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onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield, United Kingdom

Total posts: 3252
Posted:


I've wondered about the possibility of someone turning up at a fire meet with really unsuitable fuel such as petrol/gasoline; in the dark it would go unnoticed and, given that people often use the nearest container for dunking, would probably result in a fatality.

I've never posted about such a fear, I guess I just assumed that even the rawest beginner would be unlikely to use petrol.

Of course that assumption is totally unjustified- at some point it's inevitable that someone is going to show up with petrol and people are going to get really badly hurt.

Today this was posted on a thread in the 'poi moves' section of the board: -

Written by: xxxxxxxxxxx

....i just used my poi this weekend at a private rave my friends and i had and i just used gasoline and it made the building smell aweful for hours....



I've 'x-ed' out the name as it was a newbie (5 posts) who knew no better (they do now).

I'm not sure what can be done to prevent this happening at a fire meet, but I thought I'd put up a post to get people thinking.

I guess the main thing is to be very wary of where you're dipping your poi, obviously hot wicks in petrol will cause an explosion and serious burns/death.

Possible vetting of all fuel brought to fire meets?

Mainly- just be aware that the possibility does exist.

Would be good if anyone else had some constructive ideas on this.


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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UCOF
SILVER Member since Apr 2002

UCOF

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: , United Kingdom

Total posts: 15414
Posted:Good post idea mate.

Does petrol not smell much stronger than paraffin?

The probelm is that everyone is ignorant when it comes to looking after other peoples fuel. I know in the London crowd, we just expect people to bring the right sort of fuel.


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BurningByron


member
Location: Australia

Total posts: 340
Posted:yeah I once heard on this site of a guy trying to breath fire with petrol, needless to say he probably isnt nearly as pretty as he once was...

Never underestimate the stupidity of the general public.


HOW TO FLY 101:
step 1. Throw your self at the ground.
step 2. Miss.

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UCOF
SILVER Member since Apr 2002

UCOF

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: , United Kingdom

Total posts: 15414
Posted:Make something idiotproof...

and someone will invent a better idiot.

ubbrollsmile


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onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield, United Kingdom

Total posts: 3252
Posted:Written by: Unborn Children on Fire



Does petrol not smell much stronger than paraffin?





That's got to be useful comment no. 1. Petrol does smell quite strong, so, if you're at a meet and you catch that distinctive whiff, don't dismiss it, go and check it out.


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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UCOF
SILVER Member since Apr 2002

UCOF

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: , United Kingdom

Total posts: 15414
Posted:WHAT??

Did I just read that right?

I made a useful comment?

eek

wink


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BurningByron


member
Location: Australia

Total posts: 340
Posted:yes UCOF..... I'm scared to....

HOW TO FLY 101:
step 1. Throw your self at the ground.
step 2. Miss.

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onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield, United Kingdom

Total posts: 3252
Posted:As this is a serious, and potentially very useful thread, could we keep it concise and free of unnecessary banter?

Don't want to be a killjoy but it does make it hard to track down useful info if the threads been stretched to multiple pages by stuff that would be more at home in 'social chat'.

Beginners not using petrol is serious; a thread like this could save someones life, please don't water it down and make it harder for people to find the useful info in it.

Thanks in advance.


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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andythepoi


andythepoi

addict
Location: manchester, uk

Total posts: 508
Posted:i've thought about this too as i've only been spinning fire poi for just over a year (although lots of other fire performance stuff for a long time) and almost everyone asks "what do you use, petrol?". If you think about joe public it's not THAT daft a thing to think.
I find that to help my peice of mind i never EVER spin with someone who looks even slightly intoxicated...always ask whoever brings fuel exactly what it is, and as mentioned before...have a quick whiff. The naivety of beginners and the misplaced bravado of the stupid means danger is ever present and i think this and other similar posts are a very positve accident prevention measure. well done wheely


It's smashing to be back x

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simian


simian

110% MONKEY EVERY TIME ALL THE TIME JUST CANT STOP THE MONKEY
Location: London

Total posts: 3149
Posted:Very obviously:



Never put out wicks by dipping them into fuel



Shouldn't need saying really...



edit - this post was not intended to be a solution to the problem, merely a comment on fuel safety in general.

