(the above picture is Dave Kaul, acting as Safety for Compression during the 2010 event)

Controlled Burn has always considered itself cutting edge when it comes to Safety. We have always prided ourselves on having positive relationships with local fire officials, and with obtaining all applicable permits, following all applicable laws, and doing everything in our power to convey to our community that fire spinning can be done in a safe and family-friendly environment.

Ten Controlled Burn members are Nevada State Fire Instructors (Level I) and work closely with the Nevada State Fire Marshal’s office to develop and implement safety protocol, and to export such information as needed in other jurisdictions.  We consider ourselves innovators in developing and following safety guidelines and curriculum and hope to continue to be on the edge of ensuring that this stunning and beautiful, if dangerous, art is given the respect it demands.

Click here to see parts a and b of our safety personnel training syllabus. All Controlled Burn safety personnel are required to go through this training yearly.

We have also created course materials to guide others on the path to doing things in a way that will perpetuate instead of limiting both our expression and the continued evolution of fire performance.

Click here to view our current course outline/syllabus that guides instruction in our tool manipulation classes.

Right now, much of fire performing is governed under a national document called NFPA 160. This is ambiguous because this guideline was developed for flame effects involving propane and other compressed gases, not for fire artists performing with hand-held tools. We are currently preparing a statute revision to incorporate relevant regulation and categorization.

There are other innovators in this area, also. Groups down in Southern California came together to produce Fire Performance Safety Standards and Implementation Guidelines that we admire very much. Additionally, New Zealand’s “House of Poi” has been blazing trails (pun intended =) in this area for years with documented safety practices with guidelines such as this and this.

This is obviously a very important, on-going and volatile issue. Please keep checking back here for further information and/or developments.  If you have questions, concerns, or are simply intrigued, please talk to us.  This is our geeky side and we are thrilled by it.

Thanks and check back!

If you are considering hiring Controlled Burn, some documents specific to us can be found below:

General Safety Letter

Controlled Burn’s General Practices and Show Guidelines

Tools and Fuels

About the Author

helper geek.