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adamrice


adamrice

poo-bah
Location: Austin TX USA

Total posts: 1015
Posted:There's been some talk of local safety regulations. Here's Austin's regs, straight from the fire marshal. I know there are some controversial points in here, but I'm not going to comment on them (yet)--I want your feedback, and perhaps this will result in something I can take back to the fire marshal to improve the regs.

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1. One (1) 2A10BC fire extinguisher shall be available within 15 feet of the performance.

2. A water bucket shall be maintained within 15 feet of the performance.

3. Flame length/height shall not exceed 12 inches.

4. Spectators shall be no closer than 15 feet of any open-flame.

5. Open-flame shall be no closer than 15 feet of any combustible surface or 20 feet within any combustible overhang.

6. Performance shall not be located within any portion of a means of egress. I.e. exit access, exit, or exit discharge.

7. Flammable liquids shall be stored in an approved metal safety can.

8. The flammable liquid container shall not be stored, used, or maintained within 15 feet of any open flame.

9. Flammable liquids shall remain in safety can during the performance.

10. The quantity of flammable liquid shall not exceed one gallon.

11. The flammability rating of the fuel used shall be restricted to lighter fluid, kerosene, class II or class III A, combustible liquid.

12. Residue fuel removal from the wicks shall be performed so that excess fuel is captured in a cloth material and stored in an enclosed metal container.

13. A lighter shall be used as the ignition source for the wicks/torches.

14. No juggling of fire or flame devices allowed.

15. Performances are allowed in outside open air areas only, on non-combustible surfaces or green, freshly mowed grass no taller than 4 inches.

16. The wick/torch must be secure and controlled by the performer at all times.

17. This approval may be rescinded by any other city department, property owner or affected party.
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Laugh while you can, monkey-boy

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:Hmmmmm....

I need not go over that there are issues with numbers 2 and 7, on so many levels. You already know that.

How do you control number 3? I have had the smallest torch put off the largest flames just because the circumstances were right, you know? ANd how do you guage it since fire is a moving, growing and quickly dieing element. This one confused me based on implication issues alone.

I should think number 1 would be within 8 feet since, once they go past that point there is the issue of winds and other such happenings causing problems with direction of spray. We were told to have it close enough to always be able to pull and point, no running up and taking that time involved.

Number 13. Does this mean you can't use one tool to light another?

I see alot of repeating of verbage where things could be more consollidated (sp??). There are questions too like, if you are in an outdoor area then how can you perform so as to restrict an exit? What is concidered a combustible surface? DOes that mean you can only perform on freshly mowed grass (who measures that by the way??) and concrete? ALot of this seems like the marshal just doesn't want it happening in the city so he is finding ways to suffocate you out.

My regulations, for here, are... anywhere outdoors I am good to go. Indoors I need a $40 permit and their approval.
They know I am safe and they trust my judgement.
Most other places I have worked with have followed suit, so I have no real regulations per se, other than the ones I set upon myself for safety, which they have all agreed with perfectly. My biggest issue to face has been they don't like me performing for children. They think the kids are **that** impressionable that they will run out and start fire eating. I have never had it happen though..*shrug* But then there is only me, so I hand them my regulations as I am trying to establish them so that if any other performers pop up around here, they will have to follow the guidelines already set instead of just lighting up and trying to break through all the tape.
Very interesting Adam, and scary!

[ 13 April 2002, 03:42: 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:One can raise concerns about almost all these points. I don't have a problem with keeping a water bucket around--I've seen situations where it was exactly the right thing in the moment. And a metal safety can as opposed to plastic? I appreciate your concern with that, Pele, but even a metal safety can is probably safer than the store packaging, which is what I've been using.

There are a number of practices this doesn't forbid, but fails to comment on, leaving them up ambiguous: it almost seems to rule out soaking our wicks at all (safety cans wouldn't work, since they have small openings). It says we must blot our wicks to remove excess fuel, which is completely inadequate compared to squeezing or spinning them off--but it doesn't necessarily preclude spinning them off.

