything besides rum, then i would seriously recommend doing a detox for the spleeen and liver. do it slowly over time, or you will just shock these organs that are already having a hard time. if you are a seasoned fire dancer then do some lung cleanses. i only noticed these effects over time, the body is such an amazing machine, but once your body hits its limit, you will know! as with most things, the disease begins with the activity and over time manifests as disease. i am the main fire blower in our group. the girls all do more twirling oriented stuff and they noticed problems with their lungs. once we switched to my fuel system , though, we noticed a big difference. i'm going to say this every time, tho- only use alcoholic fuels if you are experienced, anal beyond belief, and don't tell others to use it unless you have time to explain the whole safety rundown! kerosene will work FINE for beginners.

-Such a price the gods exact for song: to become what we sing
-Seek freedom and become captive of your desires. Seek discipline and find your liberty.
-When the center of the storm does not move, you are in its path.

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Knagi


member
Location: Brunswick, Ohio

Total posts: 397
Posted:Lung cleaning? I'm hardcore twirling with kerocine. We can spin though kero at about a gallon an hour. I did abit of fire breathing last year with lamp oil but other then it being a neat trick to impressise the crowds with it doesn't impress me much. So I never really got hardcore into like the others I hung out with.. Blowing though 10 gallons of fuel in a night. exhaustion, getting sick twice a year, and depression have always been the norm. Along with shortness of breath, and dizzy spells. What is involved with the cleaning of the lungs?

Btw, Are you a smoker?


We are all in the cosmic movie. That means the day you die you watch your whole life repeating for eternity. So you'd better have some good things happen in there and have a fitting climax. --Jim MorrisonIt's going to come from a direction you didn't predict at a moment of chaos which you didn't see coming. -- NYC

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:To let you know you are NOT supposed to carry any fuel in a metal can, according to government standards (ironic then that coleman is in a metal can, isn't it?). The theory behind this is that metal can puncture, causing a spark that can make highly combustible fuels explode. They also heat up quicker, again another no-no when transporting fuels. The government standard is for the blue plastic container for Kerosenes, the Red for gasolenes. AND, jet fuel and white gas, last I knew, were not alcohol based. White Gas is in the Petroleum Hydrocarbon Naphtha family according to the MSDS Fuel Saftey Sheet Data available here:
http://www.coleman.com/coleman/msds/lantern.pdf
br>
And Jet Fuel is a Kerosene and Naphtha combination according to the MSDS sheet available here:
http://www.hess.com/about/msds/JetA_0325_clr.pdf
br>
And to let you know, Jet fuel, if you can get your hands on it, is one of the cleanest and best things to use as a spinner.

In the US most liquid Parafins are actually a lamp oil, which is Kerosene based and not waxed based.

Due to a low flashpoint and a high absorption rate alcohol is one of the ***most*** dangerous of fuels to use for fire breathing. Regular lamp oil is the best and safest to use. The process and chemicals used to make lamp oils smokeless and odourless is more toxic for a person than using just plain fuel. I also know around here that Ultra Pure is actually a brand name, not a claim on the label.

While I appreciate your zeal for safety please do a few things for me in the future.

A) Know your facts before you report them. Please get to know your MSDS fact sheets, including those on alcohol. They are easily available online for download, and through most chemists at universities in your area. This also includes making yourself aware of your fuel transport regulations and laws.

B) Do a search. If you would like to have a full list of possible health issues related to fire breathing, it is listed not only in countless threads on this site but also in the article on fire breathing.

Again I appreciate your desire to be safe very much, but please before you spread faulty information, research it first. Thank you.