EDITED_BY: simian (1096337721)


"Switching between different kinds of chuu chuu sometimes gives this "urgh wtf?" effect because it's giving people the phi phenomenon."

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onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield, United Kingdom

Total posts: 3252
Posted:The thing about petrol is that you don't need to put your wick out in it for it to explode; merely being in the vicinity can spark off the vapours and cause it to go up.

Also dipping with a wick that is merely hot- given that many people like to get their wicks dunked ASAP after extinguishing (to stop them smouldering) you can see the potential for disaster on that day when someone brings along petrol.


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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pounce
SILVER Member since Jan 2003

pounce

All the neurotic makings of America's lesser known sweetheart
Location: body in Las Vegas, heart all a...

Total posts: 9831
Posted:that's a really good point OWD. i admit i've dunked my hot wicks once or twice after burning, but each time was with fuel i knew was fairly harmless to do so. but in general, i don't even like dunking my wicks until they have cooled. i tend to set them down to cool off a bit before re-dipping them.

I was always scared with my mother's obsession with the good scissors. It made me wonder if there were evil scissors lurking in the house somewhere.

Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons for you are crunchy and good with ketchup.

**giggles**

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simian


simian

110% MONKEY EVERY TIME ALL THE TIME JUST CANT STOP THE MONKEY
Location: London

Total posts: 3149
Posted:Pounce: Dunking wicks in paraffin/kerosene to stop them smouldering is not dangerous and is good for your wicks.
EDITED_BY: simian (1096337003)


"Switching between different kinds of chuu chuu sometimes gives this "urgh wtf?" effect because it's giving people the phi phenomenon."

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Lurch
BRONZE Member since Nov 2003

Lurch

old hand
Location: Oregon, USA

Total posts: 929
Posted:Gasoline does smell quite a bit different than white gas, or kerosene, but I agree with everything you guys have said..

I used to redip my wicks sooner than I probably should have, I mainly use pure white gas, and I know its got a relatively low flashpoint. I'd definatly make sure I'd snuffed out any smouldering bits before I'd dip but when the exposed steel starts to boil the gas it made me a bit nervous.. So now I wait long enough to be able to handle my wicks bare handed if I'm doing multiple spins, it doesnt take that long for them to cool off and its not worth the risk of having my fuel go up in flames and take me, or worse, someone else, with it.


#homeofpoi -- irc.newnet.net Come talk to us we're bored frown

Warning: Please Do Not Jump On The Seals

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onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield, United Kingdom

Total posts: 3252
Posted:Yes, dunking wicks in paraffin is safe and good for them.



***EDIT, some disagree with these, see for example NYCs arguments in this thread-

http://www.homeofpoi.com/ubbthreads/show...ll/fpart/1/vc/1
br>
****



But dunking wicks in the fuel containers of strangers, if that fuel is petrol, would be fatal.



fire meets = darkness, therefore potential confusion; and spinning, therefore potentially exited state of mind/tiredness.



So, firstly, you've got to stick to your own container.



But, even then, there's plenty of people who bring fuel and no dunking container and who will happily put their fuel into someone elses.



I especially find this with mine because it's a cut-off gallon container, good for my fire ropes.



However its large size and open top make it the target of those who have fuel and poi, but no dunking container.



No big problem as long as they're using paraffin.



If they bring white gas then it would be a problem.



On the day some one brings petrol, people will die.

EDITED_BY: onewheeldave (1096580282)


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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pounce
SILVER Member since Jan 2003

pounce

All the neurotic makings of America's lesser known sweetheart
Location: body in Las Vegas, heart all a...

Total posts: 9831
Posted:ah see, good to know. i wasn't sure if dipping hot wicks was good or not. i always figured no--better to have messed up wicks than blowing up the area--but now i know differently smile but regardless, i never put my wicks out by dunking them. if i don't spin them out, i smother them with a wet towel.

I was always scared with my mother's obsession with the good scissors. It made me wonder if there were evil scissors lurking in the house somewhere.

Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons for you are crunchy and good with ketchup.