Equally interesting are the things this leaves out: no safety person required, no damp towel or fire blanket, no comments on the quality of the fire apparatus itself.

One place where we spin is outdoors but could actually could restrict an exit, so that is understandable to me--the stage (as it were) is between a backdoor and a fence door.

Also, I suspect that these are not standard City of Austin rules, but simply the rules of a particular individual. I have friends who have gotten permits before, and their rules are different--more restrictive in some ways, less so in others.


Laugh while you can, monkey-boy

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:In that case, I completely understand the exit thing, and couldn't imagine blocking one anyway. I did notice the no safety blanket, and can understand them not including a towel, since it seems like a really small detail unless you are a firie.

What about spinning off in a bag with a towel in the bottom, which is what I do. This gives the effects of blotting as well as spinning, and quite frankly, blotting never came to mind when I read that rule. (Just goes to show how we read things according to our own experiences ) I agree blotting is by far the least effective method, unless you have one of those vice grip deals.

No safety meaning, you don't have to have their personnel there either? The city of Rochester requires that a deputy marshall be present for me, but I always have my own crew as well, so last time he sat there and read a paper while I did my shows.

Honestly I would take the wick/torch secure and in control (#16 I believe) to be the one that covers the gear. I can understand why they wouldn't want to check it over, and leave it to the responsible performer. That would be alot of work on their part, especially since they would most likely have to dig for regulations, or create them, for something like this.

Now that I've read the list again, I am really surprised to see there is no mention of insurance on it, or is that covered by a different law?

The last fire marshal I worked with was more concerned about my costume than anything. He was concerned about the cotton shirt, but after I gave him the schpiel he just left it by saying, "Have your boyfriend buy you some leather". I don't see anything regarding clothing either, but then that really wouldn't endanger anyone but the fire performer.

Curiouser and curiouser.

What types of penalties are there and what checks do you have to go through prior to a show, legally speaking, not personal standards? And do you have to follow all these laws to spin in your backyard?

[ 13 April 2002, 05:44: 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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Fire By Riz tm


member
Location: tampa fl usa

Total posts: 212
Posted:Well at least you guys get some type of set rules so far here in fl they just seeem to make them up as they go .. and the local fire marshell is way less than helpful.. We were stoped from a show last weekend in south fl
what mess that was which was our own fault though we didnt have a permit.. I was told by the fire marshell all fire performers have to hold a pyro technians licescene of what class i have no idea he wouldnt tell me .. and have a permitt for inside or outside along with a million dollars in insurance.. that we had to hire a off duty fire marshell to be present during the show along with a two man ems team
that we had to have x amount of fire exstinguers per square foot of the club..he talked about approved metel safey cans but didnt know how to desribe them to me. funny thing was 1st thing he did when we arrived was go to my truck to check on how the fuel was being transported luckily it was still in the cans it came in (colemans ) i had just bought it and had not mixed it yet i showed him the metel cans i made for my fuel dump which are steel with a air tight screw top lid kind of looks like a real heavy duty paint can ( 1 gal ) then i tapped a one way presure valve into the top.. he told me if my fuel would have been in those he would have taken us to jail.. i dont think he liked us very much ...as far as anything to do with the show he was clueless or just didnt want to tell us..other than the fact we had to do a dry run of the show for an inspecter and then we still could be deniyed a permit..Right now i am waiting for a meeting with the states fire marshells office in hopes of gaining some set info.
when does a hobby become a job ??? <laughs >

I do have a question about rule #13 a lighter ?? as in ciggerette lighter ??


I have been cursed with the imagination to envision it all

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adamrice


adamrice

poo-bah
Location: Austin TX USA

Total posts: 1015
Posted:I feel like I've been getting a crash-course in fire safety policy the past few days.

