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Knoxious
.

Member Since: 25th Feb 2002
Total posts: 420
Posted:Re-insurance season is upon us and I have just had my documentation in and upon reading it came across a point of (minor) alarm. This is a point that everyone who is insured by Equity needs to be aware of:

Special Condition (H) Torches and other fire equipment must be stored and extinguished in an airtight metal container.

I think it's fair to say that it's an impractical and unnecessary point, and that no-one does this. Which means that anyone who doesn't is uninsured in the event of a claim.


I just had a very interesting chat with the chap from First Act Insurance (the company who underwright Equity's Insurance policies). The guy from First Act (Matt Walker) is a entirely reasonable and knowledgeable chap. He mentioned that people have debated this point and have had it changed on their insurance (everything, it seems, is negotiable). He suggested that I write in with my alternative to change my personal policy and commented that although he was pretty aware of the impracticality of it not enough people had expressed this to make the insurance company think of changing it.

I would like to propose a better, more realistic alternative that is as safe. I would then like to ask that
anyone who is insured through First Act writes in suggesting the same chance. I think it would give First Act the kick needed to make it a standard.

I want to try to include the acceptance of wet towels in the policy and explained to Matt why we use them: they do a better job of cutting off the air supply and that they do not transfer heat as easily as fire blankets do. It is probably worth mentioning that once fire blankets have been used to extinguish equipment a few times that actually become flammable!

So here goes:

All fire equipment must be extinguished by either fire blanket or wet towel then placed under a fire blanket or wet towel until the performance has concluded.

Any lett er sent to these guys needs to go through the why's, how's etc.. in much more detail to become credible in their eyes, but as a basic starting concept we need to start form somewhere... so is the above good enough?

Suggestions please!

I'll be writing my own letter, if you want a copy, please e-mail me at info(at)flameoz(dot)com

Nice one,

Dave


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PinkNigel
PinkNigel

Pinker than thou
Location: A little pink world all my own...
Member Since: 4th May 2006
Total posts: 336
Posted:Thanks for the heads-up.

I'm thinking the "stored" bit is also going to need covering with a suitable/practical alternative, something like "All fire equipment will be stored away from heat and ignition sources. All fire equipment will be stored seperate from fuel."

It may also be useful to note that I've had occasions upon which my dipping container has needed to be labelled as containing flammable stuff, so doing that as a matter of course isn't a bad idea.


A wise man once said: "You have two ears and one mouth, therefore you should shut the censored up and listen" (though, to be fair, he might not've put it _quite_ like that..)

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ben-ja-men
ben-ja-men

just lost .... evil init
Location: Adelaide
Member Since: 12th Jun 2003
Total posts: 2474
Posted: Written by: Knoxious


It is probably worth mentioning that once fire blankets have been used to extinguish equipment a few times that actually become flammable!

So here goes:

All fire equipment must be extinguished by either fire blanket or wet towel then placed under a fire blanket or wet towel until the performance has concluded.




I think there may be difficulties there in that if the fire blanket has been used to the point that it is flammable then covering the extinguished equipment with it would be a fire hazard.


Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourself, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous and talented? Who are you NOT to be?

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Knoxious
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Member Since: 25th Feb 2002
Total posts: 420
Posted:yeah agreed. The only reason I put fire blanket in there is because it's their current 'standard'. I'll personally only be using wet towels, hence the "or"....

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ben-ja-men
ben-ja-men

just lost .... evil init
Location: Adelaide
Member Since: 12th Jun 2003
Total posts: 2474
Posted:i mean if you explain to them that a fire blanket can become a fire hazard then they wont go for it, its their responsibility not yours to make sure the terms in their policy are ok so i guess i would put it as just a fire blanket seeings as thats their standard, if you see what i mean

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourself, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous and talented? Who are you NOT to be?

