In this guide, we are going to review some VERY important tips for fire performances. Remember that we are not responsible of any injury you may have, but, we want to pull down the risk involving this art. If you don't know what you are doing, please, DO NOT DO THIS!!!

 

Index:

- SAFETY TIPS

- FUELS

CLOTHES

TREATING BURNS

 

 


SAFETY TIPS:

1.- Stopping Fire: ALWAYS keep a bottle of water of 2 liters or more nearby, for possibles fire accidents. Also, a wet towel can be of great help! And if you can, Fire extinguishers (use type ABC only).

2.- Checking Equipment: ALWAYS check EVERYTHING before start spinning! check the Kevlar (or similar), check the connection between the sticks, check the sticks, to avoid a flaming bar flying at someone.

3.- Checking the Area: DO NOT SPIN near possible flamable stuff, in a radius of 1o meters.

4.- Check Yourself: Having a fire session with alcohol or drugs is not good. The safety of people around you, and your own safety are in bet, so play nice.
   
5.- Safety Word for Danger: ONLY SPIN WITH A FRIEND, ask him/her to shout a word if you catch fire, this is useful to avoid creating panic. Eg: "hey, STOP!!! YOU ARE ON FIRE!!!!!" is a panic situation, but, if you just hear: "orange!", it means that you need to stop chucking, and check for fire on your body/clothes.

6.- Fuels: do you really know which fuel is the best? please READ BELOW so you get an idea. 

7.- Clothes: Clothing is very important! Please READ BELOW to know what are the safest clothes for you to wear on a fire session.

8.- People around you: when you are on a fire session, make sure that people around you are at a safe distance, 10 mts radius...minimum. Remember, that nunchaku can fly a lot! This also goes for animals, or stuff around you that might catch fire.

9.- YOU ARE ON FIRE: If your clothes or a part of your body gets on fire, DO NOT RUN, instead, drop the nunchaku to a safe place, and DROP yourself to the 
ground AND ROLL as fast as you can. Also, if you got company, tell them, that in case of emergency, cover you with a leather jacket/blanket, and make you 
roll on the floor.

10.- Injuries: If you play with fire, you'll get burnt! and that is a law! Sometimes injuries are small, and can be treated at home, and sometimes you'll need a hospital as soon as possible! READ BELOW the "Treating Burns" part.


 

 

FUELS:

Some fuels are relatively safe, but some are pretty damn dangerous, and so, you need to know what you're going to be dealing with.
There are two main types of fuels - hot fuels & cold fuels. As you guessed, this does refer to the temperature, but also to the flash point & hydrocarbon length of the fuel.

Hot fuels as a rule are MORE DANGEROUS. This is because they vapourise easier into the air.
This makes them:
-Easier to light.
-More likely to explode.
-Give a bigger flame.
-Give a shorter burn time.

It's not usually a good idea to spin completely with a 100% hot fuel, as it does create quite a hazard to both you and the spectators.

Cold fuels are LESS DANGEROUS. They;
-Are harder to light as they are less voilatile.
-Are less likely to explode.
-Give a slightly smaller & more manageable flame.
-Give a longer burn time (the fuel is burnt off slower).

If you're a BEGINNER, you definitely want to be using a COLD fuel.

Mixing Fuels:
As cold fuels are hard to light, and hot fuels are too easy to light (they can burst into flame at even the suggestion of a lighter) you can do a clever little thing, whereby you mix the fuels.

Some standard mixing ratios are:

Cold:Hot - 75:25: "Recommended". It lights up easier than pure cold and gives a brighter and bigger flame. It doesn't last quite as long though.
Cold:Hot - 50:50: A bit too easy to light. Still, some people like it.
Cold:Hot - 25:75: This fuel blend will burst into flame at even the suggestion of a lighter. Do not use unless you know exactly what you're doing.

COLD FUELS:

-Paraffin (kerosene): This is the main fuel I use. It does burn with quite a bit of smoke, and tends to leave a residue on your wicks & components, but it's not too much of a problem. Overall a great fuel!
-Lamp Oil: This is just paraffin with additives to make it burn a bit cleaner. It's a bit more toxic, and a lot more expensive than paraffin, but if the smoke gets to you, use this.
-Citronella Fuel: The key ingredient in mosquito repellents. I find that it smells horrible, but some people like it. If you use this, you can be sure of one thing. No mosquito bites for you!

MEDIUM FUELS:
These are actually fuels that are already blended for you!

-Fire Water/Fire Liquid: There have been lots of rumours about this, but all it is infact is paraffin mixed with loads of additives to make it tasteless, odourless and residue's. However, it is very toxic.
-BBQ Lighter Fluid: This is paraffin with an additive to make it less Smokey. It is a bit more voilatile than paraffin though, so use with care.

HOT FUELS:

-Zippo/Lighter Fluid: Virtually smokeless, and leaves little residue. However it is very expensive, and almost impossible to find it bottles big enough.
-Coleman fuel/Naptha/White gas: The typical fuel that the Americans use. It's easy to light - perhaps a little too easy, but nice if you blend it. Be careful 
about fuel transfers though with this stuff though. Be careful with bouncing (with chucks) with this fuel.

