FIRE SAFETY & PRACTICE
Fire is dangerous- the safety guidelines below are my own and in no way guarantee your safety.DO NOT attempt any fire stunts without a professional!!
There are many different ways to stay safe and people will have there preferences on what to do and so forth. In many instances these preferences are acceptable differences between people's individual likes and dislikes, but their is a bottom line, one which cannot be crossed. I will introduce to you all my personal preferences, other safe preferences i have seen performer's use successfully, and the bottom line, on what MUST be done and what CANNOT be done safely. In the end some people think safety is important to keep the integrity of our profession, and of course this is true, however i find this secondary to the well fair of OUR people. The most important reason for fire safety is to keep EVERYONE SAFE! When spinning fire, YOU are the one yielding the fire and therefore YOU are responsible for the safety of everyone around you, the venue, and yourself. KEEP EVERYONE SAFE and practice OUTSTANDING fire safe protocol. Here are some guidelines i live by. Let's begin.
a guide on the different fuels- http://www.nafaa.org/msds.html
phoenix's choice to be used on WICKS ONLY: White Gas- specifically Coleman's Camping Brand is the most popular choice amongst fire folk. It comes in a silver and red aluminum 1 Gallon container and should NEVER EVER be used in one's mouth for fire breathing. The flashpoint on white gas is ridiculously low, in the simplest terms, it ignites instantly. This means if it spills or if one is so inclined to use it in a controlled burn on the ground, it will light in an instant and stay lit only for a few moments before the fuel evaporates and ceases to exist.
If one is ever to spill this, proper clean up is a must, use common sense, anything you use to clean this up is now highly flammable. If you use paper or regular towels, you will probably have to burn them after or you are causing a hazard for the garbage people. Put them in a burn barrel, make a ceremony, do whatever, be smart about it tho. Clean it up, all of it, with cleaning products afterwards so it is NOT a hazard for anyone who is in the space after you. Burn all the evidence as not to pass it along to unsuspecting people.
If you do a controlled burn on the ground, make sure you are experienced, as to know the perimeters you are working with and the amount of fire that is to come from the quantity of fuel you use. Make sure the controlled burn is NOT near anything that is flammable, or near water on the ground, which will make it travel and have permission from the venue before hand. NEVER put white gas in your mouth, if you put this fuel in your mouth or spill it on your skin, it will absorb into you super quick and is HIGHLY toxic. NEVER use to breathe fire with white gas, If you try to spit fire with it, the fire will back fire IMMEDIATELY into your mouth and cause you to have to go to the emergency room. You will suffer severe burns, don't even consider it!!!! Even a small amount of white gas in your breathing fuel can cause harmful backfire into your mouth, so make sure at all times your fire breathing fuel is separate and NEVER contaminated with white gas or any other gas fuels.
Now that i scared the shit out of you all, you are probably wondering why the hell does phoenix and so many prefer white gas??? White gas is beautiful to work with on your wicks and is all i dip with. White gas burns clean, smells less, and is the whitest brightest flame you can get, hence the name white gas. Some performers prefer a mixture, 50% white gas, 50% oil- either ultra pure lamp oil, tiki torch, etc. Some people use ALL oil as well. Any oil used on wicks for spinning and especially for breathing can leave a residue on the floor that is super slippery and messy. It can cause people to slip or just otherwise leave a hot mess for a venue, so remember all the effects of your fuel and use specific tools and fuels for specific jobs and clean up after your residue. The reason some people prefer oils is because there flash point is higher, which actually means they burn LESS HOT and take MORE TIME TO IGNITE. Oil burns also LAST LONGER, which could be a good or a bad thing, so consider your performance length as well when deciding on your fuel. Oils will also burn more ORANGE and can be used as an effect if you prefer the fire to be less bright and white. Ultra Pure Lamp Oil and ONLY UPLO is what i use for fire breathing, but we will get into that in a bit.
i use 100% White gas on all my wicks even my eating wicks, pretty much 99% of the time, which tends to burn quicker, hotter, and brighter. The flame is more white and when you have wicks that last 3-5 minutes it is best to slim down the performance time on particular tools.