It's a bit bizarre to consider what we do the same as pyrotechnics. The NFPA makes a clear distinction between "flame effects" (which includes what we do) and "pyrotechnics" (fireworks).

Point 16 I guess does cover the gear, although that's a very brief mention. The real point of that point (ahem), as I understand it, is "no release moves, no throws, no juggling." A friend in Seattle tells me that the fire marshal there does have an approved list of fire-toy components, and if it's not on the list, you can't use it. And they do test different components--they're apparently pretty proactive about it.

Not sure about penalties, and the whole issue of enforcement is pretty vague, since a cop can always tell you to stop for unrelated reasons. Point 17 makes it seem as if any guy off the street could yank your permit at will. I imagine the FD could write a ticket for whatever safety codes an unsafe twirler is violating, but I'm not sure if they can (or would bother) to write a ticket for not having a permit when you are otherwise safe, in your own back yard, etc.

Have no idea what the insurance requirements are, if any. I checked some related city codes, and they didn't mention insurance.


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Maelstrom


Maelstrom

member
Location: Akron, Ohio

Total posts: 135
Posted:I would just like to say that what we do has nothing to do with pyrotechnics. If your reading the laws written by the NFPA for pyro you might be in the wrong book. You might want to look in NFPA 160 Standard for Flame Effects Before an Audience. BTW it sounds like your fire marshals might not be too clear on the laws themselves. There is alot of ego in this industry to deal with.

To perform totally legally you need a flame lic. for your state. As well as a permit. But most fire marshals don't even know that stuff exists. You don't need a pyro. lic. that would be total overkill. Because this a performing art it falls into most of the exceptions, written in the laws. These laws can only be held up in public performances (paid or unpaid) if it's in privet they can't do anything. Mainly just let people know what you are going to do before you do it, or do it so fast they don't know what hit them.
Adam : I'd learn all the rules in those NFPA books that pertain to you, and as soon as the fire marshal gives you shit, turn his ass in. He's just ego trip'n on you, remind him he has rules he has to follow too.

[ 13 April 2002, 12:59: Message edited by: Maelstrom ]


Nothing good ever comes from hanging out with normal people.

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arashi


arashi

Pooh-Bah
Location: austin,tx

Total posts: 2363
Posted:well, adam our permit is a bit different, i think the new marshall doesn't know as much about what we do than the last one. for one, the safest thing to use to light off of (besides the last guy's toy) is sterno, which is used in restaturants and can be gotten just about anywhere. lighters are still slightly dangerous as they can explode if given enough heat. other than that, i couldn't imagine doing fire without the wet towels. they are the foundation of our personal safety. but are you going to try to set up regs with the new marshall, or jus take the pemit and go? i think that you and i are the only ones in town that have them, and i almost don't want to make more waves than we need to. i'm pretty happy with our permit, are you? even that jugglin part is sort of open to interpretation and hasn't stopped us from doing baton throws and such. Usu. if there is a marshall at the show he is happy with what he sees. and riz- it seems like you were doing your show indoors, given the reaction. doing stuff behind their backs pisses them off esp. inside a building. we try to be as legit as possible and always have a pemit when we need one. if we don't, then we expect to get fucked with, because a cop has no idea if you are a dumbass or not. it's really the reaction that i want from cops, it keeps the dumbasses from ruining the rep of fire dancers. i've seen some really unsafe fire dancers. getting a permit is easy if you've taken care of your stuff.

-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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adamrice


adamrice

poo-bah
Location: Austin TX USA

Total posts: 1015
Posted:Arashi--

Actually, I don't have a permit yet, but a bunch of the "Tuesday night crew" is planning to, which is why I've been looking into it. I do know some others in town who have fire permits (Jenny, Rhonda), and I know the terms of their permits are less restrictive in some ways, more restrictive in others.

I'm really hesitant to suggest changes to the rules I posted earlier with the fire marshal, since I might come across as if I'm telling him his job, since it might make the regulations even more restrictive, etc.