Oh, and...disease is not alwyas inevitable. Those who have a genetic propensity are more apt to have an activity enhanced version of the disease but not every fire performer suffers. Such as those who swallow too much fuel too often might be more prone. Your symptoms sounded strikingly like fuel poisoning, and less like a build-up. Maybe you should've tried a proper physician instead of an acupuncturist. There are fire breathers out there who have been doing this 30+ years without issue, with far more dangerous lead based fuels. It is up to each person to take care of themselves, which means moderation. You need not practice with fire when no one is watching.
Knagi, if you want, the detox issue was covered in another fire breathing thread, I can dig it up sometime if you like for you.
Kind regards

[ 10 April 2002, 12:35: Message edited by: Pele ]


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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adamrice


adamrice

poo-bah
Location: Austin TX USA

Total posts: 1015
Posted:Pele--

Actually, from what I understand, the Austin fire marshal is now requiring permit-holding fire performers to transport their fuel in metal safety cans (there are polyethylene models too, but I think the fire marshal was explicit about using metal cans). I believe these have valves to bleed off vapors.


Laugh while you can, monkey-boy

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arashi


arashi

Pooh-Bah
Location: austin,tx

Total posts: 2364
Posted:yeah, adam, they have them at callahan's for about 30 bucks they are sort of expensive but worth it. did you get your permit? i was kind of asleep when you called. the fire marshall here is where i got the info about safety cans. i feel like it's way important to get these in use, as i see people carrying fuel in all kinds of stupid containers, such as the coleman metal cans. safety cans were designed for highly dangerous fuel like gasoline, and are more than safe enough for our needs. and as far as specifics in the fire fuels, i am generalizing in an attempt to teach. there are two ends of the fuel spectrum, heavy fuels such as deisel and kerosene, and light fuels (which i called alcohol based- perhaps i should have said alcohol type, to be more specific) such as gasoline and coleman and alcohol- i think my wording could have expressed that better. thanks for making me clarify- i can see how that would be confusing technically. i guess i was just plain wrong about the jet fuel- sorry! i've never gotten my hands on any but i always heard that it was closer to the gasoline/acohol. and as far as blowing alcohol being the most dangerous, keep in mind that you are merely expressing your opinion. i try to make it clear to everyone that i am ONLY expressing my opinion. some people smoke and eat oreos all their life and never have problems- everyone is different! most folks i know are affected by the toxins, however. did you ever see the warning label on lamp oil bottles? did you ever see that on a rum bottle? if someone using rum doesn't have enough force behind their blow, then yes, it is dangerous as the flame can creep down the stream and hit you in the face. but i'll take the danger of bad technique over the dangers of poisoning anytime. just wipe your face after every blow, and ther's not too much to worry about. oh and no i don't smoke. cigarretes. ya mon. pele, i feel like the way you followed me up was inappropriate, and discounts all my opinions by implying that i don't know what i'm talking about. not that i really care, but i do feel like it could have been done differently. i HAVE done research, and i'm just trying to help people. i feel like the only wrong info i said was about the jet fuel. the rest i wholeheartedly stand by. but all these things are still just my opinions. the government says plastic, i say the government ain't no fire dancer. the previous fire marshall here in austin, whom we had a very good relationship with, helped me work out all this stuff. i myself was a volunteer firefighter, long ago, and took all kinds of fire safety classes. and i think that the safety cans are the way to go at fire shows. but as i said, do your will! i know you are trying to help people same as me, but we all have different info to throw into the pile here. perhaps we should not shoot down others as wrong simply because we haven't heard the info yet. i still think that kero is fine for most, esp. beginners, as it is pretty foolproof for safety. i feel like some people who are concerned about the toxins might read what i said and agree.

-Such a price the gods exact for song: to become what we sing
-Seek freedom and become captive of your desires. Seek discipline and find your liberty.
-When the center of the storm does not move, you are in its path.

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:In accordance with the Federal Fire Commission and the National Fire Protection Association the Polyeurothane are federal government designed and issued and must be accepted by all local government fire authorities as appropriate portage material. These have bleed valves in the back.
Also, the NFPA is the one I was going by as deeming the metal containers as unsafe. Just to
let you know where I got my information.

I maintain my opinion that fire marshall's do not always make the safest decisions where we are concerned. The lack of knowledge can be astounding. After all, in many areas it is the fire marshall who deems it necessary to have a bucket of water nearby, which everyone should know is a big no-no. *sigh* Just goes to show what a sub-culture we truly are.