You can time your burns and get a pretty accurate time for your wicks with different fuels, but each choreographed piece might prove to have different durations even with the same fuel, since the speed of your flow is a factor. White gas is also key to pulling off fire EATING tricks. That is fire EATING tricks, NOT breathing. Many fire eaters use white gas on there eating torches to pull off any of the moves where the vapors must collect in your mouth, like dragon's breathes and human candles. It is not the only option for these moves tho and is probably the most harmful. When white gas is ignited it is carcinogenic, that is cancer causing, putting this in your mouth and letting the vapors sit there and collect inside your mouth is dangerous, cancer causing, long term dangerous. Be warned. NEVER INHALE WHEN FIRE EATING. Seems obvious, but you may freak out when fire is in your mouth and forget, so DON'T forget! Hold your breath to hold the move, let go to show it off, exhale sharply to put it out. Different moves have different form, but that is something i will not write about here.
We all are very proud of you for not blowing up your face or burning the roof of your mouth, and certainly so happy you didn't hurt any one else or burn any place down, but i will be so super proud of you if you don't get cancer from your fire escapades. Let's go over some fire breathing tips and then discuss preventative methods.
For fire breathing i use ultra pure lamp oil. The flashpoint is high, which as we discussed means the opposite of what it seems, kinda counter intuitive wording- o well. if you spill it on the floor and try to light it, it will be a pathetic mess that never lights, but if you do spill it, you should clean it in the same fashion as the white gas, as it is unsafe to have lying around. It burns cooler and absorbs slower, so when you put it in your mouth it won't just go into your blood stream asap like white gas, but nonetheless it will absorb into your cells. It also won't backfire into your mouth in an instant, but there have been many fire breathes I sustained for so long that the fire eventually kissed me. It's a high flash point, but a flash point all the same. Don't freak out, just stop spitting the fuel, grab the duveyteen over your shoulder and wipe your face. Fire Breathers should always have a wipe down duveyteen on their shoulder, make it a manageable size. The 'kiss' can burn you, nothing is full proof, know your limits. Have a safety blanket on your shoulder as well as a safety person with blanket at all times while fire breathing. Wipe all excess fuel in between breathes. Be more cautious breathing in heavy fog, mist, or rain as it tends to drag the fuel down onto you more dramatically.
WHAT TO WEAR AND WHAT NOT TO WEAR:
Never wear hairspray, glitter spray, or any other sprays (bug spray included) on your person and be careful of sunblocks, certain lotions and oils, as they can be flammable- use common sense and test the products, anything from an aerosol is a NO. Do wear organic materials such as cottons and leathers- if unsure test the material with a lighter in a safe environment and with a safety. NEVER wear polyesters and other materials that WILL MELT onto your skin and leave you with scars. If you test the material and it melts, DO NOT WEAR IT. Just imagine it melting on your skin, even though it is such a hot outfit and you love it, save it for some other performance, melting goo on you = ouch.
White gas WILL fly off if you don't spin off, so will oil so spin off ALL TOOLS. One way is to use a spin off bucket for poi, and to pour the rest back in to the fuel bucket. If you don't know, a spin off bucket is an empty canister, you fit the poi into, make sure they don't hit the bottom and spin it in a circle, using centrifugal force to spin the fuel off the wicks and onto the bottom of the bucket. Make sure when you stop spinning, you stall the bucket right side up so fuel doesn't dump out of it. If the poi fall back into the fuel, well do it over, cause you done fucked up and the fuel is back where it started, on your wix!!
If you prefer (usually only for outside), which i do, spin off on the ground, put your poi on the floor and drag them so they spin in a circle. Obviously make sure nothing is flammable around you, dry grass can even ignite so be smart, come on people!!! Also remember you wouldn't just light a cigarette in someone's house without permission, so make sure you have permission for this spin off, since it can damage property (lawn etc.) unless it is your property than just go for it. This circle of fire created from the poi spinning on the ground is pretty intense and you are inside it, so be careful of your surroundings, when done right, it is awesome. It does however rip apart your wicks and is more dangerous to your surroundings, use caution.