Maelstrom--

I'll assume that the fire marshal is trying to do a good job, and just isn't completely clued in to the details of firedancing.

I have downloaded a copy of NFPA 160, and will study it. If I do wind up discussing changes with the fire marshal and can quote that to him, then perhaps he'll be impressed that I take the subject seriously, and I'm not just trying to get away with as much as possible.


Laugh while you can, monkey-boy

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eepok


member
Location: Irvine, CA, USA

Total posts: 6
Posted:I seem to be having a problem getting ANY safety regulations at all . I went to the police station right next to UCI and they refered me over to the local fire department for answers as to where/when I could practice.

I went there and they fire guys on duty said that they only knew that if I wanted to "play" with fire that I had to do it on private property or get a permit from the city. They also noted that the city most likely wouldn't want to give me a permit because they're "Quite conservative."

So it really comes down to me finding someone with private property in Irvine (which literally doesn't exist because all property is owned by the Irvine company) or treking to a non-conservative beach in South Orange County .

Chances are slim that I'd ever be able to spin fire even though I've had all the supplies for month and am very confidant in my abilities.


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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:Just to let you guys know, there is the option of having a liability waiver.
Recently I have come across clubs who do not want to get the fire marshall in on the events because they KNOW they are breaking laws. I will only perform with them if they sign a liability waiver stating that they recognise I do my end of the deal completely safe and that if there is any legal reprocussions then they are liable for them, not me. I get released of all responsibility this way. I answer authorities questions pertaining to what I do, and after that I hand it right over to the venue owner. I have had to implement this twice now. Both times I was told they had no problems with me getting a permit and such, then once was because I had signed the contract and they changed their minds and the other time it was because no local fire marshall could be located. Just make certain you have all your words in order on one of these do it doesn't come back on you.


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:That seems like an excellent idea, Pele.

Laugh while you can, monkey-boy

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Fire By Riz tm


member
Location: tampa fl usa

Total posts: 212
Posted:Pele
i have read your post sevrel times .. i get the meaning of "you use a wavier insted of a permitt" is that correct ?? and that the clubs owners know what they are doing is illegal ..
if that is the case you might want to look into your wavier theory with a contract lawyer.. here in fl that would not fly there is no contract that will up hold itself in court that is a contract to do something illegal..kind of like signing a contract with a person who wants to be killed then killing them .. its not going to keep your ass out of jail just a thought
on kind of another note i have been looking into insurance and have found some from different companys they keep asking me what organization i belong with do we have to be in a union or something any input would be helpfull


I have been cursed with the imagination to envision it all

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Pele
BRONZE Member since Dec 2000

Pele

the henna lady
Location: WNY, USA

Total posts: 6193
Posted:Riz, what I am doing is not illegal, however, many club owners just want to keep any form of authority out of their clubs, this is a way to cover my butt and make them answerable. I took contract law myself. It will hold up. The only thing they can do is ask me to put it out. That is it.

As far as the other thing, if you go for general liability from a "normal" company you will get asked a million questions. If you go through performance companies, you usually don't get a hassle. If you do a search for insurance as a topic, it will come up a couple times.

As for the guild, John Voldel, a well respect and talented artist (www.torchery.com) is trying to start a grass roots movement here in the east. Nothing so grand as everything Donia tried to pull off a few months ago. Just something basic and small to make it easier for us to work with authorities and such. His email addy is Jvol9@yahoo.com. There is a mailing list for this and he can provide you with the best info on what it trying to be accomplished. There are already "members" in Florida, Texas and many other states.

Hope this helps and clarifies!


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: 2363
Posted:pele, where did you get your liability waiver from?

-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,
I wrote it. I write all of my documents from proposals to safety statements to contracts, waivers and billings. I do a good bit of research into different styles and forms of each and then write my own. That way I can be sure I know what it says and that I am covered the way I want to be!


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: 2363
Posted:you go, girl! i don't speak legalish, so i'll just look up a form on the net...

-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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