Play With Fire Safely: 5 Indispensible Safety Tips
Seeing a master spinner at work, it’s so tempting to feel the graceful elegance of the moves; the fire must seem to you a tamed beast that doesn’t ever bite. But, truth be told, it’s only half-tamed. And it bites.
That’s why, to even begin the waltz, we must flatten the teeth of the fire-beast first. No matter if you’re an experienced spinner or just beginning the dance, if you don’t want to set yourself or others ablaze, there’s a whole set of safety measures to adhere to. Let’s list some of them.
1. Dress For The Occasion
It must be tight and natural; natural fibers, close to the skin. Synthetic clothes are never a good idea, since, in addition to catching fire easily, they also melt to the skin and imprint the burns all over it. Choose between wool, silk, leather, or cotton materials, and avoid wavy skirts or pants. As for the long hair, should you have it, make sure to dampen it before letting fire anywhere near it. Wrapping it in cotton scarf will also do the trick.
2. Fire Served For Two
Now, it’s nearly impossible to overstate the importance of this one, but I’ll give it a go. Always, ALWAYS, have at least one person along when you light it up. But not just any person, but the ones who would have their wits about them should the unexpected happen. They must have an access to a damp towel at all times, and know their way with the first aid kit. Accidents are, if you don’t know what you’re doing, not all that uncommon unfortunately, but their effect is largely minimalized if you have someone to watch over while you practice.
3. Station the Dipping Station Away From Public Eyes
I hope I don’t need to tell you just how flammable the dipping stations are, regardless of the fuel inside it. And I certainly hope I don’t need to stress that such easily flammable objects need to be kept far far away from the multitudes. So keep it well away and well covered. And yes, don’t forget to spin the excess fuel off from the wicks after the dipping.
4. The Birth & Death Of A Flame
Setting a wick alight requires your utmost attention, just as quenching the flame your full attentiveness. As for sparking a wick, never do it near the face, always kindle from below, and make sure that the dipping station is not around. At the end of the performance, don’t wait for the flames to die out, but put them out instead. Your wicks will know to appreciate it.
5. Check it; Check again; Then Check Some More
You made sure that the handles hold together. But what about the Kevlar? Or the chains? Are they solid enough to sustain the pressure? And what about the screws in your Poi? These are all questions you need to double, if not triple-check before the fire-dance sparks off. Never light if your equipment is not a hundred percent in shape.
Consider these tips not as an addition, but as a prerequisite to any performance. It is only after you’ve employed them that you can fully take in all the beauty the fire dancing shines out.