Yet, I also maintain all of the information in my original post as being correct (I even double checked before I posted it).

Thanks Adam


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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arashi


arashi

Pooh-Bah
Location: austin,tx

Total posts: 2364
Posted:well, we always have wet towels and water buckets for small, minor emergencies, such as clothing fires- as long as you don't try to put out fuel fires with them, then why is it a no no? i think it is an excellent idea!

-Such a price the gods exact for song: to become what we sing
-Seek freedom and become captive of your desires. Seek discipline and find your liberty.
-When the center of the storm does not move, you are in its path.

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lluhmas


member
Location: Armidale, NSW, Australia

Total posts: 63
Posted:For safety, we always have a few simple things going on...
::: Fuel held at least 5metres away from lighting up area.
::: Dipping area at least 5 metres away from both of these (after seeing a nasty experience with shellite and a still smouldering poi I keep fuel and dipping separate)
::: A Wet towel, a metal bucket full of water. Towel is for clotheing fires, water for wetting grass before twirling and putting out runaway grass fires. It also looks good to fire officals and a croud.
::: Dry Chemical fire extinguishers (not to be used on skin, obviously, but if fuel explodes somehow its the only way to go)
::: water extuinguisher (only a little one for spot fires)
::: A rope around the performing area. Its a 40 metre rope and we usually try to twirl in a circle that big or bigger.
::: Crowd at least 8 metres away from twirlers, and a few people with twirling knowledge (hopefully twirlers having a break) watching the crowd and making sure they dont come into circle.
::: Fuel holding, dipping and lighting facilities well away from croud.
::: I use a nice heavy and think pewter vase (very pretty and safe) which is about 30cm deep for dipping.
::: I use a plastic bottle for fuel holding (usually the 5 litre kerosene bottle I buy the fuel in) If im using coleman I use the metal can they come in.
::: For lighting I use three candles.
::: All our Fireplay twirling and spinning instructors have knowledge in safety, four of us have our pyrotechnicians liscence (Australian) and are members of our local rural fire brigade, and have training from them.
::: Our group got the idea of employing a fire safety official for big performances from Pele,who employs someone, and we found a local guy who has been doing fire safety for like 40 years, this crazy old fireworks guy. He has so much knowledge its astounding, and while he thinks we're all silly he is really handy for getting hold of fireworks and setting up our safety systems.
::: Oh, and have access to a tap, a hose, and a phone for calling 000.
::: Prepare ground. If on grass, wet it first with a light spray of water. If no hose around, use a bucket or watering can. (Yes it looks funny using a watering can on a large expanse of grass)
::: Wear sensible clothing, fuel containers with a large base, and dont let stupid people near the whole set up. Definition of a stupid person in this context is anyone with little or no fire experience that you know of.
::: NEVER EVER EVER let that guy(they are usually guys)who says "I know how to firebreath" and asks lots of 'knowledgeable' questions, firebreath. Its not worth the risk. In my experience they usually have no idea and are subsequently very dangerous.
As a final note, use COMMON SENSE.

And stop argueing about metal v plastic containers.

Oh, and isnt parrafin a solvent? Arent solvents highly toxic?I might be thinking of Pegasol though. Pele, correct me.

twirl on,
lluhmas


BAHOOGA! It's the penguin-people!Gertrude, get me my lollypop and we'll lick 'em to death..and?

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adamrice


adamrice

poo-bah
Location: Austin TX USA

Total posts: 1015
Posted:Most fuels can be used as solvents (my neighborhood hardware store stocks kerosene in the solvent section). And yes, that stuff is bad for you.

But water is called "the universal solvent," and is not generally considered toxic.


Laugh while you can, monkey-boy

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arashi


arashi

Pooh-Bah
Location: austin,tx

Total posts: 2364
Posted:hey also you can use dry chemical extenguishers on skin. it is a non toxic formula for that very purpose. if you need to put someone out fast, that's the way to do it!!!