As for hula hoops and staff there are no real spin off bucket ways, but there are chemical gloves that you can bring and squeeze the excess fuel from the wicks with, this can also be done for poi, fans, palms, anything really. Honestly if you have to, this is the preferred method because the gloves are small and easy to transport and you save all the fuel and it can be used on ANY tool. The gloves are inexpensive and protect you from getting fuel on yourself.
Let's say you are shit out of luck, no gloves, no bucket, well you can spin off outside and out of the way and pollute my mama earth. I don't know, people do it, but i say NO!!!! I am Mother Earth's Warrior Child and well this is NOT the way. I know she is all powerful and can clean up our little messes, but i try to clean up after myself and i suggest you do the same, so buy the fucking gloves and have them with you at all times and save money on fuel, as not to waste considerable amounts by spinning off into the Earth and polluting my mother. exhale.
With hoop, crowns, palms, fans, skirts, and other fire oddities fire gloves seem to be the only fit, but like poi, staff also has a fun spin off version that awes the crowd. You have to spin it in the air, the more rotation the better the trick. Imagine a string on it and you pull it like a yo yo and it rotates like mad, instead of down, spin it up and away. People usually put one hand on top and one on the bottom and they pull them in opposite directions to cause the best rotation releasing the staff into the air. The excess fuel will spit off the wicks and cause a huge blazing inferno upwards. People will wow when you do it right. This may have to be repeated to secure all excess fuel is burnt off.
No matter what method you choose, realize that all the fuel might not be totally off, so start slowly, slow is sexy anyway. The more time you spend with your wicks burning, the more likely no lit fuel will be left to fly off them. If you are still unsure give it a spin and LOOK FOR YOURSELF. When you do this make sure NO ONE is in your line of fire. You know if you spin a two beat, the fuel if any will go in a certain direction due to centrifigal force, make sure that direction is clear, this is true of all moves, so do what you know is safe. When you know you are all spun out, go to town, no fuel will fly off now and you just have to remember the other countless fire safety tips, but at least you are done with the spin off portion.
SAFTEY PERSON AND BLANKETS:
I already suggested you be your own safety as well as have a safety for fire breathing by having a blanket on your shoulder when breathing. i prefer, since i trust myself above all others, to have a fire safety blanket (preferably a duveyteen- but a wet cotton towel or canvas also work) on hand for all my burns. I usually keep one open on the ground, where i can reach it and no audience or other obstacle is in the way. This is for my peace of mind and i have never had to utilize it, but i keep doing it all the same. This does NOT replace a safety person, that is someone else safetying you. The ratio is best 1 on 1, one performer to one experienced safety with a safety blanket. We already discussed what can be used in a pinch, but really just buy a shit load of duvey, don't complain when they are lost or "stolen"- cause they all look the same. If you buy a bunch you won't ever need anything else and at $5, why not? I mean we are talking about your safety here. Scared of loosing them? Paint your name on the fluffy side with non flammable materials.
When i say an 'experienced' safety- i mean they better god damn know what the hell to do in case of fire. Not everyone does, we all didn't figure this out from common sense. It is your job, YOURS and no one else's, to a) make sure you have a safety with an approved safety blanket and b) make sure they know what the fuck they are doing and are more than capable of doing it!!!