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FireNix
FireNix

old hand
Location: India/Bristol
Member Since: 4th Apr 2001
Total posts: 904
Posted:I know what Ben means Dave
I dont tell them im using a wet towel - I just make sure I always have a Fire Blanket on hand incase anything should happen
You gonna post the 'sample' letter on here when youve written or keep it in the other thread?
PNigel - Im all for making it a safe as possible, on the other hand I dont want to go suggesting lots of extra things we need to do (obviously labeling your dipping container isnt such a big deal! and is certainly an important safety precaution)
Im just suggestiong we try to make our lives as easy as possible.


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Phirenix

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PinkNigel
PinkNigel

Pinker than thou
Location: A little pink world all my own...
Member Since: 4th May 2006
Total posts: 336
Posted: Written by: FireNix



PNigel - Im all for making it a safe as possible, on the other hand I dont want to go suggesting lots of extra things we need to do (obviously labeling your dipping container isnt such a big deal! and is certainly an important safety precaution)
Im just suggestiong we try to make our lives as easy as possible.



Me either- all I'm saying is that the current clause includes storage so the alternative will probably need to as well. I tried to word it to be interpretable as "don't stick your fuel container in the same bag as your kit" so as to make it the least extra that needed doing...

We all know that the reality of performance is likely to be different from the paper copy anyway, how often are you really x-metres away from the punters when swinging fire? (heck, I just did an angle grind gig this weekend where the client expected me to basically do it in the middle of the crowd. health and safety issues with that anyone??)


A wise man once said: "You have two ears and one mouth, therefore you should shut the censored up and listen" (though, to be fair, he might not've put it _quite_ like that..)

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Lurch
Lurch

old hand
Location: Oregon
Member Since: 1st Nov 2003
Total posts: 929
Posted:It would be annoying but you could start carrying them in an old ammo can. It's metal and air-tight for the most part..

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

Warning: Please Do Not Jump On The Seals

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Knoxious
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Member Since: 25th Feb 2002
Total posts: 420
Posted:PNigel, the point is that yes, we are responsible. If you do something that requires you to claim and you;re found in breach, you will not be covered. Sure the client wants you to do that, but it's not safe, and as a responsible performer (I hope) you'd say no. This, for me is one way I xcan remain responsible and still be covered.

Lurch, the ammo can would need to be big enough to fit all your kit for a show. FlameOz perfoms with upto 7 people so for us that's a lot of kit and therefore a bloody great big ammo can.

nix/ben... yeah I guess, but.... why not try to make it real? The other plus point of a towel is that it actually does a much better job of cutting the air supply to the fire which is really how objects like wet towels and fire blankts put out the fire - by literally smothering the flames.

'scuse the rant but...why should some beaurocratic, unknowledgable desk jockey dictate to us what best practice is? We are the experienced professionals right?

I see that a British Safety Standard Fire Blanket looks better on paper than a Wet Towel, but at the same time...so what?

I'll post my letter up here...


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Lurch
Lurch

old hand
Location: Oregon
Member Since: 1st Nov 2003
Total posts: 929
Posted:well ammo cans do come in various sizes. I don't know how big your chains are, and I could definitely see a problem with staff, but there are plenty of cans large enough to hold 7 sets of poi. A 30mm box for example is 18 1/2" long 9 1/2" wide and 14 1/2" tall. That's not even counting the various other styles of 'army surplus' boxes you can get like 'medical transport' boxes which are typically 31" X 12" X 19".

I'm just saying, if you want an air tight metal box thats large enough, that is the route I would take without having to drop hundreds of dollars on something else.


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

Warning: Please Do Not Jump On The Seals

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newgabe
newgabe

what goes around comes around. unless you're into stalls.
Location: Bali
Member Since: 3rd Mar 2005
Total posts: 4030
Posted:Most of the time, insurance is just a hoop we jump through to say 'yep I've got it'. But IF a claim ever needed to be made, be sure that insurance companies will not 'overlook' a breach of the literal wording of the document. Good on ya Dave for working on getting these wordings changed to reflect best practice.



ps  Written by: Lurch



31" X 12" X 19".





Yep, nice size for a few sets of poi, but a box big enough to fit FlameOz's full kit would be more the size of a coffin.