-Such a price the gods exact for song: to become what we sing
-Seek freedom and become captive of your desires. Seek discipline and find your liberty.
-When the center of the storm does not move, you are in its path.

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:Arashi, You are right about the dry chem extinguishers. The rule for those is they have to be and A:B:C grade and they have to be used from about 5 to 6 feet away from the person and never at the face.

Parrafin ILuhmas is a liquid form of wax. But Adam is very correct in that it seems everything is concidered a solvent now-a-days.

I have always found wet grass dangerous because it becomes very slick, and am quite surprised to hear that you spray the grass down. Also, green grass/plants do not readily burn anyway. They are concidered (I think the term is quite paradoxical) wick, which me alive and full of fluids. It smoulders but doesn't really burn. If there is a question about it, I use a wool carpet which also helps to keep the ground from absorbing my fuel spray anyway.

As for the bucket of water. The fire safety classes that I have taken since grade school have continuously informed us that water, unless treated such as fireman hose water (and that stuff reeks!), can do more damage than good. It can first of all spread a fire, through spreading of fuel (obviously) and also because water does not surpress the ashes. Also, it causes steam burns which are far more dangerous than contact burns. If a person catches on fire wrap, drop and roll is the best course of action, next is the dry chem extinguisher. Wrap and roll is faster too.
The best things to have on hand are a damp towel for smothering tools, a 100% wool fire blanket, the fire extinguisher, a good first aide kit set for burns and a cell phone. These should cover any emergency that could be had and if it doesn't then my thoughts are that whoever the person is has no right doing fire anyway!

Of course every city has different laws to abide and I am no expert but this is what I have learned through research and practical implications.


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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lluhmas


member
Location: Armidale, NSW, Australia

Total posts: 63
Posted:When I say wet the grass, I dont mean soak it. I mean just a light spray. Usually, where I am, we dont have to do this as the dew wets it enough.
Also, obviously you wouldnt do it on green grass, but in Armidale there are two types of grass - dry, dead stuff and none at all. We ALWAYS wet the grass cause quite often if someone drops a toy it will usually light up the grass and start a grass fire.
Thats interesting about the dry chemical extuinguishers. We were always told it would burn us.
And as for the bucket of water, yes, your right, water WILL spread a fuel fire. But Like I said,
"::: A Wet towel, a metal bucket full of water. Towel is for clotheing fires, water for wetting grass before twirling and putting out runaway grass fires. It also looks good to fire officals and a croud."
We dont use the water on fuel fires. That would spreadthe fire, not put it out. Only grass fires which has happened pretty much every time I twirl in armidale.

As for putting out fires, there is that wonderful fire triangle featuring
/\
Fuel/ \Heat
/ \
------
Oxygen
By removing one side of the triangle, the fire will go out. Of course there are SOME exceptions to this, but they are not relevant here.
So when your preparing to put out fires, or are putting out a fire, keep the triangle in mind.
yeah...
pretty obvious how to put out each part of the triangle...

cheers
lluhmas


BAHOOGA! It's the penguin-people!Gertrude, get me my lollypop and we'll lick 'em to death..and?

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:Iluhmas, watering the grass makes more sense now. We only have green grass with the occassional brown spots, so nothing really goes up unless you have the dead leaves of autumn.
I think I liked it better when the areas of locale were on the sides!
I called my local fire dept here and if I have a bucket of water with me, that is gross negligence in their eyes concidering what I do and I will lose my no questions asked permit. Like I said, regulations change place to place.
There are fire extinguishers which will burn a person if used on them. These are the ones that emit "cold" gas, or something of the like. But more it is because inhalation of the substance will cause lung damage and possibly asfixiation (sp?). I also know you are not supposed to use the fire foam on humans for the same reasons, as well as some form of contact illness. You might want to check into a dry chem extinguisher though. I know that they are fairly cheap and pretty easy to come by over here. Cheerios!


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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