Both staff and poi spinners need to make sure they're ready and prepared to spin fire before doing so. For the spinner a staff is safer to spin whilst lit than poi – poi can and do tangle around a spinner's body and are hard to get off once attached, whereas a staff can be easily dropped. However a staff poses more danger to bystanders as a carelessly released staff can fly off and cause major damage.
Get Help & AdviceIdeally you should have an experience fire spinner to help you spin fire for the first time: Nothing is as good as real life help and guidance. However we know that this isn't always possible and many people don't know other fire spinners. But at least have a friend to help you and watch out for your safety.
Don't rushDon't be in too much of a hurry to start spinning fire as soon as possible – spin when you're ready and not when your friends say you are. There isn't any reason to rush to start spinning fire that is worth the potential danger to yourself and those around you. The first time you spin with fire is a very memorable moment, so best to remember it for the right reasons.
Your first fire spinDon't try moves you're not confident with. Know which moves you can perform well with little chance of tangling around yourself and spin slowly – more accidents happen when you spin too fast. Consistency and calm nerves are key to starting with fire, you should be able to consistently spin a fire staff/poi without hitting yourself. This doesn't mean you'll never hit yourself when lit, but it greatly reduces the chances of injury. Practice with your fire poi unlit and if possible add a bit of weight of them – try covering them with an old pair of socks.
SafetyMake sure you've read the articles on Fire Safety. It's crucial that you take appropriate steps to ensure the safety of yourself and those near by. When spinning always have a safety nearby – a friend with a fire blanket or wet towel in case the worst does happen. Keep a safe distance away from other people but not so far that your safety can't easily reach you. Get your safety to keep an eye out for anyone that might walk too close to you whilst you're spinning.
FuelRead the article on Which Fuel? and make sure you never spin with something dangerous such as methylated spirits, white gas or petrol. The safest fuel for spinning is kerosene, or paraffin in some countries and is usually the main ingredient in lamp oil. Kerosene doesn't transfer onto other materials easily and doesn't light as easily as other fuels so is the least explosive. However no fuel is safe and you need to make sure your fuel is safely contained and kept well away from naked flames.
Spinning offDon't forget to remove excess fuel from your wicks before lighting up – otherwise beads of fire will go flying! There are many ways of doing this and the best ways collect the excess fuel by placing the wick securely in a container before spinning the excess out. Just spinning unlit should never be done in doors and even outdoors it pollutes the environment and places all slippery fuel on the floor you're spinning on.
You will get burntNo fire spinner never burns themselves and most have a distinct lack of body hair on their arms. So know what to do if you do get burnt by reading our article on First Aid for Burns.
Have fun!Your first spin is going to be the most memorable – so have fun!
Copyright © 2004 by Dom