So what the fuck does a safety do?? Well they don't sit on their ass bullshitting with their friends, half paying attention to you. Oooo no they better fucking not!!! No they are ready to pounce on you, they know your name, they know the proper procedure, and they know how to smother a mother fucking fire if need be. Let's go through this step by step, they are ready to pounce, they are standing or otherwise so close to you and so able to get to you that they look a little scary, holding the duveyteen fully open staring you down, talking to know one, eyeing you like the sacred performer you are, whom they are there to love and protect. Theytalk to the audience for crowd control only, making sure people stay out of your perimeter, which you as a performer should go over with your safety before hand. They know your name because if you are on fire, well they are gonna shout your name, the word FIRE, and the specific body part that is inflicted. A bad example, Jane, Fire, arm. A good example, JANE FIRE LEFT WRIST!!!!!! Now Jane probably put that shit out herself cause she is a super hero, but her trusting and awesome sidekick safety person is already on their way to her in the meantime. The safety has to consider the fire and the performance, as not to interrupt the flow of the performer and the show, the safety is ready but not overbearing. In the case where Jane puts the fire out on her own, the safety should barely, if at all, been seen. In the case where the safety is needed because Jane cannot put it out on her own, the safety must smother the hell outta the flame. I mean suffocate it!!! Don't pat it, don't be scared, don't back down!!! NEVER BACK DOWN, Jane is counting on you!!! Put your already open blanket around the fire, until it is engulfed in duveyteen, and tighten it around the inflicted body part for some time. In fact don't take it off until the performer gives you the ok. If you pat it, you feed it oxygen, so don't be a dumb ass. Suffocate the FIRE!!!
There are more than just the performers to worry about, so proper procedure is such; Audience, venue, performer. In the instance of all 3 happening to set fire at once and you being the only safety, follow this order. Performers are trained, they need to take care of themselves at times. If god and goddess forbid, any body in the audience set fire, they are priority, the venue second, the performer is last. Performances should have a second safety that yields a fire extinguisher that should ONLY be used as a last resort. Fire extinguishers are best used on a venue if it set fire and only on a person if they are truly engulfed in flame and a blanket won't help. They are mainly used to make the audience and venue owners feel safe, but really should be present in case of extreme fire hazards and cannot replace safety blankets. Safety blankets cannot replace fire extinguishers either, they are a dynamic duo. Hopefully Jane and all the rest of us will NEVER need to use a fire extinguisher.
Most likely you will need a safety blanket, even if it is just to put out your tools when finishing a performance before the burn is done. In this case, the safety should put the fire blanket down on the ground, the performer puts one wick on half of the blanket and the other half is folded over it, remember no patting, smother that shit until it is suffocated. Not sure if it is out? Keep it on it a few extra moments, why not? i DO NOT use the same blankets for my safety as i do to put out my tools. Designate them one way or the other. Putting tools out on blankets will transfer the fuel onto them and make them more flammable and perhaps render them hazardous for safety. Imagine trying to put someone out and the 'safety' blanket goes up in flames, now your fucked!!! So if you need, have multiple blankets, clearly labeled, for different uses. This is great, now no one will confuse your Jane- Safety Only labeled blanket. Remember- labeling your blankets is great as not to get them confused with other people's and will help you not be pissed off at then end of the night because your blanket went missing.
Lastly DO NOT wash your duveyteen, this is hard for me and my OCD, as i want everything to be fresh and so clean, but they are chemically treated and you will fuck that all up if you wash them. If i can resist, you surely can. There is a fluffy side and a smooth side to your duvey, the smoother side is the chemically treated side, use that one preferably for putting out fire, even tho both are pretty good, one is still better. I know I know "safety third" is wildfire's funny catch phrase, but really people make it first, cause fire is dangerous, duh!
LONG TERM HEALTH:
i consider the long term in every move i make throughout my day. What can be done so i don't die of cancer from my love of fire breathing & eating? How can I prevent hot flaming oil from hitting my eyeballs? Will i ever be able to spin fire and not have black buggers? There are so many things to do in the preventative realm of it all.
Fire Spinners- wear a mask or a bandana over your mouth and nose to prevent inhaling the fumes. I don't do this really, but i prolly should. It makes a difference, but when you eat and breathe fire, the fumes off spinning seem like nothing, but it isn't true, they are dangerous just nothing to the severity of eating and breathing.