**giggles**

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Mand
SILVER Member since Oct 2003

Mand

Keeper of the Spitfire
Location: Calgary Canada

Total posts: 2317
Posted:Written by: pounce

... but regardless, i never put my wicks out by dunking them. if i don't spin them out, i smother them with a wet towel.



Pounce- don't put your wicks out by dipping them. Spin them out or smother them, and then dip them as soon as the flame's extinguished.

OWD-thanks for this thread. It's a really good point that I've never thought of before.

Short of stopping and asking everyone as they arrive what fuel they are using, I think it's always going to be a risk that's there.
If it's a local gathering, isn't there roughly the same people there each time? If there's anyone there who you've never seen before, you could try going to talk to them straight away (doubles as a friendly face saying hello), and casually ask them what fuel they're using.

You could also put a big fat label on your dunking container saying 'Paraffin Only'. Although this might be quite difficult to see if it's dark.


Lets steal a spaceship and head for the sun, and shoot the stars with a lemonade ray gun.

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coleman
SILVER Member since Aug 2002

coleman

big and good and broken
Location: lunn dunn, yoo kay, United Kin...

Total posts: 7330
Posted:mand, that's exactly what pounce said! smile



i never use the word 'fuel' but always say 'paraffin' which helps a little i guess - 'can i have a dunk in your paraffin', 'do you have any paraffin to add to the bucket', yes that's the paraffin' etc.

hopefully someone would say 'its not paraffin' if it wasn't smile



dave not arguing or dismissing an important subject but i felt it was important to keep our facts straight about what the dangers are exactly:



"Also dipping with a wick that is merely hot- given that many people like to get their wicks dunked ASAP after extinguishing (to stop them smouldering) you can see the potential for disaster on that day when someone brings along petrol."



there is no real added danger with petrol here.

petrol has a fairly high autoignition temperature of around ~240 degrees centigrade which is comparable to that of paraffin.



i.e. you are about as likely to ignite a container of petrol by dipping hot, unlit wicks into it as you are dipping the same wicks into a container of paraffin.



dipping lit wicks into any fuel is a very, very bad idea whether it is petrol, white gas or paraffin (petrol and white gas are almost guaranteed to ignite and paraffin is fairly likely to aswell, especially if people have been wick dipping after burns).



however, heating the petrol up (which is what dipping hot wicks in it will do) will increase the amount of vapour on the surface and thus the amount diffusing away from the container which, as dave has already said, is very dangerous as a nearby spark or naked flame can ignite those vapours.



for the people that use white gas, you should be aware that all the added dangers that using petrol introduces apply to the use of white gas also.



i think with proper fuel safety procedures (keep fuel away from any naked flame; dip, spin off, light and spin in three separate areas; fire extinguisher near fuel containers etc.) this would be less of a problem than it sounds and should be spotted well before a problem occurs.



keep your eyes and noses open people ubbrollsmile


"i see you at 'dis cafe.
i come to 'dis cafe quite a lot myself.
they do porridge."
- tim westwood

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Mand
SILVER Member since Oct 2003

Mand

Keeper of the Spitfire
Location: Calgary Canada

Total posts: 2317
Posted:Written by: coleman

mand, that's exactly what pounce said! smile


Yeah sorry, I only just realised that. redface
But I was just being careful- I don't want any of my friends getting hurt.
That was some good information in that post Coleman- thanks.

I've just thought of another thing that makes OWD's initial statement even more possible to happen.
If you have a look at this page of international fuel names, you'll see that the name for paraffin in many countries is 'petrol' (or some form of that word).

As this is an international site, it would be very easy for someone from one of these countries to cause a confusion by saying they spin with 'petrol'. They would be entirely correct, and wouldn't be spinning with anything dangerous, as to you and me the substance would be known as paraffin.
Before people jumped on that person for using 'petrol', and the issue sorted out, it's entirely possible for a newbie to read it and think "aha, so I can use petrol as a fuel".

And it's not by any means limited to this site. In fact, it probably happens less on this site because people are so careful about what gets said regarding types of fuel to use. But it's quite possible in the spinning world outside of HoP- smaller sites, email, etc.