.....Can't juggle balls but I sure as hell can juggle details....

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ElectricBlue
ElectricBlue

Now with extra strawberries
Location: Canberra
Member Since: 11th Feb 2002
Total posts: 810
Posted:Yeah some things just can't easly be sealed up. My fire hula hoop is hard enough to transport as it is let alone trying to find a box that it will fit in. Man some times i wish i had a break down one.

I {Heart} hand me downs and spinning in the snow.<br /><br />

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newgabe
newgabe

what goes around comes around. unless you're into stalls.
Location: Bali
Member Since: 3rd Mar 2005
Total posts: 4030
Posted:Ah, hoops, the blue whale of the fire world!

.....Can't juggle balls but I sure as hell can juggle details....

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ElectricBlue
ElectricBlue

Now with extra strawberries
Location: Canberra
Member Since: 11th Feb 2002
Total posts: 810
Posted:yeah big heavy and full of crill

I {Heart} hand me downs and spinning in the snow.<br /><br />

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FireNix
FireNix

old hand
Location: India/Bristol
Member Since: 4th Apr 2001
Total posts: 904
Posted:Dave I totaly see your point. The BEST thing would be to get the wording to reflect what is actually the safest way of doing things.
I think the main issue with trying to get the OK for wet towels is that you would have to find a way of standardising them. Ie Certain, thickness, size, dampness? I would imagine the insurance company would require this in their wording -otherwise someone may use a tea towel!
This is why I suggest keeping to the 'use the wet towel cuz it works, keep the fire blanket for the cover' approach.
However I dont wanna be defeatest - lets work on the letter and see if we can change the world


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Phirenix

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ben-ja-men
ben-ja-men

just lost .... evil init
Location: Adelaide
Member Since: 12th Jun 2003
Total posts: 2474
Posted: Written by: Knoxious


nix/ben... yeah I guess, but.... why not try to make it real? The other plus point of a towel is that it actually does a much better job of cutting the air supply to the fire which is really how objects like wet towels and fire blankts put out the fire - by literally smothering the flames.



your working on the assumption that they are going to see things from your point of view and empathize with the fact that your being upfront and honest. The reality is insurance companies are there to make money and they don't want to pay claims (probably why that clause is in there at the moment)

they are all about mitigating their risk so if you mention that fire blankets can become a fire risk then they will see that as something they have to protect themselves against and make it harder for you to conform to their policy. I totally hear where your coming from with being upfront however having just spent the day practising negotiating contracts, the take away message was give an inch and they wont just take a foot they will take the whole damn thing!!!


Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourself, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous and talented? Who are you NOT to be?

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FireNix
FireNix

old hand
Location: India/Bristol
Member Since: 4th Apr 2001
Total posts: 904
Posted:Yeah - I have to say I agree with Ben
One of the things I was thinking was that we dont want to give them too much extra to think about. If you give them anything to worry about they will probably put it in.
Just imagine if theres a claim and the underwriters get to see that we have specified that there is a small risk with overused FireBlankets. Arent they gonna say that we havent gone to 'reasonable' lengths, blah, blah.
I dont know I feel as though WE know its safe and they probably know whats safe - but that doesnt neccessarily equal the safest policy wording!
They are ultimately there to take our money and do their damndest not to pay out - a cynical but realistic view!
Lets not give them more reason to weedle out of a claim.
Incidentally Dave you know anyone thats made a claim on this or any other policy?


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JauntyJames
JauntyJames

Carpal \'Tunnel
Location: Hampshire College, MA, USA
Member Since: 22nd Dec 2004
Total posts: 3533
Posted:You might point out that if a freshly extinguished wick is put in an airtight metal container then that airtight metal container will soon become filled with highly combustible fuel vapor and a heat source that might well be above the autoignition point for the fuel. That should hopefully give them pause, as it would me.
EDITED_BY: Sparkey (1192714370)


-James

"How do you know if you're happy or sad without a mask? Or angry? Or ready for dessert?"

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