FUELS TO AVIOD:

-Meths/Methanol/Methylated Spirits: This stuff is very poisonous. Just one teaspoon is enough to make a man go blind & insane. AVOID AT ALL COSTS!
-Petrol/Gass/Gasoline: Very very voilatile. That small bomb you're creating around you dipping container by using petrol WILL expload at some point, so avoid at all costs.
-Lighter gel: Designed to be very easy to light and expload. Exactly what you DON'T want. Do not use.
-White spirit/Paint remover e.t.c: Anything made for household use is a big no-no. If it isn't made to be burnt, don't use it at all!

One last thing:

ALL fire and forms of firespinning are dangerous. When starting firespinning you have to be RESPONSIBLE, or risk seriously injuring yourself or your spectators. However, if you follow this thread, you should be fine.

 

 


CLOTHES:

The basic rule for clothes: NEVER wear anything synthetic (with the obvious exception to Kevlar).

Jeans:
Many people like to go for jeans on their bottom half. This is probably one of your best options if you are not willing to invest a lot of (unnecessary) cash. The fibres in jeans are woven together very tightly, which will ultimately make it less likely to catch on fire. However, something you should watch out for with jeans are the frayed edges. Often, might people get the tear on their knees on fire. If this does happen to you, STOP. DROP. ROLL.

(cotton) T-Shirts:
If you have bought a decent t-shirt it should be cotton, but it's good to check the label anyway. Cotton T-Shirts are a very good option for your upper half. They are woven fairly tight, and are fairly tricky to light on fire. If you have a transfer (picture) on your shirt they can be made of other materials, and if they feel sort of like plastic, they are. It's best to avoid T-Shirts with this on.

Leather:
Leather is a good option as it is very fire retardant, and almost impossible to burn. But frankly, when you're firespinning you want to have the full movement of your body. If, however, you don't mind this, leather is a good choice!

Polyester/Nylon/Acrylic:
These are all made (like paraffin) from crude oil. And so naturally they aren't exactly good to wear. DO NOT WEAR any of these. Some of them burst into flames, and other doesn't. There are way too many types of these man-made fibres to list here, but all of them will either light immediately, or start to melt. DO NOT WEAR ANY OF THESE MATERIALS.

Ignite Times:

Here is a short list of clothes and the times they take to light on fire when held in the flame from a lighter.

Rayon                             3.0sec    
Cotton                            4.8sec
Denim                             5.0sec    
Silk                                 7.6sec    
50/50 Cotton/polyester     9.2sec
Polyester                         10sec*   
Wool                              10sec
Leather                           20+sec

*Polyester takes 10 seconds to actually light on fire, but it shrinks into you instantly once put in a flame, and will cause severe skin injuries and burns.

Baggy/Wolly Stuff:
Most over-baggy clothes are a bad idea. This is mainly because the flow of oxygen around the item of clothing is much greater making the clothes easier to light. Hoodies, for this reason, are usually a bad idea (unless you wear the hood up). Wolly/fluffy clothes catch on fire easily too due to the same reason as above.

 

 



TREATING BURNS

Types of Burns:

1st Degree Burns:
Definition:First degree burns are when only the very outer skin cells are burnt. The skin will feel slightly hot, and tends to be red. You skin may peel off a little a bit like bad dry skin. Sunburn is an example. Unless a very large area is affected, this is a minor burn.

Treatments:
- Hold under medium-cold (not freezing) water for at least 10 minutes, but keeping it under the water for longer may help if it is an especially bad 1st degree burn. If your skin starts to hurt from the cold of the water, the water is too cold! This can cause further injury. Do not use ice either.
- Any painkiller, such as Paracetamol or Aspirin will help, but Ibuprofen is best as it also reduces swelling and such.
- If you feel the need to cover, you can. Use a sterile bandage or plaster.

2nd Degree Burns:
Definition: The basic way of telling if a burn is second degree is by looking for a blister. If there is one, your burn is second degree. Second degree burns occur when the first layer of skin has been completely burnt through. A first degree burn usually occurs around the blister/second degree area.

Treatments:
- DO NOT break the blister! It is there for a reason, and breaking it will only increase the chance of infection.
- Bandages are essential to preserve the life of the blister.
- Painkillers are usefull too, as with 1st degree.
- Don't put water on the burn if the skin is broken.

3rd Degree Burns:
Definition: Third degree burns are burns which go all the way through both layers of skin. They are the worst type which you could get from firespinning if you are extremely unlucky. Usually there is no pain at all, due to the receptor neurons being burnt away, but if you are in immense (almost unbearable) pain, treat the burn as a 3rd degree/major burn. The affected area will be surrounded with ash (white or black in appearance - like a camp fire's reminisce 24hours later). All third degree burns are very bad and require immediate medical attention.

TREATMENTS:
- The first thing you should do is call an ambulance.
- Then, there is only a certain amount you can do at home due to the seriousness of the burn, but remove all clothes around the affected area, but NOT any that are stuck to the actual burn.
- Likewise do not move or touch any jewelry or other items stuck to the burn.
- Try to not touch the burn at all, as doing so only increases the chance of infection.
- Don't put water on the burn at all.
- Cover the burn if possible using clean sterile towels or bandages. If you are unsure as to how clean the cover you are using is, don't use it at all.

Finally, while your burn is healing, DO NOT scratch the burn and remember to change the dressing(s) often - up to 2 or 3 times a day.