Anyway- was just another spanner to throw in the works.


Lets steal a spaceship and head for the sun, and shoot the stars with a lemonade ray gun.

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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted:Written by: onewheeldave

Yes, dunking wicks in paraffin is safe and good for them.




Wrong and wrong. biggrin

The former is 'most of the time' but parafin, like all flammables, does have a flash point. If you dunk hot wicks in paraffin it probably won't light. That doesn't make it 'safe', just much much safer than other fuels.

And it isn't good for the wicks. That's a rumor. I have never seen any evidence that smouldering is actually hurting your wicks. I've never ever dunked my wicks after burning and have also never had wicks wear out.

I don't really care enough to argue too hard, but it does worry me when rumor and speculation become facts.

No one has any scientific or even side by side evidence that redunking after spinning actually extends the life of the wick.


Well, shall we go?
Yes, let's go.
[They do not move.]

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onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield, United Kingdom

Total posts: 3252
Posted:Written by: NYC


Wrong and wrong. biggrin



The former is 'most of the time' but parafin, like all flammables, does have a flash point. If you dunk hot wicks in paraffin it probably won't light. That doesn't make it 'safe', just much much safer than other fuels.



And it isn't good for the wicks. That's a rumor. I have never seen any evidence that smouldering is actually hurting your wicks. I've never ever dunked my wicks after burning and have also never had wicks wear out.



I don't really care enough to argue too hard, but it does worry me when rumor and speculation become facts.



No one has any scientific or even side by side evidence that redunking after spinning actually extends the life of the wick.



I'll just clarify that by 'dunking' wicks I meant unlit wicks (in the past there has been confusion with some people assuming it meant lit wicks).



IMO it's safe to do that (with paraffin).



Concerning the second point, this is something we discussed a while back in great depth here: -



http://www.homeofpoi.com/ubbthreads/show...ll/fpart/1/vc/1
br>


from what I recall there seemed to be grounds for thinking that the discrepency between your experience (dunking does not preserve wick length), and mine (that it does preserve wick life) could possibly be accounted for by the fact that we use different fuels?



If that discussion is to be resurrected do you think we could do it either on that original thread, or in a new one?- it would certainly be well off topic to do it here.


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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NYC


NYC

NYC
Location: NYC, NY, USA

Total posts: 9232
Posted:Just following your lead sir. biggrin

Written by: onewheeldave

Yes, dunking wicks in paraffin is safe and good for them.




Well, shall we go?
Yes, let's go.
[They do not move.]

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Lillie Frog


Lillie Frog

not a stranger
Location: wales

Total posts: 558
Posted:Parafin and petrol do smell different, and you would think people would be more sensible.



However someone I knew was at a party and thought he would show off by fire breathing.

I don't know why he used petrol, but he did, maybe that eas all he could find, maybe he didn't know any better, maybe it was cos he was drunk.

Whatever, he did use petrol and he burned his face real bad.



So, it can happen, and if someone is using someone elses fuel then it would be a good idea that they remembered that sometimes people make mistakes. And not everyone is as careful/knowledgable as they are.


Eat when you're hungry
Sleep where it's dry
No one is ever what they seem
Gabriel King - The Wild Road

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onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield, United Kingdom

Total posts: 3252
Posted:Written by: NYC

Just following your lead sir. biggrin

Written by: onewheeldave

Yes, dunking wicks in paraffin is safe and good for them.






Fair point. I've edited my previous post to reflect that there is a dispute over that.


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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Stone
GOLD Member since Jun 2001

Stream Entrant
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Total posts: 2830
Posted:ok, just a couple of comments:



The risk of petrol explosions is probably related to empty or near empty containers that are full of petrol fumes/vapours. The vapours ignite easily, and can cause the drum to explode. I know that this has killed a number of farmers over the years. And as silly as it sounds, this means you dont check how much fuel there is in your car or drum with a match or lighter. I suspect other risks from petrol vapours are related to storage, and leakage of vapours from drums during storage.



