Fire safety is of utmost importance for both the audience and performers. We at FireStorm take a number of precautions at each performance to ensure that the event runs smoothly. This includes the provision of a Fire Safety individual to assist the group with the equipment and any other precautionary measures during every fire performance. The Fire Safety is familiar with FireStorm and with all of our equipment, and is typically a member of our group. Because of the emphasis we place on safety during the performance, the Fire Safety individual is provided free of charge. Additional fire safety measures we adhere to including the following:
- Firestorm is fully certified by Santis UAE in the use of Fire Safety
- All of our fire performers are appropriately trained in the art of fire dancing and understand the risks involved in fire dancing and fire breathing.
- Prior to the performance, we view the location and assess whether the amount of space, weather conditions and overall performance area is appropriate for fire dancing. If deemed unsafe, we either liaise with the event organisers to establish a more secure location, offer an LED performance as an alternative to fire or cancel our performance at the event. (Cancellation applies only if the weather conditions are unsafe and in consultation with the client).
- We work with the event organisers to establish a location for our equipment and fuel; this location is well away from the crowd, with adequate distance from the stage.
- In this area, we prepare our equipment by giving it a thorough check to ensure all parts are locked in and secure and that we have all of the necessary fire safety items (fire extinguisher, wet towels, fire blanket and first aid kit including burn spray) on hand in case of an incident.
- We fuel our equipment by soaking the fire toys in the paraffin and ‘spinning off’ the excess fuel to ensure that little or no excess fuel comes off during the performance. By doing this, and by ensuring our performance space is adequate, the crowd is not affected.
- At the end of the performance and depending on the length of the set, the fire dancers will either ‘spin out’ or put out the flame with the wet towel that is on hand. All equipment is re-checked for the next fire set, or if the performance is finished, the equipment is left to cool off and then packed up. Fuel is put back into the original storage units using a funnel and all equipment is accounted for.
Information for Performers
Always check your equipment before use, even if you just did a performance and are about to re-light, check it again. Check all parts for wear. Are your handles ripping? Are there cracks in your ball chain or metal hardware? If your wick is starting to fray, trim is before lighting up again.
Wear tight-fitting natural fabrics and cloth. Synthetics are not a good idea, especially fleece. It catches on fire easily and melts very quick, (I found this out the hard way). Leather pants work very well. If you have long hair, you need to wrap it up or wear a hat. Wetting your hair is also a good idea when it can be done. Hair sprays, dyes, gels are not a good idea. Whatever you are planning on wearing, test it first.
Do your performance at least once in the costume you are planning to wear, make sure you are comfortable in and can move freely. common sense is your best friend.
Never spin with fire alone. You need someone else around that is familiar with your routine and your moves. This person needs to be comfortable around fire and know what to do in case of an accident. This person should also know first aid. Your “assistant” needs to have a fire blanket or damp towel ready
at all times and have a fire extinguisher (ABC) on hand.
Practice, practice, practice before you light up for the first time.
Never light up until you are totally comfortable with your abilities, and take it easy your first time. Don’t try new moves while you are on fire, once again, COMMON SENSE.
SAFETY OF OTHERS
Not only do you need to be aware of yourself, but aware of the audience as well. Your “assistant” should have crowd control skills. Make sure your performance area is large enough and there are no obstacles to trip over or get tangled up in. Keep your dipping station away from the crowd and away from your performance. Keep an eye on your audience.
FUEL STATION/DIPPING STATION
Keep your dipping station in a well-marked area away from the audience and all fire performances. You don’t want a spark flying into it! Your fuel should remain sealed when not in use. Your dipping station should at very least include, a dipping bucket and a Spin-off bucket. Depending on what type of wick you are using, dipping times will vary. After dipping be sure to spin off the excess fuel into a Spin-off bucket. Some performers like to use the extra fuel as part of there act, only do this if you know what you are doing and it will be safe. Fuel is an environmental hazard, please be kind to the earth.
TYPES OF FUELS
This is a very controversial topic. It is all about what combination of fuel works for what application you are using it for. Experiment, and find out what works best. Below is a list of common fuels and their properties.
KEROSENE OR PARAFFIN
Kerosene and Paraffin are pretty much the same fuel. Paraffin aka: Lamp Oil, is a
derivative of Kerosene. Kerosene is the base fuel before other additives are mixed. An example would be Lamp Oil. This fuel burns a little smoky and leaves an oily residue after the burn. Generally takes a few seconds to ignite. This fuel tends to burn the longest. This is a good fuel if you need to dip a while before your performance as it takes the longest time to evaporate.
Always light your wick away from your face and away from your dipping station.
Always light from below the wick. If you are using a lighter, do NOT put the lighter back in your pocket.
It is a good idea to extinguish your flame before it goes out on its own. This will greatly extend the life of your wick. If the flame is nearing its end you can blow it out by blowing from the base upwards. Your assistant can put out the flame with the use of a fire blanket or a damp towel. After your wick is out you can put it back in the fuel to cool off.
First Aid for burns In case of a minor burn hold the burned area under cool running water.
In case of a major burn seek immediate medical attention. If you would like to do some further reading please visit the sites below.