Fire breathers and eaters- hmmmm, you dangerous fuckers, well we discussed how not to blow your face up, due to certain fuels. What else can be done? Well i have figured some things out along the way. For fuck sake, why would i be anything less then over cautious when it comes to my health and yielding fire? First off, when breathing straight up, the fuel tends to fall straight down, go figure, gravity!!! Well my eyeballs were wondering what the hell was happening to them? My skin is super sensitive, and when that thing called gravity pushes the oil down, t hits your eyes and the rest of your skin as well. When i first began fire breathing, the lamp oil would sit on it, because i was still ignorant to the effects and waited longer to wash it off. The lamp oil, not the fire, just the residual oil on my skin, that came back down and seeped into my pours, cut through my layer of skinuntil the areas saturated with the oil bled and scabbed and fucking felt like shit- that is called chemical burn and it ain't pretty. So now I know to rinse off IMMEDIATELY, not 30 mins later, but 5 seconds after my show, in between the acts, and after EACH ONE!!!
At the end of the night, a shower is a must, i don't care if you ate it, spit it, spun it, or did all of it, get that shit off you!!! Scrub like you never scrubbed before, inside your nose, your mouth, clean your eyeballs if you can.
OOOO your eyeballs, i have conceded to wearing goggles when breathing fire upwards. After doing this, there was this great realization, as a flaming bit of fuel fell from my spray and landed smack on the lens of my new goggles. i knew had the goggles not been there, that flaming bit of fuel would have hit my eyeball instead, and i am pretty sure my eyeballs have seen that flaming bit of fuel before i picked up the habit of goggles. I mean you can wash your eyes, sure, but once they are burnt what will it matter? Your eyeballs are very sensitive and can seriously suffer, so either breathe horizontally or on any protective angle where you are safe from the downfall or put the fucking goggles on. Goggles need to get wiped down, so don't forget your duvey. Make putting on your goggles part of your act. i do, like hey, watch this. People usually enjoy the anticipation and the build up, in fact draw them out a bit, straighten the goggles even if they are straight, whatever, let them wait for your greatness. Breathing is a short stunt, so is eating, the act is in between when you are solo or when you are part of a greater spectacle, your goggles will go unnoticed and your gigantic breathes of fire will be all that is seen. Breathing fire to the heavens, this is something that should be cherished, and so should your body to guarantee your longevity. When i breathe horizontally or eat, I do NOT wear the goggles, so i plan for vertical breathes to be the last or first of the fire breathing as to keep the goggle transition all at one time. Goggles limit your vision, i WILL NOT breathe horizontal or eat with them on cause i need my vision for both those things. Breathing vertical almost guarantees no one will get hit by your enormous balls of fuego, i say almost because you have to make sure in each instance. Where as horizontal breathes are done on the same planes as people and so there is space you can NOT allow your fire to cross into. You need to be aware of your spray, the wind, and your vision needs to be spot on to pull this off safely. Be SUPER AWARE of your surroundings when breathing fire, all of them, setting fire to a venue can be as dangerous as setting fire to a person. So if you are not confident about your perimeter, DO NOT breathe in it.
Fire breathing and eating has a ritual, behind the scenes or part of the act. i begin with my little bear jar of flax oil, iswish and swish and finally SWALLOW the flax oil. I wet my hair or put it in a safe material, hat or bandana, and prepare my goggles. I have a safety blanket ready for me as well as a safety. I wash my skin in between each set. When i am done with my act, i get my bear full of flax and i swish and swish, but this time i SPIT. Then i listerine and swish water, spitting everything out of my mouth. i don't eat or drink for at least an hour after fire eating and/or breathing, i only spit out shit. This ritual happens in between each separate act and may occur several times in one night, if i breathe and eat multiple times. When i get home, i brush my teeth and listerine like the OCD chick i am and i shower. Any way, the next day, my mouth is pretty happy, if i don't do this, i will burp up what smells like gasoline for 24-48 hours afterwards and my mouth is like why, phoenix why? So i do- do this- every time. Otherwise charcoal pills will extract anything you missed, so just get over it and do it.
Lastly i am a vegan, what the hell does that have to do with anything? Well fire breathing and eating is one of the reasons why i am such. The healthy effects of a vegan diet, the cleansing effects and healthy cells produced by a mainly raw vegetable, fruit, and cold pressed juice diet is actually proven to cure cancer (Max Gerson circa 1920s- check it) and well it can also prevent it. This is not full proof, nothing is, but every bit helps and i believe it does help, so i be a fool not to.