A major risk, especially indoors, would be when a container of white gas/shellite is knocked over and fuel spreads. In this situation, the fuel would ignite easily; perhaps from a hot metal (poi) or a flame (candle or burner) and a major fire develops. This senario has been mentioned on HOP a number of times.



Dunking hot poi into a container of shellite, petrol or white gas after a burn will ignite the fuel in the container. Ive seen it happen. While it's possible, I've never seen kero or shellsol ignite when poi are dunked, and Ive seen many people dunk into kero.



I suspect it's probably not recommended, but I dunk into shelsol to stop the wicks smouldering. Perhaps I should change, as you also waste a lot of fuel this way with fuel evaporating. Also see doc colemans point above.



So I suppose the risk is when people dunk into a container of whitegas/shellite when they think it is kero. While there is the occasional rude person who doesnt ask to use your fuel; most do, so tell them what you are using. If you need to use someone elses fuel, then ask what they are using.



If the fuel ignites in the dunking bucket, then covering the container with a fire blanket or a wet towel will smother the fire.





HOT devil

EDITED_BY: Stone (1096584910)


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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onewheeldave
GOLD Member since Aug 2002

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: sheffield, United Kingdom

Total posts: 3252
Posted:Written by: Lillie Frog

.....someone I knew was at a party and thought he would show off by fire breathing.
I don't know why he used petrol, but he did, maybe that eas all he could find, maybe he didn't know any better, maybe it was cos he was drunk.
Whatever, he did use petrol and he burned his face real bad.


This person clearly had no idea whatsoever about safety; fire breathing is dangerous even when done by an expert under ideal conditions- to do it whilst drunk is just stupid.

To do it with petrol is insane, he's lucky he only burnt their face.

Cheers for the post, it's important to know that there are people out their who do wind up using petrol.

If only so people who post here can help spread the word about what an incredibly bad choice of fuel petrol is.

On a related note, a few weeks back I watched the televised Guiness World records mass fire breathe world record.

I thought it was pretty shoddy with no attempt to point out to the general public just how dangerous fire breathing is.

Worse still, when asked what fuel he used, the guy in charge made no attempt to give any useful info and instead made a joke about using 4-star!


"You can't outrun Death forever.
But you can make the Bastard work for it."

--MAJOR KORGO KORGAR,
"Last of The Lancers"
AFC 32


Educate your self in the Hazards of Fire Breathing STAY SAFE!

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Lillie Frog


Lillie Frog

not a stranger
Location: wales

Total posts: 558
Posted:Yes,

He was a nutter and an alky.

I saw him a few days after and his face was a mess.



I just wanted to say that there are nutters out there, (and some of them are nice people) But they are crazy and you shouldn't trust them to do either the sensible or the obvious thing. Especially with things like fire or fuel.



It's easy to think that no one would be that stupid, but I'm afraid that there is always someone who will.

It's one thing when they endanger themselves, but another when thay endanger other people.

We need to guard ourselves against other peoples foolishness, because they can't even look after themselves.


Eat when you're hungry
Sleep where it's dry
No one is ever what they seem
Gabriel King - The Wild Road

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hadez
BRONZE Member since Nov 2002

hadez

member
Location: southampton, United Kingdom

Total posts: 44
Posted:Just wanted to add another caution about fuel. About a year and a half ago i was fire breathing. And i used what i thought was Parafin unfortunately my friend had mistakenly bought Parasene (chemically treated parafin). All seemed fine untill about 15 mins after the performance when i noticed my lips were painfull. I checked them out in the mirror and they were cracking and going white. I washed them as much as possible, but still ended up with blistered lips and mouth ulcers for a month. Parasene is apparently corrosive! I consider myself lucky.
I have always respected fire greatly especially when breathing, but one lapse in concentration like that could be alot more serious.
I now always check exactly what im using and only ever use my own parafin for breathing.
As for the guy who was using gasoline i guess natural selection has an aplication here, im asuming he'll never fire breathe again.
But seriously if people cant look after themselves we need to do our best to help them out.


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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:Fuel containers should have easily sealable lids. Paint cans are ideal, cost US$2-3, last practically forever, and are available at almost any hardware store.

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

"A buckuht 'n a hooze!" -Valura

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