Although i have not been inflicted by chemical pneumonia, a couple of my friends have from breathing fire. This can be from swallowing the oil, breathing too much in one session, being more susceptible to it, i am not sure. Like i said i have yet to experience this. My good friends who went through it looked miserable and they wound up in the hospital, so be warned the side effects of breathing are very fucking scary real!! Be sure not to leave fuel in your mouth for extended periods, not to swallow, and to know your limits. Nothing is full proof, but the flax oil will help slow down the absorption of the lamp oil.
For you spinners if you don't want to wear a mask or bandana around your nose and mouth and get black boogers, you can do this steamy watery thing after you spin to rid yourself of the black boogers- i dunno much about this and it won't prevent you from inhaling fume like a mask. Really it only cleans off the smut. i have a steam shower for this purpose, it heats up so hot, you pretty much feel like nothing could survive the heat, your lucky your skin doesn't melt off, so you are pretty much sterile clean after that. Shower, scrub, clean clothes, brush mouth, blow nose, clean eyeballs, get fuel OFF everywhere!
i prefer my military ammunition case. It is the perfect size, fits about 3/4 of a gallon of white gas, has a handle, is water proof, won't leak, and fits all different size wicks. Along with a safety case, a bit bigger then ammo case and waterproof, gloves and my tools it is all i need to spin fire with. I have a separate fire breathing and eating kit, which is a little more involved, it has a smaller container of white gas that my eating wix can fit into, a bottle with easy seal cap for lamp oil, a bottle of listerine, a bear bottle of flax oil, goggles, a bottle of water, a safety blanket, and my torches. EVERYTHING IS CLEARLY LABELED AND IN DIFFERENT LOOKING SPECIFIC CONTAINERS!!!
Other Spinners: Some people prefer spin off buckets, bringing fuel in the Coleman's container, bringing another bucket to dip in, another to put that one in, a few funnels but damn kids, this is NYC! Public transportation is key and although i only ever heard of it happening once, someone has got a ticket for fuel on the subway. Also you have fun lugging ALL that shit around, all i need is one case and gloves for my fuel dump. So compact and efficient, i can't believe everyone is not doing this. An ammo case costs $10-15 and has a huge opening, so you can dip even four inch moon blaze staff wicks right in. It locks, so as long as you LOCK IT, it WILL NOT spill. Be careful though other people are not so keen on how to lock it or they just plain forget, call them irresponsible, but they probably are just new. To carry your fuel, NEVER use glass- it breaks or plastic- it melts (however breathing containers may be plastic sometimes)! Always man your own fuel station or have a trustworthy person who is in the know do it. When you go to perform, have a safety for you with blanket, a safety for your fuel making sure nothing is tampered with, and a safety with a fire extinguisher. I guess this may seem like a lot if you are performing alone, but i usually perform with dozens of performers and in any instance where there are multiple performers, there should always be someone caring for the fuel dump area. This area should also be smoke/fire free and far from the audience and performance area. The fuel area is a designated area, put tools, bags, and all other items far from it. If you can't have so many safeties then make sure to secure all your fuel and put in a safe place out of the way before you perform. If the fuel spills follow the cleaning protocol above, it sucks, but you gotta do it. I have never had this happen- knock on wood. Putting your fuel dip inside another waterproof case is accident proof. So if the fuel spills, it spills inside this second bucket or case. This is a great idea many of my friends use. In fact i have a friend's double bucket dipping station in my hall right now waiting for him to pick up. It is a smart idea. He and others use metal suit like cases and paint cans with lids, You can use a 1 gallon paint can inside a 5 gallon paint bucket, or put the 1 gallon paint cans inside a waterproof rectangular case, like a suit case, but more diesel and waterproof. You can use the waterproof ammo case, i prefer, inside another waterproof case, just a little bigger. It really is a great preventative method to NEVER spill fuel. Just think, if the fuel spills from case one into case two, you funnel it back into one, no big hassle of a clean up, no hazard. If by chance the fuel sets fire, close case number two and eventually it will suffocate itself, again no hazard.
PRACTICE:Fire breathers:practice by spitting water. In the shower, outside, wherever you can without making a wet mess. Do the trick, pretend you have a torch or make a practice one you can get wet, spit the water, sustain your breathes, change planes, do the stunts. I do this even without water, with just my breathe as well. When you feel confident, do it with fuel and fire. Breathing exercises are great, do anything to strengthen your breathing.
Fire Spinners: practice with your sock poi, wood sticks, hula hoops, etc, then with the fire tools not on fire, then dip and see the difference. It comes in phases, even if you have a trick off fire, doesn't mean it is performance / fire ready, so be prepared to practice on fire before you bust it out for a performance. Fire Eaters: practice by eating spicy hot foods, ha! There really is not much to do except to put that fire in your mouth and see how crazy you are.
OTHER PEOPLE PREFER:
I am not going to talk about this in depth, because it isn't what i know.
kerosene- people use on wicks, smells like shit, NEVER use in your mouth for breathing, hazardous!!! Most performers really hate other performers using this, cause it contaminates the air, and can get mixed in with their white gas and really piss them off, gross, just say NO!
tiki torch- people use on wicks, beginners usually, as it is a cooler flame, longer lasting, and won't burn so readily and hot. If you pour it on the floor it won't light, but if you spill it clean it up as if it would. Any oil will leave a residue on the floor, and so it is very slippery, be cautious. i have seen a performer bite it due to the oil after breathing or just from a spinner using it on their wicks and it spraying on the floor. We thought it was hilarious, but he didn't. You CAN breathe with this, but i have heard it makes one more susceptible to chemical pneumonia. I do NOT use tiki torch fuel for anything really.
rubbing alcohol- if it pours on the floor it will light, a bluer flame, like a sea of fire, so pretty. I use it for this and this reason only. Again if you spill it, clean it up properly, as it will light on fire on the ground. If it will light on fire on the ground, it can light on fire in your mouth, so NO to breathing with it, i mean rubbing alcohol, yuck! I heard about it being good for eating as in cooler and safer, but only in a mixture will it pull off the more advanced tricks and only ever to be used on your wicks, NEVER poured in your mouth. i am unsure this mixture, so i use white gas, which is considerably hotter and harder to eat with. Talk to someone who knows about this before attempting. I will update this after i know better.
gasoline- any type- diesel, regular, supreme, i don't care which, JUST SAY NO!
151 and other potent alcohols- seen it used for fire breathing, not very impressive, heard it was dangerous, didn't seem so, but one person swears it is, so be warned, they claim it can backfire into your mouth due to the flashpoint. i prefer the real deal, and i listen to people's warnings, so i just say NO.
Corn starch, flour, powdered sugar- for fire breathing, a hot mess! Also heard it was more dangerous in the long term, not sure if this is true? I just say NO.
Well what about those unpreventable accidents? Well we hope that with a strict safety regiment that no accident is unpreventable, and since you all follow such a strong code of safety no accident ever occurs, but in life there are no guarantees, just insurance. Fire/Performance insurance is super inexpensive at $215 a year and will assure you get more paid gigs than without it. I work with Steph at www.SpecialtyInsuranceAgency.com, but there is also http://www.nafaa.org/fire_ins.html check them both out and any other you can find and BUY A POLICY. It will pay back itself in one gig that you would have otherwise NOT have been eligible for without same insurance. Then you will receive so many gigs because of your insurance and will be able to put people at ease with your 5 million dollar liability coverage, that you will wonder why you didn't do this sooner. When filling your application be as specific and detailed as possible to make sure all your crazy stunts will be covered just in case. Always bring a copy to give to the venue owner/manager when performing and have a digital file to send to same before event. About 50% of my clients ask for insurance so without it i would be out half my work!!
Well thanks for listening.
Stay safe, burn bright, and be awesome!